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GROOVIE COINS

1874 Burgers Half crown pattern

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GROOVIE COINS

Good day

 

I was looking with fascination at a 1874 Burgers half crown pattern listed on BOB for a whopping 110K. The listing states only 5 aluminium patterns were struck in what I assume to be 1874. I will try to read up more about these patterns at a later stage...

 

What I find intriguing was that they were struck in aluminium, common in modern times, but very scarce in the 1870's. So I did some reading on wikipedia under the topics Aluminium, and The History of Aluminium to try and put an estimated worth to the patterns at the time they were struck.

The snippet that I took from Wiki topic Aluminium are as follows and I quote:

" In 1856, Deville along with companions established the world's first industrial production of aluminium.[62] From 1855 to 1859, the price of aluminium dropped by an order of magnitude, from US$500 to $40 per kilogram."

And from wiki topic History of Aluminium:

"The price of aluminium fell to US$115 per pound in 1855 and to $17 in 1859.[47] At the next fair in Paris in 1867, the visitors were presented with aluminium wire and foil."

From the articles it is specified that mass production only took hold in the 1880's with new processes which led to the metal becoming cheaper and "widely used in jewelry, everyday items, eyeglass frames, optical instruments, tableware"

 

So using the estimated price of the metal in 1859 (about $40/kg or $17/lb) one can take an educated guess and deduce that 14grams (the weight of a sterling silver ZAR half crown) would cost about about 50 cents US. 

A silver half dollar weighed 12.5 grams of .90 silver so it is safe to assume that 14grams of Aluminium cost close to the same weight in silver, 50 cents.

 

My point to this exercise is that aluminium in 1870's was a costly metal to strike patterns with. One could equate those 5 patterns to being struck in silver, which I have not heard of before. 

Some food for thought.

regards Robert

 

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GROOVIE COINS

After doing some further reading I see patterns were struck in silver as well in the 19th century, so it was not uncommon for patterns to be struck from precious metals as I thought.

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jwither
47 minutes ago, GROOVIE MOVIES said:

After doing some further reading I see patterns were struck in silver as well in the 19th century, so it was not uncommon for patterns to be struck from precious metals as I thought.

Technically, all patterns are struck in the same metal in which the coin was subsequently issued.  However, most collectors lump all test coinage into a single category they call "patterns".

Per an explanation I provided years ago here, in US collecting:

Patterns are test coins using the same metal and mostly the same design elements as the subsequent circulating coinage.  Examples include Judd-208 and Judd-228, an 1858 Indian Head cent with the laurel wreath reverse issued in 1859 and the 1859 IHC with the oak wreath reverse issued from 1860-1909.

Experimental pieces have the same design but a different metal composition.  I believe many or most of the Union "patterns" fit this description.

Trial pieces have a different design, with or without the usual metal composition.  All of the pre-Union patterns fit this description.

With many "patterns", it's evident it was a proto type for any future circulating coinage.  Take a look at the ZAR Kruger gold.  It's obvious that the ZAR would not have struck a half crown in gold for circulation.  

It is also "common knowledge" that many US "patterns" were illegally struck by US Mint employees for private sale and personal enrichment.  That's why over 2000 different coins exist.  Every single one of these coins are expensive with US collectors holding hugely inflated opinions of the merits.

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jwither
Just now, jwither said:

Technically, all patterns are struck in the same metal in which the coin was subsequently issued.  However, most collectors lump all test coinage into a single category they call "patterns".

Per an explanation I provided years ago here, in US collecting:

Patterns are test coins using the same metal and mostly the same design elements as the subsequent circulating coinage.  Examples include Judd-208 and Judd-228, an 1858 Indian Head cent with the laurel wreath reverse issued in 1859 and the 1859 IHC with the oak wreath reverse issued from 1860-1909.

Experimental pieces have the same design but a different metal composition.  I believe many or most of the Union "patterns" fit this description.

Trial pieces have a different design, with or without the usual metal composition.  All of the pre-Union patterns fit this description.

With many "patterns", it's evident it was not a proto type for any future circulating coinage.  Take a look at the ZAR Kruger gold.  It's obvious that the ZAR would not have struck a half crown in gold for circulation.  

It is also "common knowledge" that many US "patterns" were illegally struck by US Mint employees for private sale and personal enrichment.  That's why over 2000 different coins exist.  Every single one of these coins are expensive with US collectors holding hugely inflated opinions of the merits.

 

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GROOVIE COINS
On 1/11/2019 at 10:01 PM, jwither said:

Technically, all patterns are struck in the same metal in which the coin was subsequently issued.  However, most collectors lump all test coinage into a single category they call "patterns".

Per an explanation I provided years ago here, in US collecting:

Patterns are test coins using the same metal and mostly the same design elements as the subsequent circulating coinage.  Examples include Judd-208 and Judd-228, an 1858 Indian Head cent with the laurel wreath reverse issued in 1859 and the 1859 IHC with the oak wreath reverse issued from 1860-1909.

Experimental pieces have the same design but a different metal composition.  I believe many or most of the Union "patterns" fit this description.

Trial pieces have a different design, with or without the usual metal composition.  All of the pre-Union patterns fit this description.

With many "patterns", it's evident it was a proto type for any future circulating coinage.  Take a look at the ZAR Kruger gold.  It's obvious that the ZAR would not have struck a half crown in gold for circulation.  

It is also "common knowledge" that many US "patterns" were illegally struck by US Mint employees for private sale and personal enrichment.  That's why over 2000 different coins exist.  Every single one of these coins are expensive with US collectors holding hugely inflated opinions of the merits.

I see some patterns on the ZAR ponde were gold and others were gold plated silver. Many other patterns I see were struck in nickel as well. But I suppose if you newly establishing your own coinage as ZAR was doing in the 1890s, then you want to look and feel how the actual coin will look in silver and gold, even though your coins were modelled after existing british coins in circulation.

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jwither

The 1874's, maybe.  I haven't read anywhere that the others were prototypes for anything.  My recollection is that the later penny were salesmen tokens.

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Mike Klee
On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 8:19 AM, GROOVIE MOVIES said:

I see some patterns on the ZAR ponde were gold and others were gold plated silver. Many other patterns I see were struck in nickel as well. But I suppose if you newly establishing your own coinage as ZAR was doing in the 1890s, then you want to look and feel how the actual coin will look in silver and gold, even though your coins were modelled after existing british coins in circulation.

ZAR coins for circulation had to be modelled after existing British coins as commerce with the neighbouring British colonies of The Cape of Good Hope and Natal was really, really important. "Equivalency" of circulating coins in this southern African region was paramount for trade.  I also seem to remember that the mintage of South Africa's first gold coin - the burgerspond by the ZAR in 1874 - almost brought down the ZAR Government as the fear was that the British authorities would not take kindly to the ZAR taking such a step to assert its place as a sovereign nation.....

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