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Can anyone confirm that there is actually only one variety of 1887 Gothic Florin?

Older reference books list two varieties, one with 33 arcs (like the 1881-1886 florins) and another with 46 arcs.

My copy of ESC (4th edition, 1974), has ESC865 (33 arcs) rarity “S” and ESC866 (46 arcs) rarity “R”.

Davies (1982) lists No. 779 (33 trefoils) with an asterisk, meaning “to be confirmed” and No. 780 (46 trefoils) valued at £155 (!) in mint state.

Bull (7th edition, 2020) lists only No. 2913 (46 arcs) with rarity “R”.

Coin Year Book 2023, meanwhile, lists “34 arcs” at £800 in UNC and the 46 arcs at £1000!

I suspect that the 33/34 arcs variety doesn’t exist, but would be grateful for any clarification.

1887_Gothic_O_small.thumb.jpg.d1537babf8f25c56f39271e229c61226.jpg

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I've never seen an 1887 Gothic florin that wasn't 46 arcs, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any.  It's always a possibility when an obverse or reverse changes design for a mule to exist.

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I forget where i read before about this variety, coz in my coin list, i marked down 46 trefoils for my 1887 Florin, . i didn't see 1 isn't 46, however as Nick said, everything is possible.

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This is one of those catalogue errors (like 1854 half sovereigns?)  that has persisted through the years - I guess it was originally catalogued either in error or assumption, and then subsequent cataloguers have just "borrowed" the information. Goodness knows how they arrived at rarities and values ("based on realised prices at auction" or similar when a specimen had never actually been recorded!!).  It was in the old ESC, EMC and Seaby catalogues, and I think even in some of the Spinks when they took over publication, though now corrected there and by Bull.

A genuine mule would be an impossibility as the arcs and the date are on the same obverse side, though I grant that a 33 arc die might just have been prepared and then discarded, and so it is just conceivable effectively a "pattern" or two might just exist, though the absence of a recorded example these last 130-odd years would suggest not. Happy to be proved wrong, though!

Here's a shot of some blurb from the Coincraft catalogue of 2002. The Dickinson referred to is "Victorian Godless and Gothic Florins", SCMB 1978/1980 (Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin) but I don't have a copy of those. Does any member have, and can they post screenshots? Ironic then that they kept it in their catalogue for many years afterwards!

 

image.jpeg

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Thanks very much, this is very helpful. I have managed to dig out the Dickinson articles. Here is the first one from 1978: Dickinson, M. J., 1978.pdf

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Wonderful digging around! Well found! These make very interesting reading and I will add to my library!

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5 hours ago, david.bordeaux said:

And the second from 1980: Dickinson, M. J., 1980.pdf

Many thanks, extended the knowledge of Gothic Florin by reading the articles.  Thank you again.👍

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46 is the only one known to me. Even the "proof" has 46. I have seen the Royal Mint collection but don't recall one there either.

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I have seen none other than "46" in 30+ years of collecting......Hypervarietals are not my forte but even I pay attention to this.

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