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1936 Farthing ( 1/4 Penny) Mintage 3 , 4 Known in Business Strike?

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Ambassadors Invest    10
Ambassadors Invest

Hi Everybody

 

RareNotesCoins recently graded a Business Strike 1936 Farthing MS62BN with NGC.

 

This is now the 4th example known ( 2 x MS62BN , 1 x MS64BN & 1 x MS64RB)

 

Mintage figures Read 40 Proofs and 3 Business Strikes.

 

How is at fault here?? NGC or SA Mint?

 

Union Experts, your opinion would be greatly appreciated!

 

Pity we cant see all 4 at once.

 

Just curious more than anything else!

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jwither    10
jwither

For more information on this toipic, I would advice you to find the prior post here where Alex Uruzzi covered this topic. If you read this post of his and the most recent Heritage auction description where they described these coins as "specimens", I think that is the best answer available.

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

The Proof is in the Pudding (BTW. who remembers coins hidden in the pudding?)

 

Hi Everybody

 

RareNotesCoins recently graded a Business Strike 1936 Farthing MS62BN with NGC.

 

This is now the 4th example known ( 2 x MS62BN , 1 x MS64BN & 1 x MS64RB)

 

Mintage figures Read 40 Proofs and 3 Business Strikes.

 

How is at fault here?? NGC or SA Mint?

 

Union Experts, your opinion would be greatly appreciated!

 

Pity we cant see all 4 at once.

 

Just curious more than anything else!

 

What is known today as a coin in “proof” condition, was called a “specimen” in the old days. It is the same thing.

A few years ago, we had a warm discussion here about the existence of non-proof farthings struck in 1936. Most of the old catalogues (including Hern but not Kaplan) state that 3 of the 43 struck in that year were non-proofs.

When the first one in non-proof (MS) condition was graded about 4 or 5 years ago, there were sceptics who said that the coin was actually a proof, but that coin was send for a second time to NGC and AGAIN graded as a non-proof (MS62 or MS63 if I recall correctly)

The best argument against the existence of non-proofs was simply the following question ...

“Why would the mint strike ONLY three Farthings in 1936 in non-proof (MS) condition?” To do what with them?

In the first issue of Dr Alec Kaplan’s “Catalogue of the Coins of South Africa” (1950), Kaplan actually denied/ignores the existence of any MS farthings struck in 1936 BUT he also denied the existence of any of the 1931 silver coin struck in non-proof condition. According to him ALL 1931 silver coins were proofs (specimens)

Today most serious Union collector’s think that Kaplan was wrong and very few will deny that 1931 silver coins in non-proof condition are a reality and do indeed exist.

So to come back to the question “Why would the mint strike 3 x 1936 farthings coins in MS?” – I would ask the following question back...

Why would the mint strike only 66 x 1931 Tickeys in non-proof condition? Why? To do what with them? Wouldn't it be silly to put ONLY 66 coins (of any date) into circulation.

 

I must however counter my own argument and ask the following question – of the 66 x non-proof 1931 Tickeys that were struck, only 2 have been graded at NGC, so how is it possible that “all three” of the 1936 non-proof farthings were “found” and then graded?

What are the chances for that?

Here are possible answers

1) It is one of those “one in a zillion chances”. All three non-proof 1936 farthings have been located. The Mint actually did strike 3 x non-proof farthings for some reason – maybe to “test” their appearance or whatever against the proofs. If our Mint indeed struck an extremely low number of 1931 tickeys in MS they could do the same for the farthing series. Why not?

2) The three (actually 4 but one could be a re-graded coin) 1936 Farthings are actually proofs – NGC just graded them wrongly. (BTW - If NGC graded them wrongly, how “happy” will you be with all the other NGC coins in your collection? Do you think NGC is untrustworthy?)

3) The mintage-figures are wrong – there are more (or fewer) 1936 farthings struck in Proof (or MS) condition. The records are simply nonsensical and untrustworthy.

 

4) The actual striking process and the preparation of the planchets were not up to our current standards, and it is very difficult, (if not impossible) to tell the difference between a MS and proof coin struck in those years.

And I am sure many more questions could be asked but what an intriguing subject for discussion!

Pierre

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jwither    10
jwither

I mentioned Alex's prior post and the Heritage listing because I believe they accomodate the most outcomes.

 

I recall that Alex mentioned that there were only one set of dies prepared for the 1936 farthing. From this, I interpret that the difference between the 40 and 3 farthings must be in the planchet preparation. This would be consistent with the Heritage auction listing which described them as "specimens". Having never seen a specimen of any kind in person (and I have never tried to buy one), I do not recall all of the differences. I understand that a SP has a sharp strike like a proof but just does not have the mirrored surfaces.

 

I understand your comments on the 1931 tickeys, but the distinction is that we "know" that these coins actually circulated. I say "know" because the two circulation strikes in the NGC census today are of such a low grade that its possible one or even both are actually proofs but just impaired. There is also the MS specimen previously owned by Dr Frank Mitchell which Scott Balson mentioned before and this coin would obviously look different and could be confirmed as such. The one MS 1931 set I know of second hand was purportedly issued as a presentation set and this is presumably what Kaplan meant in the comments you cited. I recall the same thing from the 1950 catalog you provided to me.

 

There doesn't seem to be much point in striking either 3 or 66 coins for circulation. For the 3, regardless of whether they are technically proofs or not, its apparent that they never were intended for circulation and that they did not. The 1931 silver, though I agree that 66 tickeys also seems pointless, the mintages for the half crown and florin are also really low but we know that these did circulate because there are a few confirmed coins of both and they aren't impaired proofs. Can't prove it but I do not think the SA Mint would have actually struck 128 proof tickeys and only 66 of the other denominations. That doesn't really seem to make any sense either.

 

At this time, its apparent that potential buyers of the 1936 MS farthings graded by NGC have their doubts about these coins. Its apparent in the price because if this is not true, the coins should be worth much more.

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Pierre_Henri    14
Pierre_Henri

I was just wondering - if a proof coin (say Union George V or ZAR) got into circulation for an extensive period - and it wears down to say a lower VF condition, would a true expert be able to tell that it was once a proof?

The mirror-like surfaces would be gone, and so would the “sharp” striking evidence. So how would an expert be able to tell the difference?

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jwither    10
jwither
I was just wondering - if a proof coin (say Union George V or ZAR) got into circulation for an extensive period - and it wears down to say a lower VF condition, would a true expert be able to tell that it was once a proof?

The mirror-like surfaces would be gone, and so would the “sharp” striking evidence. So how would an expert be able to tell the difference?

 

 

At some point, I don't believe anyone could. What that point is, I do not know.

 

If you look at the NGC census, there is a single 1926 farthing graded Fine. I believe it is an impaired proof and not a circulation strike at all. Why would the SA Mint strike only one? Or if there are others, where are they?

 

It's also the reason I made the prior comment on the 1931 tickey. The NGC census lists two but both a very low grades. Its entirely possible that one or both are actually proofs. Of course, if this could be proved, I suspect that they would be worth much less. I would not pay much for a VG or F proof at all. I wouldn't even want the coin.

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