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Reason for the circular “abrasion marks” on the rare 1965 50c English coin?

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One of the most difficult to find and expensive coins of the Second Decimal series is the 1965 50c English language coin. Something that puzzles me regarding this coin is the presence of “circular abrasion” marks (I am struggling to find a better term) close to the edges of many of these coins. The following is a list of photographs of these 50c coins where I have previously seen the marks:


  • The coin in the Bakewell Collection. The photographs are on the DNW website in the auction catalogue as Lot 3364. Interestingly it is described as “Brilliant, extremely rare [PF 67 Cameo]”. Is this perhaps an optimistic grading considering the condition of the fields of the coin?
  • The one on page 157 in the book “History of the Nickel Coins of South Africa”. The position of the marks on this coin is similar (for both the reverse and obverse) to the Bakewell coin.
  • The coin in Engelbrecht’s book “Money in South Africa” on page 120 (top left corner) shows similar marks below the bust and next to the date.
  • I recently saw a NGC slabbed coin (3620924-015 – use the verify certification option on the website to view the photograph) graded as PF64 with marks on the obverse similar to the Bakewell coin.

Interestingly, these marks are not visible on the coin in the historic Ken Jacobs’ collection, although there are some blemishes on the obverse (KJ153 on page 120,121 of his book “Coins of South Africa”).


As these marks appear in the same spots on different coins, it may indicate that this was a possible problem with the dies. Has anybody got a good explanation for these marks?

Edited by Ni28

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