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The intriguing Strachan set four 6d

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I was scanning my more common Strachan coins in high detail when I suddenly noticed that there appear to be different strikes of the set four 6d.

 

When I first counted all the Strachan coins in the 1970s I noticed that there appeared to be a flatter variety of the set four 6d but thought that they were just worn. I kept the few I found, but never really spent the time I have in recent days using new technology to scan and enlarge the "OLD" flat variety alongside the common "NEW" raised set four 6d. I have no idea how many of this older (possible) variety are in existence but I would suggest that it is as rare or rarer than the MH pieces - and might well have been minted at the same time as the scarce 1/- set three.

 

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If you have a close look at the two sets of clips I have taken above of these old and new "set four" Strachan 6d you can clearly see the disparity in the distance between the strike below the "o" of S&Co and the distance between the letter "N" in "In Goods" from the number 6 when comparing side one to side two - this is common to both old (flat) and new (raised) coins. This reflects the fact that slightly different dies were used on each of the sides of the old and the new coin scanned above. The positioning of the letters and figures appears at first glance to be identical on each side when they are compared but then if you look closely at some of the letters on the older "flattened" coin they appear, in the main, to be wider.

 

Maybe this is wear but on closer inspection letters like the "I" of "In Goods" are clearly fatter in the flatter variety. However the line under the "D" of 6D (on side two) is clearly thicker in the newer looking coin than the strike in the older coin; and the shape of the "D" appears to be slightly different. This thicker new strike under the D in the new coin runs contrary to the suggestion that wear had made the older coin flatter resulting in the raised "I" and other letters becoming thicker through wear - you cannot have the reverse of this theory on the other side (the line under the "D"). If my visual observations are sound (and I look forward to your feedback) then we have an older and newer minting of the set four Strachan 6d. This makes sense because they are the most common of the Strachan denominations.

 

I would be interested to know if any other coin collectors have come across this flattened Strachan variety so that I can ascertain just how scarce it actually is.

 

I am not suggesting it is a new variety at this stage but am seeking feedback from experts here who are far more qualified than I am to remark on these visual observations.

 

I should mention that the same beads on the rim on side one below "DS" of "IN GOODS" appear to be missing in both old and new varieties BUT the distance between the beads and the raised edge rim appears to be wider on side one of the older variety (see opposite "S" of "S&Co"). It could be that the same dies were used at different times with different blanks - maybe this is the answer?

 

The detail on the older Strachan coin is clearly flatter (by feel) than the more common new coin.. again this could just be wear! I have worn "newer" (raised) coins and some better condition old (flatter) coins.

 

Finally, the punch hole appears to be slightly bigger in the newer raised 6d.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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