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jwither

Heritage 1892 Proof penny

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jwither

Heritage sold a PCGS PR-65 BN for somewhat over $21,000.  I know the price level is in the dumpster (far more realistic by my standards) but this price seemed rather low.  The prior two sales to my recollection (at least outside of South Africa) were for about $40,000 (another PCGS coin) and almost $200,000 (NGC PR-65 RB).  The second coin was nicer but also the subject of much hype on this forum.

On one occasion, I recall someone stating that South African collectors considered PCGS coins questionable as proofs but don't know anything about that.  I have never had the opportunity to inspect one of these coins in person.  The combined NCG and PCGS counts is above the lower end of the estimated population (12) though not the high end (20) to my recollection.

Similar observations for the proof 1/2 pond, though it seems to be easier to buy in my experience even though both coins are supposed to be approximately equally scarce.  Heritage sold a PR-64 for $31,000 in the same sale.

Finally, no I still wouldn't have bought either as an "investment".  I'm not in the market for coins in this price range either and if I was, i'd spend it on my primary collection.  But both are a much better relative collectible value than previously,, an example being the recent sales of veld ponds.  I'm aware it's the most preferred coin in the entire South African series but not hard to buy.

 

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Pierre_Henri
16 hours ago, jwither said:

Heritage sold a PCGS PR-65 BN for somewhat over $21,000.  I know the price level is in the dumpster (far more realistic by my standards) but this price seemed rather low.  The prior two sales to my recollection (at least outside of South Africa) were for about $40,000 (another PCGS coin) and almost $200,000 (NGC PR-65 RB).  The second coin was nicer but also the subject of much hype on this forum.

On one occasion, I recall someone stating that South African collectors considered PCGS coins questionable as proofs but don't know anything about that.  I have never had the opportunity to inspect one of these coins in person.  The combined NCG and PCGS counts is above the lower end of the estimated population (12) though not the high end (20) to my recollection.

Similar observations for the proof 1/2 pond, though it seems to be easier to buy in my experience even though both coins are supposed to be approximately equally scarce.  Heritage sold a PR-64 for $31,000 in the same sale.

Finally, no I still wouldn't have bought either as an "investment".  I'm not in the market for coins in this price range either and if I was, i'd spend it on my primary collection.  But both are a much better relative collectible value than previously,, an example being the recent sales of veld ponds.  I'm aware it's the most preferred coin in the entire South African series but not hard to buy.

 

There are 10 proof ZAR 1892 pennies in the NGC population report and 20 in the PCGS population report.

This is very questionable if one compares the total of all ZAR coins graded by these two companies.

PCGS only grades a fraction of that of NGC but for the proof penny it has twice as many coins graded. Something is not right here.

Interestingly enough, in January 1964, at the 2nd SA Numismatic Convention held at the old Supreme Court in Cape Town, one of the most complete exhibitions ever was held of South African coins.  

Not many people know that the Menne Single Shaft Half Pond of 1892 was also exhibited there, before it vanished forever into numismatic folklore.

Three coins that were noticeably absent from the exhibition was the 1892 Proof Pond, ½ Pond and Penny of 1892.

So the 1892 Proof Penny is undeniably a very rare coin and the PCGS population statistics are most probably wrong.

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jwither

You raise a good point.  I hadn't checked the PCGS data prior to posting.  I'd be curious to know what these PCGS coins look like.  Some duplicates maybe but unlikely that many, since I doubt more than a few (if any) actual proofs are or were owned outside your country.

I presume this coin was bought by someone who is based in South Africa, or maybe one of the few expats who can afford it.

Very unlikely to be bought by anyone else.  It's too expensive versus the alternatives in the same price range for anyone else.

By now, it's my assumption that most of the better coins worth what I would describe as "noticeable money" owned elsewhere have returned to SA.  

Is there a written record of the coins included in  that exhibition?

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Pierre_Henri
On 8/15/2020 at 3:52 AM, jwither said:

Is there a written record of the coins included in  that exhibition?

Yes and sorry for the late response.

In this publication ...

image.png.21d78d59a05eeac91519aae4aa89b15c.png

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jwither

Is this your copy?  I'm not sure from your prior reply.

I would like first to know whether it included the 1931 Union silver and second, any other "notable" coins which aren't general knowledge today.  One example is the 1933 circulation strike farthing which to my knowledge remains unrecorded.

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Pierre_Henri
13 hours ago, jwither said:

Is this your copy?  I'm not sure from your prior reply.

I would like first to know whether it included the 1931 Union silver and second, any other "notable" coins which aren't general knowledge today.  One example is the 1933 circulation strike farthing which to my knowledge remains unrecorded.

Here is the description of the Union coins that was exhibited.

image.png.8687b3042f1cbeee281f950364834506.png

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Timeless Value

Thanks Pierre for sharing. Very interesting indeed. There is a specific reference to the three alloys used in the 1942 farthing. Is there more literature on this and does it refer to the yellow, black and red colours of the 1942 farthing? 

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Pierre_Henri
Posted (edited)

No, I cant find any more info on three alloys - I always thought there were only 2 .

Interesting indeed!

Edited by Pierre_Henri

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jwither

The above description indicates that 1933. 1934 and 1936 circulation strike farthings were included.  Also the 1931 silver, including the tickey.  Being 1964, I suspect higher quality examples were available across the board for most dates versus what shows up in the TPG data now.

The question now becomes, what happened to the coins which don't ever show up for sale now?

The list also mentions three pattern 1942 farthings which is one of the few Union patterns I have seen offered for sale, from the  Spinks sale #130 before I actively collected Union.  Otherwise, seems ABSA already owned most of this coinage.

 

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KahlilG
On 8/23/2020 at 12:28 PM, Timeless Value said:

Thanks Pierre for sharing. Very interesting indeed. There is a specific reference to the three alloys used in the 1942 farthing. Is there more literature on this and does it refer to the yellow, black and red colours of the 1942 farthing? 

Pierre,

Maybe you can assist me with a coin that I have in my collection. They coin in mention is a 1941 Penny that does not look like any other 1941 Penny that I have seen. Below is a extract from from research done in the archive of the SA Mint. Can this 1941 Penny be a bronze alloy Penny? Who can I send this coin to for metal analysis? 

"Hern shows a yellow farthing for 1942 as being ultra rare and its existence is based on the assumption that the mint experimented with different alloys for the copper coinage in 1942. The fact is that such experimentation actually took place in late 1941 and the first 2 months of 1942. I have not seen a 1942 farthing in yellow but what I do know based on my research is that the mint produced a handful of 1941 Pennies in a bronze alloy some time in January or February of 1942. Given the fact that the mint operated with a financial year ending on the last day of February each year it follows that any coins minted in January or February of 1942 would be minted with 1941 as the date because the financial year had not yet ended and it would be a contravention of the coinage act to mint coins with 1942 as the date."

357741_101120145832_DSC07159.jpg

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Pierre_Henri
3 hours ago, KahlilG said:

Pierre,

Maybe you can assist me with a coin that I have in my collection. They coin in mention is a 1941 Penny that does not look like any other 1941 Penny that I have seen. Below is a extract from from research done in the archive of the SA Mint. Can this 1941 Penny be a bronze alloy Penny? Who can I send this coin to for metal analysis? 

"Hern shows a yellow farthing for 1942 as being ultra rare and its existence is based on the assumption that the mint experimented with different alloys for the copper coinage in 1942. The fact is that such experimentation actually took place in late 1941 and the first 2 months of 1942. I have not seen a 1942 farthing in yellow but what I do know based on my research is that the mint produced a handful of 1941 Pennies in a bronze alloy some time in January or February of 1942. Given the fact that the mint operated with a financial year ending on the last day of February each year it follows that any coins minted in January or February of 1942 would be minted with 1941 as the date because the financial year had not yet ended and it would be a contravention of the coinage act to mint coins with 1942 as the date."

357741_101120145832_DSC07159.jpg

Hi Charl, the only way to know is to send the coin for metal analysis and comparing the Copper, Tin and Zinc percentages to that of a “normal” Penny of that year being Copper 0.955, Tin 0.030 and Zinc 0.015 in 1941 and then switching in 1942 to Copper 0.950, Tin 0.005 and Zinc 0.045. 

So the “big” change (actually percentage-wise, relatively small) was in the Tin and Zinc percentages. 

I cannot think of someone better to help you than Professor François Malan of the University of Pretoria in terms of the testing of the metal percentage-ratios of your coin – he is both a specialist in the field and a renowned numismatist.

If you don’t have his contact details, let me know and be assured, he is always more than willing to help.

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KahlilG

Pierre,

Thank you, can you please forward me Prof Malan's contact details?

cschepers@mweb.co.za

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Timeless Value

My interest in this topic sparked when I read the reference to the '3 alloys of the 1942 farthing'  in the 1964 coin exhibition pamphlet that Pierre posted. I have posted below some pictures of the 1942 farthings that I have in my collection. It is interesting to note the different colours of the 1942 farthing especially the one on the left.

Yes I agree with KahlilG that the Hern's handbook makes reference to the yellow farthing and also states under the heading '1941 and 1942' and quote ''In 1940, during the war, a great shortage of tin was experienced. The Mint experimented with new bronze alloys. We suspect that these were made in England by the Royal Mint''

A metal test was conducted by SANGS which shows very interesting results (also posted below). The ratio of copper, tin and zinc between the three farthings are very different and probably explains the difference in colour. 

Could these farthings be examples of the experimental bronze alloys that Hern's refers to and/or the different alloys referred to in the 1964 coin exhibition? 

Its these interesting facts and trying to connect the dots that makes this hobby fascinating!

 

985136850_1942yellowredcomparison.thumb.jpg.6cafb3345b166e20e43197ed8e11c183.jpg

1218236753_1942yellowfarthingtestresults.thumb.JPG.94d9e978be917d0f09ea9355807bba09.JPG

 

 

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jwither

On most bronze or copper, I would attribute the differences in color mostly to toning from exposure to different environmental conditions.

I am guessing that the difference in the metal content will be the reason if stored under the same conditions.

Different shades of "red", including in color assignment by the TPG.  The third coin is the one I consider truly "red" based upon the coins I have owned which are a combination of 1/4D,. 1/2D and 1D.  True it's more yellow in appearance but how the coins I owned looked like without toning.

The second coin's color more closely resembles the "red" I have seen on proofs, with a few exceptions.  One is a partially red 1923 farthing which I still own and another is a 1958 1/2D.

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