Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
GROOVIE MOVIES

Proof vs business strikes

Recommended Posts

GROOVIE MOVIES

Good day all

I was reading through the previous topics in this forum and stumbled across a question on business strike 1936 farthings. See link below.

My question is, were separate dies used for proofs and business strikes prior 1990s?

It is well noted that modern proof dies are specially treated to emphasize the frosted device or fields on reverse proofs.  However I've always been of the opinion that pre-1990 proofs and business strikes were struck from the same dies... 

A polished die would be used until the die was no longer usable and would degrade in various stage. First stage the mirror fields would wear away resulting in a proof like matte field, after which coins were no longer double struck. The single struck coin that then follows portrays no frosting resulting in a business strike, and after imperfections such as cracked dies etc would present itself if the die continued to be used.

This process would explain the low mintage on business strikes for certain years such as 1931 tickey, 1936 farthing and 1988 Silver rand. It could very well be that the SA mint put an immediate halt to striking circulation tickeys in 1931 at an early stage resulting in 66 business strikes. Or that there might never have been an intention to strike circulation farthings in 1936 due to the adequate mintage the previous year, and that the few business strikes that followed were just the last run offs of the proof striking process. This certainly explains why there are low mintage business strike silver rands throughout the 1980s as silver rands for circulation purposes had stopped being minted after 1976 and any circulation strikes that followed would have been over face value and designated for the numismatic/silver bullion market.

I would be interested to know how many coins can be struck from a single die before it no longer produces a proof coin. We see coins bordering proof/unc all the time from the 80s. The 1986 Johannesburg rand is a classic example with very weak frosting, but still slight mirror fields on a few specimens doing the rounds on the open market.

regards Robert 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither
On ‎2‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 8:00 AM, GROOVIE MOVIES said:

I would be interested to know how many coins can be struck from a single die before it no longer produces a proof coin. We see coins bordering proof/unc all the time from the 80s. The 1986 Johannesburg rand is a classic example with very weak frosting, but still slight mirror fields on a few specimens doing the rounds on the open market.

regards Robert 

 

 

 

I don't know the details of the striking of proof coins.  However, in reading others (mostly on the NGC and PCGS forums) who know a lot more about this than I do, striking more than "X" number of coins (past the life of the die) does not suddenly produce a business strike coin instead of a proof.  If the die is used past its useful life, the quality of the coinage will deteriorate and eventually, the die will break.  The distinction between a proof and a circulation/business strike is the method of manufacture.

On the 1936 farthings, I don't believe any of the coins currently labeled by NGC as "MS" are really circulation strikes.  I have posted in these topics and it makes more sense to classify these coins as "specimens" per one of the Heritage auction descriptions.  I haven't inspected the coins directly and it probably wouldn't make any difference if I did, but it makes more sense to me that the coins are actually impaired proofs.  The recorded mintage for the 1936 proof set is 40, so maybe these were just extras that were inferior though I have zero evidence of it.

But regardless, it's evident that the consensus doesn't consider these coins to be proofs either, or else the prices would be much higher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GROOVIE MOVIES
Posted (edited)
On 2/20/2018 at 3:34 PM, jwither said:

I don't know the details of the striking of proof coins.  However, in reading others (mostly on the NGC and PCGS forums) who know a lot more about this than I do, striking more than "X" number of coins (past the life of the die) does not suddenly produce a business strike coin instead of a proof.  If the die is used past its useful life, the quality of the coinage will deteriorate and eventually, the die will break.  The distinction between a proof and a circulation/business strike is the method of manufacture.

On the 1936 farthings, I don't believe any of the coins currently labeled by NGC as "MS" are really circulation strikes.  I have posted in these topics and it makes more sense to classify these coins as "specimens" per one of the Heritage auction descriptions.  I haven't inspected the coins directly and it probably wouldn't make any difference if I did, but it makes more sense to me that the coins are actually impaired proofs.  The recorded mintage for the 1936 proof set is 40, so maybe these were just extras that were inferior though I have zero evidence of it.

But regardless, it's evident that the consensus doesn't consider these coins to be proofs either, or else the prices would be much higher.

An interesting point that I would like to add to this post after looking at mintages, which could be a strong indicator that old specimen coins were struck from the same dies that eventually wear to produce business strikes.

I've noticed both 1959 and 1960 gold half pounds and pounds (struck for proof sets) show mintages for proof like as well. It is generally accepted that prooflike coins are the first run of the mill of business strikes. However no business strike gold pounds were struck in the 1950's as per mintage records, not to mention that circulation gold wasn't struck since the step off the gold standard. Why then would the SA mint stop after minting 500 and 1000 Proof like coins from business strike dies and not release any circulation pounds for the collector market? My theory is these PL coins are the last run from what started out as polished dies that were double striking proofs. 

Another thing I've picked up from my mintage book, are the odd 1925 tickey and six pence where only one proof specimen each have been recorded. Why would the SA mint only produce one proof coin, unless those two coins were the first strikes from a business die to begin with.

Today proof coins are the result of multiple strikes from specially treated dies to produce those frosted devices and mirror fields but I think all the specimen coins (as proofs were referred to back then) were struck from a polished die, that would eventually wear away its polished fields to then produce prooflike and with time business strikes.

Edited by GROOVIE MOVIES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither

I don;t know why the 1969 and 1960 PL gold were struck.  The same could be asked of the 1952 "circulation strikes".  I own the 1952 1/2 pound in MS-64 and it's definitely not a proof or PL.

If you are interested in reading about the minting process for specimens, I'm sure there is something on either the PCGS or NGC forums in the archives.  Many of the contributors there would know.

I don;t know anything about the 1925 proof tickey or 6D.  I think of both a maybe pattern equivalents since both have the protea reverse.

A better example is probably the 1933, 1934 and 1936 farthings which all my SA catalogs claim were struck as business strikes in low numbers.  I don't believe any exist.  There is a prior topic here where Alex Uruzzi explained that only proof dies were created in 1936 (same for 1933 and 1934 I recall) and my recollection is that his conclusion is that there were 43 proof farthings struck that year.  That's what I believe.  The coins listed in the NGC census are impaired proofs.  As for the 1933 and 1934 MS, I don't believe these coins were ever struck.  If either existed, there should be a record of someone owning one somewhere, though the alleged 1936 MS only showed up in the last 10 years.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dcdoberman

Hi

Biggest difference between proof and business  (bronze silver and gold) coinage is that for proofs the planchets are polished. 

So it is possible to use same die for both as the proof die is polished , but could still be used on unpolished planchets.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GROOVIE MOVIES
5 hours ago, jwither said:

I don;t know why the 1969 and 1960 PL gold were struck.  The same could be asked of the 1952 "circulation strikes".  I own the 1952 1/2 pound in MS-64 and it's definitely not a proof or PL.

If you are int Alex Uruzzi explained that only proof dies were created in 1936 (same for 1933 and 1934 I recall)

 

This further lends weight to my theory. My mintage book MTB, shows nill business strikes for 1952 gold coins and yet you say you own one without question. I believe that coin came from the same die that produced the 4002 prooflike half pounds for that year. Some PL coins are barely distiguishable from uncirculated.I don't think any mint sets out to create PL coins, they are just a by product of the minting process after specimens have been collected and work is started on business strikes. However all being said I will try reading more about the minting process...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GROOVIE MOVIES
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, dcdoberman said:

Hi

Biggest difference between proof and business  (bronze silver and gold) coinage is that for proofs the planchets are polished. 

So it is possible to use same die for both as the proof die is polished , but could still be used on unpolished planchets.

 

And you'd be surprised how those planchets are polished. Believe it or not the blanks are fed into a large drum filled with steal shot (as in mini bb pallets or shot from a shotgun slug). The blanks are then spun in the drum making the shot rub up against them to provide a scrowed surface. This is the same for business strikes and proofs alike. It is the polished and treated die (modern dies have been acid treated to give that frosted device) that double strikes the planchet that gives that beautiful mirror field.

regards Robert

Edited by GROOVIE MOVIES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jwither
10 hours ago, GROOVIE MOVIES said:

This further lends weight to my theory. My mintage book MTB, shows nill business strikes for 1952 gold coins and yet you say you own one without question. I believe that coin came from the same die that produced the 4002 prooflike half pounds for that year. Some PL coins are barely distiguishable from uncirculated.I don't think any mint sets out to create PL coins, they are just a by product of the minting process after specimens have been collected and work is started on business strikes. However all being said I will try reading more about the minting process...

I might be wrong about my coin but it sure doesn't look like a PL and it definitely isn't a proof.  Last I checked there are 13 in the NGC census but don't know about PCGS.

US collectors don't consider proof and specimen strikes equivalent.  At least here, the minting process differs.  My understanding is that at least some might be struck as proofs were but not using a proof die.  The 1794 PCGS SP-66 is probably an example of it.  I have never inspected the coin in person but it has mirror like surfaces.

Except in the very recent past, most PL coins are just the earliest circulation strike coins off the dies.  NGC Message Board contributor Physics-Fan collects it for both US and others.  However, there aren't many of them because most experience circulation wear before someone sets it aside.  Exceptions to this include the 1947-1960 SA crowns.

Not all proofs have a mirror or brilliant finish.  I believe there was a topic on this forum maybe five years ago on one of the Mandela coins with this appearance but don't recall the specifics.

In the US, matte or sandblast proofs were struck for gold coinage from 1907 to somewhere prior to 1933 (can't remember the exact date).  Likewise for cents and Buffalo nickels from 1909-1916 and 1913-1916.  I haven't ever seen one in person.  "Older" proofs aren't usually brilliant either.  In US coinage, those prior to the mid or late 1830's.  In the UK, maybe any prior struck near or prior to 1800.  Someone who collects or follows this coinage closer than I do would know.

Share this post


Link to post
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
Sign in to follow this  

×