NGC Certifies Unique 1952 Great Britain Penny
0

24 posts in this topic

Does anyone know if the mint has seen this coin for authentication, or if there is solid provenance on it?

 

I do not doubt NGC or their abilities in any way; I would like to know if it has been a well known coin or if it just popped up recently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand why they didn't mint many (demand was low). 

But that raises other questions: 

1. Why did they mint any at all? 

2. Why did they mint just a single one? 

3. This is a proof, so clearly a presentation or collectors item. Why weren't a limited run made (100, or 1000, or something like that) and issued as part of proof sets? (Did the UK issue sets at the time? I assume they did). 

4. How do they know it is unique? As I mentioned, if they minted one, isn't it reasonable to assume they minted more? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

1. Why did they mint any at all? 

2. Why did they mint just a single one? 

3. This is a proof, so clearly a presentation or collectors item. Why weren't a limited run made (100, or 1000, or something like that) and issued as part of proof sets? (Did the UK issue sets at the time? I assume they did). 

Yeah... I can't figure out why things like this were done either. If they made even one coin then they had a pair of dies that were probably good to crank out 100,000... Dies are expensive. And, after all that... they made... 1 penny. What???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

I understand why they didn't mint many (demand was low). 

But that raises other questions: 

1. Why did they mint any at all? 

2. Why did they mint just a single one? 

3. This is a proof, so clearly a presentation or collectors item. Why weren't a limited run made (100, or 1000, or something like that) and issued as part of proof sets? (Did the UK issue sets at the time? I assume they did). 

4. How do they know it is unique? As I mentioned, if they minted one, isn't it reasonable to assume they minted more? 

The UK did not issue proof sets in large numbers regularly until at least 1970.  They did so in 1826, 1839, 1887, 1893, 1902, 1911, 1935, 1937, 1950 and 1953.  (I missed a few years but cannot remember which ones.)  By "large" numbers I'm not talking about volumes like US modern proof sets but more than a very low number.  Prior to 1970, I believe the 1953 has the highest mintage with 40,000.

Proofs in other years are described as "proofs of record" in the auction listings I have seen.  That's what this 1952 must be.  I don't know if proofs were struck every year in between but I have seen many on Heritage.

I don't think the rarity of this coin is that unusual.

Edited by World Colonial
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

What is that? Just something to go into their museum to say "Hey, we made this."?

Sorry, not sure but probably something like that.  I have never seen or attempted to find mintage data but have the understanding that the numbers are less than 10, if not always at least usually.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, physics-fan3.14 said:

What is that? Just something to go into their museum to say "Hey, we made this."?


You’ve pretty much nailed it. Proofs of record are essentially coins struck to fulfill the needs of the mint. This was primarily done to archive the products produced. With the special handling of proof coins, it makes sense to strike a few to showcase your best work. Each mint location kept their own archives and would often send examples out to museums to be archived as well. These were not meant to satisfy collectors' needs and should not have found their way into private hands. They do tell an interesting story if you can afford to collect them. The seller is currently asking £175,000 for this coin. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, coinsandmedals said:


The seller is currently asking £175,000 for this coin. 

It's a ridiculous ask price.  It isn't remotely interesting enough compared to other rare British coinage.  For somewhat more and maybe less, someone could buy one of the few Edward VIII patterns.

Heritage offered a large collection of "proofs of record" from the 1920's to early 1950's (to my recollection) within the last 10 years.  (Practically) all are (very) high grade and sold for less than $5000.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, World Colonial said:

It's a ridiculous ask price. 

I suppose that would depend on the buyer. The owner of this coin will not only be the only person to own a 1952, but will be the only person in the world who even has  a chance at completing a set of George VI pennies in bronze.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree it is an extremely high asking price. I imagine their selling point is that it is “unique” whereas the Edward VIII patterns are not. I still do not think it justifies the extra juice. Other “unique” British pieces such as the 1808 Soho Penny only fetched £75,000 last year. If I had this kind of money to throw around, I would be more open to buying the 1808 Penny and dispersing the extra £100,000 to acquire other more exciting pieces. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

I suppose that would depend on the buyer. The owner of this coin will not only be the only person to own a 1952, but will be the only person in the world who even has  a chance at completing a set of George VI pennies in bronze.

There aren't very many collectors who collect "proofs of record" even if they have the money.  Most cannot afford it and while I cannot prove it, I don't believe hardly any of those who can find these coins very interesting.  I can't say that no one will buy it at near this price but they are likely to have a very difficult time getting their money back at resale.  I'd value it at a low fraction of the ask price.

Take a look at the prices of most 1839 proofs.  Reported mintage is 300 except for the "Una and the Lion" which is 400.  Most of the 15 coins sell for somewhat less to a lot more than most "proofs of record", in near equivalent quality.

It's also a function of how someone defines "completion".  I suspect (but also cannot prove) that most define completion with the circulation strikes and the proof dates from the publicly issued sets, even if they can afford these coins and know it exists. 

The UK has an extensive history of interesting coinage from which to collect at comparable or lower prices, a lot more interesting than these pieces even where the coinage is a lot more common.  I don't buy or own very many easy to find coins but have no interest in any coin just because it's rare.  Almost no collector will pay a "high" price just because a coin is rare.  I've told the South African collectors I know the same thing.  They seem to think that every rare SA coin (actual and imagined) should sell for a high price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regardless of whether or not this coin is worth the asking price, one thing is very clear: It should have been sent to NCS first. The haze on it is unattractive, but looks to be easily removable.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

World Colonial is not only correct about "proofs of record" for British coins, but very few realize that the U.S. Mint has done much the same for centuries. When a new mint opened or a new design/significant change occurred, the Philadelphia Mint sent sample coins along with the first batch of dies. This showed the new mint's coiner what his pieces were supposed to look like. The "master coins" or "coins of record" where not necessarily proofs, but in some instances, such as the early New Orleans Eagle, a proof was struck in Philadelphia from a mintmarked die pair.

The same applied to Kennedy halves, Ike dollars, Anthony dollars and on-and-on.

The Royal Mint also had a secondary purpose besides "proofs of record." This was to establish continuation of the coin as a legal tender and official issue - it only took 1 piece to do that whether penny or sovereign.

Edited by RWB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, I think there are more than a few that collect English rarities, including the Record Proofs. Over the years, I have seen some very nice collections and note they are generally snapped up when sold at auction. Some of the matte proofs are especially attractive, say of 1927 or so. Rarity is there, and this coin has it.

Really, should an American collector comment on ugliness of coins when there is the Washington quarter or even the Morgan dollar, etc. to look at (and spend MUCH MORE than L175k on)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, 7.jaguars said:

Hmm, I think there are more than a few that collect English rarities, including the Record Proofs. Over the years, I have seen some very nice collections and note they are generally snapped up when sold at auction. Some of the matte proofs are especially attractive, say of 1927 or so. Rarity is there, and this coin has it.

Really, should an American collector comment on ugliness of coins when there is the Washington quarter or even the Morgan dollar, etc. to look at (and spend MUCH MORE than L175k on)?

I am aware there is a lot of demand for British rarities, but it isn't reflected in the price of "proofs of record". It's a very low fraction of demand for the 1839 set which is a lot more common yet the prices are much stronger given the outsized difference in scarcity.

I stated the ask price of 175K is excessive as I am not aware of even one which has previously sold anywhere near this price and no, I don't agree that the relative scarcity justifies the difference.  If anyone else does, they can buy it.

I also consider the overwhelming majority of mostly supposedly rare US coinage to be inflated, since it's predominantly based upon the TPG grade.  I don't collect at this financial level but even if I did, I'd never buy it, as I don't consider most of it interesting enough except maybe at 90% to 99%+ off current prices.

In a country like Britain or the US, there are many rarities if only because so many coins were struck over an extended period.  However, rarity alone isn't enough to make any coin interesting to very many collectors.  The US is an outlier in that every actually rare coin (excluding most specialization or from the TPG grade) isn't remotely "overlooked".   This isn't true hardly anywhere else, though demand by US based collectors has noticeably inflated the prices of British coinage. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would be your opinion then. Well, the penny is ARDENTLY collected including the proofs. I agree that L175k is pretty high, but probably 100 is not.  I am wondering if this is not your area how you can state with authority what is and what isn't. Perhaps I might suggest inserting the IM(H)O acronym in some of those pronouncements.

Proof gold of Victoria is off the charts as far as values, and Record proofs even moreso; there are reasons for that. Proof silver of Victoria is also pretty high. Matte proofs of the 20th century are not quite as rare but a coin such as the 1927 or 1937 MP crown will go for in excess of 35k, possibly a lot more. We are leaving the Edward VIII issues out of this, but they go for multiples of this number....

The 1933 penny goes for well in excess of 100k, this coin in all likelihood should as well. It has not been even known at all up until just over 20 years ago so will likely take some time for mystique to develop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, 7.jaguars said:

That would be your opinion then. Well, the penny is ARDENTLY collected including the proofs. I agree that L175k is pretty high, but probably 100 is not.  I am wondering if this is not your area how you can state with authority what is and what isn't. Perhaps I might suggest inserting the IM(H)O acronym in some of those pronouncements.

Proof gold of Victoria is off the charts as far as values, and Record proofs even moreso; there are reasons for that. Proof silver of Victoria is also pretty high. Matte proofs of the 20th century are not quite as rare but a coin such as the 1927 or 1937 MP crown will go for in excess of 35k, possibly a lot more. We are leaving the Edward VIII issues out of this, but they go for multiples of this number....

The 1933 penny goes for well in excess of 100k, this coin in all likelihood should as well. It has not been even known at all up until just over 20 years ago so will likely take some time for mystique to develop.

I can infer that you don't like my comments on this coin.  I wasn't trying to offend you or anyone else but what you see is my writing style.  I have exchanged posts with you in the past or posted in threads where you also did, so it's not like you haven't seen it before.

Every post I write is my opinion, unless I specifically provide supporting data.  Someone on the PCGS forum once asked me the same question.  I'm not going to insert this disclaimer in every post since it is self-evident.  I am aware that anyone can invalidate my comments and buy the coin at the ask price.  

I wasn't clear but wasn't referring to 19th century proofs of record.  I know those are viewed differently and so are gold and crowns.  I have looked at auction records numerous times.  I was referring to comparable examples, KGV and KGVI minors like this penny.

Yes, I know a little bit about the 1933 penny.  To my knowledge, it's one of the most prominent 20th century British coins, even though it is more common.  Is this equally true of this coin?  

If you tell me that the proofs of record I am specifically referencing now are generally more common than I believe, then I will agree that a higher price versus what I previously implied makes sense.  The auction listings I have seen don't address it but my understanding is that it's usually 10 or fewer.  

It's evident from the prices of these KGV and KGVI proofs of record that overwhelmingly, most collectors of British coinage prefer sets such as the 1839 which are a lot more common.  The supply is limited but if more than a very low number of bigger budget collectors really found it that interesting, the coins would sell for a lot more.  This is equally true of any coin.

It's also true that in any series with disproportionate scarcity, the scarcity of most if not all individual coins isn't as meaningful as it would be otherwise.  The only exception I know to this pattern is with US coinage where literally every actually scarce or rare coin sells for an outsized price versus those from elsewhere.  The reasons for it includes the one I am giving you now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well put generally. However, I would say that in my opinion this is no "regular" Record proof. Although it is proof, rarity is of course quite similar to the 1954 "currency" penny of QE II. These are IMO easily 100k coins as I have said, how much more may depend on when and where sold. The other somewhat more common pennies such as say a 1949 is in all likelihood a sub-5k coin although quite rare to the tune of likely less than 20 specimens known.

I have wondered about other such coins as the 1922 specimen penny with rev. of 1927. Two struck, only one left in the original set with its 1924 mates. How much is the single penny worth and how much is the set worth? I would not venture a confident guess but think 25-35k would not be unexpected and no less than some of the more expert English dealers in such concur. I can not imagine what a similar USA coin would sell for!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/27/2020 at 7:31 AM, 7.jaguars said:

 I can not imagine what a similar USA coin would sell for!

I can't think of a close example from US coinage.  There aren't that many unique US coins outside of specialization (die varieties and errors) or patterns which have less demand.

The best example I can think of is the 1873-CC no arrows dime, which I consider a minor type.  Stacks sold it last for $1.88MM.  By comparison, this isn't that different from the 1894-S dime which to my recollection has nine known survivors with some selling for less and others more.

The reason?

The 1894-S is one of the most prominent coins from anywhere while the 1873-CC is relatively obscure.  Knowledgeable US collectors presumably are aware of it but it's evident from the relative price that few who can afford it want it that badly.  Many noticeably more common US coins sold for a similar or higher price both somewhat before and since it sold.

Heritage sold one of the purportedly seven known 1933 UK circulation strikes for $193K a few years ago, though only three are apparently available for private purchase.  The scarcity difference is comparable to my example but I'd guess the relative preference between the two is probably greater.  (I don't know how prominent the 1952 is considered.)

I also infer that the price of the 1933 pattern is due to buying it as a substitute.  It's rarer than the currency coin but this rarity is not nearly as unusual for a pattern.  Heritage last sold it for about $64K.  Similar behavior explains the prices of the 1895 proof Morgan dollar, maybe the 1877 proof IHC and the 1931 South African proof silver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to get in the middle of this discussion, but I just received the below that I thought may be of interest:

THE PENNY THAT NEVER SAW THE LIGHT OF DAY


In 1933 the Royal Mint decided to temporarily cease the production of pennies. This was due to a surplus of the coin already in circulation. Millions of Victorian and Edwardian pennies still changed hands in the 1930s. 
Despite the lack of necessity, it was still decided to strike a small number of pennies in 1933. It was customary to place complete sets of dated coins beneath the foundations of buildings constructed in that year. The mint released 1933 pennies especially for this purpose, and packaged them in sets with other coins, to be buried beneath three buildings. A handful were also kept for the Royal Mint and British Museums. It is not known exactly how many were minted, but it is believed to be no more than seven. Thus, even fewer are in public hands.
The design of the 1933 penny is much the same as the well-known design which came before it, and in the decades after. The reverse depicts Britannia seated facing right, holding a trident and a shield decorated with the Union Flag motif.

image-1.png

During this year of hiatus, when no circulating pennies were issued, the mint attempted to create a new portrait for King George V. The seasoned 
and highly regarded artist Andre Lavrillier was commissioned to produce King George V’s likeness. He produced four proofs of the coin to show to the’ Standing Committee on Coins, Medals and Decorations’. With all being rejected by the committee, one of these proofs is now with the Royal 
Mint Museum and the other 3 are in private hands.

The 1933 penny we are displaying sold at auction for a staggering £127,248. It is accompanied by a rare Lavrillier pattern piece, presenting an outstanding opportunity to view these two rare and legendary coins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also see the 1954 penny and the non-existent 1961 half penny.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0