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Charles II Sixpences

Guest Stujoe

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Guest Stujoe


Having tackled many coin sets in my time, from Shillings (1816-1970), Brass Threepences (1937-1970), an 1887 coin set, a 1912 coin set, a 1937 coin set, Morgan dollars, Mercury Dimes and gods know what else, nothing seemed to stick. In fact all those sets mentioned previously were never completed.


But then i decided to get brave and try something i'd wanted to try for a while, i always promised myself that one day, just one day i would get myself a Charles II sixpence... and one day i did, and then something strange and unexpected happened...a collection i can actually stick to was born.


Although some adjustments have been made to the overall plan i have still maintained momentum. Initially i intended to collect one example of each date and provenance mark from 1674-1787. Lately however, finding funds more limited i decided to trim a few coins off, just a few... lets just say 1686-1787...  but hey that still leaves 1674-1684, and thus from this ten year period i decided that the best method of approach was to acquire all the minor varieties, and thus i am currently working on this set as one of my major sets


So here the coins are... (all the minor varieties are included), and a free plug for our good friends omnicoin at the same time! :wink:



Charles II 1660-1685 (Minted 1674-1684)





Being the first year of issue for these coins they have seemingly survived in all grades. This example being one of the middle grading specimens, but the appealing tone makes up for where the grade may lack.








The next issue of 1675 was one of a lower mintage, indeed it appears that even the preceding year must have been lower than expected as some of the dies were still fit to be overdated and used the following year. Going on price trends and the actual scarcity of the series as far as it can be deciphered, it appears that at least a third or more of the 1675 issue was struck using overdated dies, as the price for the overdated examples is not all that much higher than the other variety.








The slightly more common 1675 variety without the overdate, although these coins in themselves are not as cheap as the 1674 examples. One strange thing though is when the reported mintage figures in weight per total silver minted that year for 1675 are compared to later dates they are alarmingly low, but yet 1675 is not the key to the series. Although the overdate variety is scarce and comes close it still is not the key date in this short series.








Indeed talking of key dates the 1676 is closer to being a key date than the 1675 is, and the 1676 is still only ranking in third place on the expensive scale for the series. 1676 is quite often reported as two varieties in coin catalogues; one being the 1676/5 variety and the other being the 1676 without the overdate. Strange as it may seem though there is much doubt about the existence of coins for this date that are not 6 over 5. Indeed the low mintage of the 1675 issue and the reuse of the 1674 dies suggests that a sufficient supply of 1675 die were left over and no 1676 dies had to be made, therefore the remaining unused, or non-life expired 1675 dies were overdated and put to good use coining the 1676/5 issue.








In 1677 the coins resumed with new dies and thus no overdates are known, and the mintage of this denomination seems to have increased as the prices return to the level of the 1674 examples.


Coin to be purchased...






However though the 'normality' didn't last long as yet again by 1678 there were sufficient dies still available to mean that making any new dies was pointless and therefore the remaining servicable 1677 dies were overdated and created a completely overdated issue. These coins are slightly rarer than their 1674 and 1677 counterparts, but on a level par with the 1675 issue.


Coin to be purchased...






Weighing in on the same rarity scale as the previous issue of 1678, is the 1679 issue. This issue exists without overdates.


Coin to be purchased...






The following year however, saw the key to the Charles II series. The 1680 coin is undoubtedly one of the hardest of the series, and especially so in the higher grades. This issue also exists without overdates.








1681 saw a return to normality, or at least partially, a slightly higher mintage, no over dates and one of the easier dates to find.


Coin to be purchased...






1681 may be one of the cheaper specimens to find

but no doubt yet again a good number of dies were still not life expired and thus over dated to coin the following year's coins.


Coin to be purchased...






Just to show what a strange denomination this might appear is the other key date to the series, the 1682 coin without an overdate. Seemingly a large proportion of the 1682 mintage made use of overdated dies, but a small amount were struck from new dies, thus creating another rarity.


Coin to be purchased...






Then comes 1683, now 1682 might be one of the key dates to the series but the following year marked a coin at the opposite end of the sixpence spectrum. 1683 coins are the cheapest of all the dates, and are apparently the easiest to acquire in the higher grades.








1684 is the last year of the Charles II issue and as such is probably scarcer than some of the dates in the series.


Coin to be purchased...

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