Jump to content
British Coin Forum - Predecimal.com

50 Years of RotographicCoinpublications.com A Rotographic Imprint. Price guide reference book publishers since 1959. Lots of books on coins, banknotes and medals. Please visit and like Coin Publications on Facebook for offers and updates.

Coin Publications on Facebook


The current range of books. Click the image above to see them on Amazon (printed and Kindle format). More info on coinpublications.com

predecimal.comPredecimal.com. One of the most popular websites on British pre-decimal coins, with hundreds of coins for sale, advice for beginners and interesting information.

Peckris 2

Coin Hoarder
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Peckris 2

  1.  It's easy enough to do, using something like Excel - just have column headings for e.g. denomination, date, condition, variety, perhaps reign, date acquired, where from, price paid, and you can always add more column headings later. You could have a separate worksheet for pictures.

    To sort by any criterion, you'd just click that column heading, and Bob's your mum's brother.

    I don't know of any particular app (I created my own bespoke solution using a database manager) but post again in the relevant forum, e.g. Free For All and I'm sure someone will help.

  2. 11 minutes ago, mrbadexample said:

    If you get chance Mike, it's worth listening to the live auction.

    The auctioneer would refer to your £2000 bid as "with me" until the bidding exceeded your amount, then it would be "in the room" or "on the internet" etc.

    Yes, that's right. The auctioneer would open - if he had a bid on the books - at the reserve or estimate. Then if there were bids in the room, the auctioneer would raise (often by pointing at his book) with the next highest bid. If the room cleared what was on the book he would say something like "I'm out" and point to the overbidder.

    • Like 1

  3. 2 hours ago, secret santa said:

    I think we're getting there although there will always be a degree of subjectivity as we can never truly know what was in the mind of the "designer" even if it seems obvious.

    Yes. Getting back to the 1926ME (I hear your groans from here...) - many millions of halfpennies, farthings, and the 1927 penny saw the introduction of the ME obverse on bronze together with a modified reverse. Just because there are maybe 100k (give or take) 1926ME pennies with old reverse that completed what MAY have been an emergency issue of pennies, doesn't prove anything about what the original design intent was .. or wasn't. I personally think there is enough evidence that a modified reverse was the intent, but circumstances proved it impractical for the end of the 1926 penny run.

  4. 10 hours ago, Lotad said:

    Thanks, so would the next grade be A.UNC? I think it has full lustre, but I can only compare, in person, to worn/circulated ones and this one looks miles better.

    Anyone who can confidently differentiate between GEF and AUnc should be wearing a red cape and dating Lois Lane.

  5. 1 hour ago, 1949threepence said:

    Let's be honest, in the absence of an overriding definition accepted by all, there's never going to be full consensus on this issue, so, in terms of what is a mule and what isn't, to each his own. 

    It all depends on what your definition of "is" is...


    18 minutes ago, Bronze & Copper Collector said:

    It can be said that the very act of placing a die in the press indicates intent by definition of the word intent...

    The crux of the issue is whether the original intended use of the die was how the die was ultimately used and whether that is the only determination that should be considered as well as how much latitude should be acceptable in making that determination..

    I don't think it's down to dies - it's down to "designs". A die may well have been placed in the press intentionally, but if the design on it was "not originally intended" to be used with the design on its paired die, then the discussion about whether or not it's a mule comes into force.

  6. 18 minutes ago, Bronze & Copper Collector said:

    Wouldn't those be better categorized as Fantasy pieces....


    2 minutes ago, Rob said:

    Call them what you will. As a private company, everything produced by Boulton & Watt or Taylor with the exception of the commissioned output could be described thus.

    Now we're really getting into murky waters! Weren't some tokens (i.e. what we would call 'trade tokens') actually produced specifically for collectors or as pieces not meant to be used for trade? Those could also be called Fantasy pieces.

  7. 17 hours ago, Rob said:

    No by definition, because a pattern is an unadopted design and can be a combination of any dies. A mule can only be produced from an obsolete and therefore superseded die (with the caveat of how ongoing changeovers are treated) in combination with a current die or dies that are completely unrelated, but somehow were paired. Crucially the dies already have to be or have been current.

    Good point ... but didn't Taylor do some pattern restrikes that were mules in the sense that he paired obverse and reverse dies had never before been paired?

  8. I'd like to propose that the term "mule" be divided into two - "accidental mules" and "deliberate mules". The first would be the result of error, the second the result of a changeover where the old dies had to be used up, or unusual circumstances. I'll give a few examples of each, and a few where the intention or otherwise is not known.

    "Accidental mules"

    • the change from beaded to toothed border in 1860 obverses and reverses - we can deduce these are accidental by their rarity. However, the puzzle is that the error occurred twice, as both extremely rare pairings exist (maybe the dies were inserted in the wrong pairing into two presses at once, and as soon as  the error was spotted, both presses were stopped and the dies changed around?)  
    • the 1983 2p NEW PENCE - again, we know both from rarity and from the other denominations that this was an error
    • the 2008 undated 20p - although not especially rare, we can certainly conclude that any undated modern coins are the result of error.

    "Deliberate mules"

    • 1913 pennies: although there was a change to both obverse and reverse halfway through the run, it was probably decided that any old dies should be used up because of the expense of not using them. The fact that both combinations of mule exist tends to confirm this, and it would have been entirely a matter of chance which pairing was used before the old dies were used up; though not rare, both "mules" are very much scarcer than 1+A and 2+B
    • 1953 farthings : probably the same as for 1913 pennies, as both types of mule exist, and much scarcer than 1+A and 2+B 
    • 1926ME pennies: see above for argument as to why this could be considered a mule (unusual circumstances)

    Unknowns :

    • the 1862 Obverse 2 penny (error? using up an old die?)
    • 1915 farthings with early obverse (ditto?) - the change was halfway through 1914, so one would think all old obverse dies had been used up (apparently not); plus, the 1915 variety is rare
    • the "1968" (1967) halfpenny; that obverse die had last been used in 1956, but why is there such a long gap before its reappearance? Perhaps, with the halfpenny soon due to be demonetised, they scoured the Mint for any old dies / punches to be used up? Can this be considered a mule of any sort?

    Over to you.


  9. 3 minutes ago, 1949threepence said:

    Another interesting mule conundrum to ponder, is the F38 1862 penny. Given that by that point the de facto obverse for a number of years to come, was already established as obverse 6, could the use of the by that time, apparently discarded obverse 2, be considered as a mule?

    Was the use of obverse 2 a mistake by a production operative, or the intentional using up of old dies? 


    I'd say that is a mule by either use.

  10. 2 hours ago, davidrj said:

    Likewise the 1913 “mules” can be considered as normal, not accidental

    By the same token, all 4 instances of 1953 farthings would be normal.


    In the case of the 1926ME penny, my theory does not say it was simply a transitional phase, though that can certainly be said of the silver coins: new reverse designs were on the way, but it was presumably considered a priority to 'transition' to the ME obverse as soon as possible, given the Mint's obsession with eliminating the 'ghosting' phenomenon which had plagued them since 1911. It's clear that the pairing of old and ME obverses with the old reverse halfway through the runs of silver denominations was deliberate and was also successful; you don't see ghosting on the ME silver denomination reverses.

    The bronze is a different scenario. The worst affected of all denominations was the halfpenny, and therefore it's no accident that the ME was brought in approximately a year before most other denominations .. it was accompanied by a modified reverse to really make sure the ghosting was banished. That ME + modified reverse pairing was used for the entire 1926 farthing run, and would have been repeated for 1927 pennies.

    Now, the 1926 penny mintage was an anomaly, any way you look at it. It was a small issue after three years with none, and was completed with a few of the ME obverse dies. So, let's SUPPOSE that they had produced enough reverse dies (the old 1922 reverse) to do the entire run, and let's also suppose that they first thought they could use their remaining supply of unused 1921/22 obverse dies; when they ran out of them, they decided the best - and cheapest - thing to do was commandeer a few 1927 obverse dies to finish the run. 

    I admit, this is speculation only, but I've not yet heard a different explanation that explains the 1926 anomalies. The question for this topic is : is the 1926ME penny a mule? I would say that IF you can allow that a mule is (for example) the emergency use of a die pairing that was originally unintended, then it's a mule. If you don't allow that, then it's not. Simple as that!

  11. 1 hour ago, secret santa said:

    Calm down, dear - just the 1926 ME "mule" !!!!!!!!!!!

    To be serious for a moment - the whole subject of what exactly constitutes a mule and the grey areas surrounding this, are very interesting and have opened up good discussions. I for one would be happy to continue, while those who are less interested can always drop out of the discussion (it's not compulsory to read every single topic!!!)

  12. 4 hours ago, JimShillingford said:

    Interesting to me a pattern is a coin that has been struck for experimental purposes and generally has features that are different from coins in or intended for circulation, consequently few patterns ever see any circulation. The 1926, which in my opinion is a mule has seen some circulation and if it were offered in change no one would have taken a second look at the coin.

    I was talking about the unique 1926ME paired with the 1927 reverse, what were you referring to? That one CANNOT be called a mule as it obvious that it was the intended design as we see the following year with the 1927. No-one (at present) knows when the unique variant was struck, i.e. whether before, during or after ME dies were used for the end of the 1926 penny run, but by any definition of the term 'mule', it isn't.


    3 hours ago, terrysoldpennies said:

    By Experimental I mean different image designs on the coin to perhaps eliminate the ghosting which had been a problem on pennies back to Edward vii, and can still be seen on pennies in 1922.    Elements of the different designs my be totally indistinguishable to the naked eye, such as the portrait being cut deeper into the die ,  slight changes may have been put into the visual appearance so as to be able to track the coins progress during circulation.  The M E may well have been a trial die , and the fact that they moved to the small head portrait from 1927 on, and which as far as I can tell never had any problems at all with ghosting.   The same may be the case for the other Reverse dies used on the 1926 types , but perhaps only a few escaped the meltdown after the small test runs carried out at the mint.  We will never know for sure, so its all just conjecture .

    I was theorising, that's true, but I felt it was the best explanation (so far) for the several questions posed by the mere existence of the 1926 penny. As for experimental dies, are there any obverse dies that weren't in fact used for currency runs? Even the short lived 'recessed ear' of 1915 and 1916 was used on several million pennies (though it would be fascinating to know why that was abandoned, as that particular experiment resulted in fully struck up Britannia reverses which the normal obverse did not). The only experimental die I know of for sure, is the 1922 so-called "reverse of 1927" which only exists for a few specimens and was never used again.


    21 minutes ago, secret santa said:


    A mule, is a coin where the obverse and reverse of the coin have been struck from dies which were not meant to be paired together; this can be an intentional action or a production error. The latter error becomes highly sought after and collectors can be willing to pay highly for examples of these coins. 

    I relate to Mike's view here - how are we to define "meant to be paired together" ?

    In 1902, which reverse was "meant" to be paired with the Edward VII obverse - High Tide or Low Tide ? And does that make the other pairing a mule ?

    There is a degree of subjectivity here and to me it is not clear how we can know when a die pairing was "not meant". We are talking about perhaps one person's intention or vision of what obverse should be paired with a particular reverse, which may never have been made explicit.

    On my varieties website, I shall continue to not refer to the 1926 ME as a mule (if users consider it "an appalling error" then so be it). The 1926 4+C is probably more of a pattern (for the 1927 coinage as described by Chris) than a mule and I'll redescribe it thus.

    Yes, "pattern" seems more appropriate than "mule". We'll have to leave the normal 1926ME as a "grey area" and agree to differ! Though I will say that 1902 HT and LT is less of a controversy as that design changed partway through the run, and clearly 1902 LT was the first design as per 1895-1901, which then got changed to HT as per 1902-1926 for reasons we may never know, i.e. neither 1902 is a mule. My main case for the 1926ME is that (theoretically) the ME dies were grabbed to finish the run but they had enough reverses to do the job. In other words, the pairing was "deliberate" but not "intended" by which I mean that if normal circumstances prevailed that particular pairing would not have been used.

    • Like 1