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Unlisted and Unknown Katanga Rarity by Congo Kid

7 posts in this topic

  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Off the market for decades.


A recent discovery that I found of this extremely rare Specimen Proof from the King's Norton Mint Collection which grades PCGS SP66RD. While no official mintage records are kept for most of these types of coins, typical mintages are 5-15 pieces. Sources that I have believe that there were only 3-5 of these struck, but who really knows for sure? This particular coin was off the market for decades. Currently no example has been graded by NGC, and only two are graded by PCGS, one being a SP65RD and this example, making this the finest of two graded. A truly remarkable find of a coin not documented for the past 55 years. Also a great addition to my award winning Belgian Congo Collection!



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This is a Specimen Proof striking of the real thing that just so happened to be held in the King's Norton Mint Collection.


It was a pretty large collection with examples of most of the specimen and proof coins the King's Norton Mint made for various countries and maintained in the mint collection. Most are very scarce to extremely rare.


From Wikipedia:


The Birmingham Mint saw its first competition as the Kings Norton Metal Company was also contracted to supply bronze blanks to the Royal Mint, and in 1914 struck coins for the colonies. Kings Norton became part of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1926 and was reorganised as part of Imperial Metal Industries Limited (IMI) in 1962.


Per Peter Symes in "The Bank Notes of Katanga":


Around May 1961 the metals division of the British company Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was approached to mint these coins, but a company spokesman was reported in The Times as stating: 'In view of the unsettled conditions in the area the order has not been fulfilled'. The real reason would appear to be the reluctance of British industry to commit themselves to an enterprise which did not receive the support of their own government, and the stand taken by ICI mirrors the stand previously taken by Thomas de la Rue & Company, in not undertaking work for an unrecognized government.


The coins were probably produced in France, as the first announcement of the availability of gold coins was made in French press.


My best guess using the information given was that the Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), aka, King's Norton's Mint, probably made the dies for the Katanga coins and probably struck some trial pieces and a handful of proof coins before they changed their mind about striking these coins. They might have sold the dies to whoever actually produced the coins, or they might have actually followed through with striking the coins anyway.


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@Tommy44 Thanks. It was most expensive than the gold coins!


I am only guessing based on the reading that I have done that they were either all struck in France, or by the Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), aka, King's Norton's Mint.



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Nice SP coin!


I have a 5 Fr Gold that I asked a member here about and I've never contacted him before. I requested help because its my first world coin. He wrote a great detailed and extremely helpful reply; more akin to a term paper. I would share his name but some people get ah... upset when one outs them regarding a PM. Hence Private Message. But, I can tell you he is totally focused when it comes to the CONGO. Also, he could possibly be a KID, or at least at heart.

Thanks for all the helpful info. I don't recall your coin being mentioned in the three different minted types of coins from 1961 Katanga. I think you should just sell it :)

Attached pic is of my coin you researched for me.




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@HashTag Thanks for the compliments. As far as this Specimen striking goes, it is a very rare coin and I won't be selling it anytime soon. It will be added to the Krause catalog soon.

I wish I was a kid sometimes, but not even close, except at heart. ;)

Nice gold Katanga piece HashTag.

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