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.


Expert Grader
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Rob

  1. You also have to consider punches used for medals
  2. I'm not convinced the prices reflect rarity of any particular box, rather the work involved. You have a base cost for materials which won't vary much whatever the contents, but the 4 hole gold would be cheaper than the 6 hole silver, and the 10 hole long set involves the most indents to form.
  3. Here we go. As suspected, ebay appear to be imposing a blanket 20% import VAT on coins from the EU. This 1813 IOM halfpenny should qualify for the 5% rate being an 'antique coin over 100 years old'. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/255041253270?hash=item3b61a4af96:g:gsYAAOSw7a9g4goA They are adding a line saying + 20% VAT on new listings. Old listings will probably not show it until purchased because the old listing number applies indefinitely on an automatic relist. Bid accordingly, or better still avoid. If in doubt, leave it out.
  4. You might have a situation here where there were several halfcrown dies used over time for the proofs from the sets. We already have an 1839, 1839/41 & 1839/43 halfpenny plus an 1839 sixpence with both the first and third head obverse, not to mention any number of Una varieties. The sixpences provided anecdotal evidence of the 1839 sets being produced up to the 1880s, given the third head was only introduced in 1880 - otherwise it is difficult to come up with a logical reason for making one 40+ years after they were first issued. We do know that sets were produced to order after 1839. I suspect ESC is incomplete in its designation of what was included in the sets, but haven't checked what is extant in complete sets as of today. There is an argument for saying the Unas were struck separately because people would likely have wanted one as a stand alone piece, but the same could not be said for the humble halfpenny which are only likely to have been made as part of a set, and here we know of at least three dies used. The halfcrown could also be a case of more than one die pair being used in the sets. More research is definitely required.
  5. Further to the recent discussion regarding coin tickets and their attribution, the idea of having a stand-alone thread was mooted. Ideally this will be a list of attributed tickets alphabetically arranged by name with a different post for each person. It would also be useful if examples of handwriting attributed to distinguished past collectors could be added as this may assist in the future when confronted with an unknown ticket. There is a useful article in the 2001 BNJ entitled 'Coin Tickets in the British Hammered Series' by Robin Eaglen, but nothing directed towards milled coinage. A link to the BNJ article is http://www.britnumsoc.org/publications/Digital%20BNJ/pdfs/2001_BNJ_71_13.pdf It would help if the thread was a reference tool rather than a discussion board as this would keep the list clean and thus assist when searching. It would also help if admin were to contribute suggestions of what is and what is not possible when it comes to presenting the information in a workable form. I'm hoping (possibly unrealistically) that the ability of Admin to shunt files around can be extended to arranging the entries, or if not, at least an index at the head of the thread with the post number/name to aid searching. The ability to append information to an existing post would also be good.
  6. Personally, I wouldn't get too tied up about whether the mint had old dies lying around. The answer is yes because there is plenty of evidence for reused dies more than 1 year after they became obsolete, thus eliminating their immediate reuse. 1848/6 and 1858/6 pennies, 1848/7/5 and 1858/6 halfpennies, 1854/1 and 1863/1 shillings, numerous groats etc, not to mention the 1839 proof halfpenny which is also known over 1841 and 1843. The latter is interesting insofar as the proof sets were struck to order long after 1839 and in all probability right up to 1882 when the mint was refurbished. When the 1841 or 1843 halfpenny dies were recycled for the proof sets is uncertain, but it could have been any time within a 40 year window and you had to have a spare die or two lying around to recycle in the first place. Don't forget the inverted die axis 1841 halfpennies all used a common well worn reverse die, so these coins were obviously trials to test out the obverse dies.
  7. Rob

    Ebay's Worst Offerings

    He must have copied and pasted some of this. Using otherwise good extremely fine has all the attributes of a dealer description. Just about everything is wrong. Title - 1806 instead of 1807. 'No berries on branch', which I suggest is mainly due to the coin being corroded to b*****y. Only 1806 has no berries. Green toned, plenty of lustre - bizarre. 'Weakly struck in legend' - actually, after allowing for its general condition such as the wear to the bust, it's about as good as you will get in terms of legend as this series is notorious for filled letters. Can't comment on clashed dies given the condition. 'Ring of verdigris on the exergue' - presumably that's the exergue on the reverse at 3 o'clock? I reckon he's copied a description of an 1806 from somewhere and just changed the date
  8. I went to them 5 or 6 years ago and was asked if I had any issues with my sight. I explained that the focus was all over place at times and was told that's impossible. So why ask the question if you won't accept the answer? I haven't been back since.
  9. Yes, 1982 (vol.52) p.234-240.
  10. Rob

    2021 coin found

    Not seen a 2021 yet, but I think the mint must have released a lot of Shakespeare £2s to this area. I've had 5 people call asking if I want to buy them this weekend. Apparently all shiny like new.
  11. You take a wide detour to avoid hitting one of those with a car. They have the last laugh.
  12. The original Scottish reference was Coinage of Scotland by Edward Burns written towards the end of the 19th century. B H I H Stewart, (Lord Stewartby) wrote 'The Scottish Coinage' in 1953 whilst still at school. I have a second impression copy from 1976. Coincraft did a Scottish, Irish, Channel Islands and IOM volume in 1999. The BNJ has articles on Scottish coins in volumes 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 33, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 48, 49, 50, 53, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 66, 67. There will be more from 2000 on, but my index only covers vols. 1-69. I don't collect Scottish, so will have to think about other articles. There will be something in the Numismatic Chronicle and the Numismatic Circular. That's a start.
  13. It's a matter of choice for individuals what they spend their money on. I have a couple of rentals locally, both of which I have offered to the tenants to buy should they be looking for a house. If they are happy living there, then buy the property. One doesn't want to buy, the other couple do. Of the latter, the bloke has an unpaid debt of £23 which he now regrets. It's not revolutionary, but it helps if you live your life responsibly. The changes in the law regarding bankruptcy and outstanding debt judgments 15 or 20 years ago sent out all the wrong messages as it encouraged irresponsible spending habits. Generation rent can accumulate a deposit if they ditch the requirement for instant gratification. What you can't afford, you don't buy. The only thing I would consider borrowing for is a house. Travelling the world, buying the latest hi-tech gadget, even borrowing to go to university to get a degree that in practical terms you wouldn't need in the case of 'softer' courses, are all expenditure that could be put towards assets. It's the difference between buying things that will have a resale value or not.
  14. Slightly lethargic next day after the first one. Nothing after the second.
  15. All of this is speculation, so the best I can come up with is monitoring individual design variations rather than specific dies. We do know the numbering started more or less immediately, which suggests a need to monitor something. Tonnage and mintage figures would have been documented as a matter of course, after all, converting metal to coins is their primary function, and every business will track and account for materials through to output - that's your 'notebook'. With plenty of gold and silver passing through, which was definitely accounted for via the pyx, it's inconceivable that copper or bronze input and output was treated differently. They had to buy copper (i.e. order specific quantities from suppliers) in order to make coins which were specifically ordered by quantity by the banks. There's no way the place could function without accountability.
  16. I can see it being possible that they were monitoring quality at a known point in time, as taking an example after every ton is no different to sampling for the pyx, but can't see how you can monitor die wear, given you would need to sample a coin after every couple thousand to build up a picture for an individual die. One of the things Dyer also noted was they stopped in 1868, possibly due to the death of John and Thomas Graham, and the associated reorganisation at the mint. Ouija board required? Edited to add, the totals for metal used and coins produced would already have been documented in some form somewhere. Retaining a coin from a known point in time is something that can only be sampled when it is made. You can't go back and sample retrospectively, as presumably the coins were made and immediately shipped to the four corners of the country. This I suspect was the reason. The numbering started in 1860 when there were huge problems meaning any changes could be tracked, and speculatively could have been continued simply because nobody thought to stop the monitoring.
  17. Can't see it. If the average number of coins obtained from a die pair is 60K (their quoted average) and you can strike a back of the fag packet 100K pennies from a ton of metal, you will need more than one die per journey. There's no way to reference wear at the end of each ton.
  18. The question of the numbered strikings was addressed by Graham Dyer, former curator at the RM Museum in a 1982 article entitled 'Numbered Strikings of Victorian Bronze Coins, 1860-1868'. Whilst people are unlikely to have this, the important points are laid out in Michael Gouby's 2000 publication 'The British Bronze Coinage, Pence, Halfpence and Farthings 1860-1869' whereby Dyer has shown the improper fractions seen on a few coins relate to the total tonnage of bronze to that point (larger number) and the tonnage of that denomination (smaller number). As the BM has an example of an 1864 farthing with 236/11 (P1872) and there is a penny with 237/134 (P1662), using the consecutive numbers as a total for bronze output in tons, we can deduce the tonnage of halfpennies to that point, as after 236 tons of bronze struck there had been 11 tons of farthings and (using 237/134 as a reference point) 133 tons of pennies. ie, the remainder is 92 tons of halfpennies. Further to the above, the introduction to the publication gives a little history, including some useful snippets, summarised as follows: Victoria was only happy with the portrait at the beginning of August 1860. The mint was very busy at this time with gold and silver and didn't have the resources to produce the number of coins required for the changeover. Consequently they gave Watt a contract for 1720 tons (including all three denominations) in the first week of Sept. Production was underway at the Tower mint by the end of the month. On the 15th October, daily output of halfpennies and farthings was just over 150K - 50K short of the 200K target. The deficiency was due to too many dies breaking, with an average of 30000 strikes obtained instead of the usual average of 60000. There was a need to reduce the relief on all three denominations at this point. The farthing was done, the halfpenny was 'very nearly ready', but the pennies required a further alteration, so at this point were still not in production. Nor had Watt started production by the end of November. The beaded border created a problem, with flaws appearing in this area regularly. Taking the above into consideration, it is hardly surprising there are fewer pennies extant than the other denominations for 1860. Given the delay in getting the bronze coinage started, I would have thought they prepared 1860 dies for all three denominations. 1859 halfpennies and farthings are both scarce, and the halfpennies I have had of this date were all struck from old worn dies, whether 9 over 8 or not. So it is likely they intended to strike a good number of the smaller denominations in any case. As John pointed out, the halfpenny obverse was certainly used commercially. It is beyond debate that they intended to change over to thinner, harder bronze coins earlier than they did, but as the decimal patterns of 1857-9 show, the bronze flans were prone to lamination. See below for the F689 edge. All 686s have this problem too. As these are both dated 1859, it is clear the problem was ongoing. Both are struck in bronze with a thickness of 1.5mm and are 27.5mm diameter. Freeman analysed the similar F686A to have 92.5% copper, 5% nickel, 2 % tin and 0.5% zinc, but this variation in alloy didn't cure the problem. For those unaware of what the numbered coins refer to, please see attached 1866 halfpenny showing 405 behind the head and 138 in front, i.e. 405/138.
  19. I can see where you are coming from re the late date, but an alternative scenario can be envisaged. We have to consider the halfpennies and farthings (and silver for that matter) alongside the pennies, and not lose track of the other demands on the mint's time. If we accept the interpretation of the scratched number pairs found on the obverse of the early bronzes as tonnage figures struck to date for the denomination, then this might give a suggestion as to why the 1860 pennies are relatively scarce. A quick perusal of Peck shows 1864 coins with fractions for all three denominations - a penny with a run of fractions from 237/134 to 240/137, a halfpenny with 312/118 and a farthing run from 233/8 to 236/11. As 236/11 and 237/134 are sequential, it means that the presumed tonnage of halfpennies up to the 236th ton of bronze was 236 - (133 +11) = 92. That means a greater mintage of halfpennies than pennies based on relative unit weight, which is pretty much what you see when it comes to 1860 halfpennies, as they are considerably more common than the penny, but the numbers out to 1864 tail off markedly after 1862. 1863 must have been devoted in the main to pennies with some halfpennies plus a handful of farthings. I'm still not fully comfortable with the above idea due to the low number for farthings, which seem relatively common, but maybe they were set aside more readily. The numbers in Peck seem fairly consistent with the theory out to 1866. It is also worth noting that the farthing only has 3 obverse and 2 reverses from 1860-1864 against 8 of each for the halfpennies and 7 of each for the pennies. Maybe they had fewer problems with the smaller dies, but equally, the larger mintages and by extension number of dies for the other two might have meant they wore out the punches etc. So, maybe the reason for the low number of 1860 pennies was simply down to a more pressing requirement for the other two denominations. There's a parallel universe to the world of pennies only.
  20. I would postulate that a handful were tucked away by collectors, taken from circulation. Just as the people today will collect anything about to be demonetised or superseded for whatever reason, so it is likely the same applied in 1860 - collectors' habits haven't changed. If you have a small number (32K) of 60/59 coppers out of the millions circulating from previous years, that had done the rounds for a few months until the bronze version appeared, I would suggest - cue an instant 'I'd better keep one of these' from collectors who would be the most likely to spot and keep for posterity and you have a small population of preserved but slightly worn 1860/59s. Assuming that the copper pennies were withdrawn as soon as they could be replaced, it would soon remove the majority from circulation. The fact that they were demonetised in 1869 does not mean that there were no withdrawals prior to this date. More likely is that they would be replaced at a rate approximating to the value issued, and that would likely have started immediately after the bronze coins entered circulation. The copper would probably be used for the bronze alloy needed.
  21. Rob

    10kg Gold Coin

    A couple of centuries ago, people were paid to collect it. What goes around comes around, so if he plays his cards right he might be quids in. Not sure about the resale value though, should he go for a change of occupation.
  22. Rob

    10kg Gold Coin

    Yes. Cast Potin units for example.
  23. For bronzed pieces, I can only find this one and Peck's which is now in Birmingham. In other metals, There were 2 in silver listed in Peck, one of which was his and so is also in Birmingham, plus one gold. The latter coin is arguably a good contender for the most beautiful coin extant as it's absolutely gorgeous in hand with frosted devices and pristine mirror fields. I actually ditched my original list when it went through DNW in Sept 2007 (hammered at £13K + juice), but fell short. It made more when it went through St. James's in 2010. There's also Nicholson's example in aluminium, which was unknown to Peck. Unless something miraculously appears, these 6 coins are likely to be the total of type R28 extant. In fact, the whole section encompassing types R21 to R30 with the exception of R27 are possibly only known from one or two examples, whatever the metal. I know of no duplication for the aluminium pieces.
  24. Absolutely not. Your best bet is to look out for an example of the type I posted recently (P995), as a few of those hit the market from the Boulton family collection 14 or 15 years ago, mine included. You'll probably have to pay somewhere between 1000 and 1500.
  25. I don't think it's new because the coin was graded gEF in both Norweb and Selig. More likely is the coin has sat date up for most of its life because the various Peck varieties arise from the other die to the nude. Whether its a Droz bust, rusted or partly polished out, or this reverse, or the one with the large flaw through BRIT, any quick glance to spot the particular variety involves this side. So just as I have done, the nude side is down in the cabinet. I guess the nude with the other side blank die pair (P1026) would be kept nude side up.