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20 kopeks of Ekaterina II


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I know that there are "no date" coppers of Ekaterina. But, I have never seen silver with out a date. On this coin there is no trace of any digit of the date whatsoever. No mechanical removal. Was not worn off -- a portion of the date is protected by metal and there is no trace of the last digit there. Additionally, it is also protected by design elements with higher relief, that are still intact.

 

Did anyone ever come across something like this in silver?

 

noyearda8.jpg

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... On this coin there is no trace of any digit of the date whatsoever. No mechanical removal. Was not worn off -- a portion of the date is protected by metal and there is no trace of the last digit there. Additionally, it is also protected by design elements with higher relief, that are still intact....

 

It could be one of the following:

 

1. There were no date punched on the die (I think this is very unlikely). This is a rare coin then.

 

2. Partially filled die where digits of date were partially or completely filled with grease and weakly struck on the coin or not struck at all.

 

3. Struck through foreign object that covered part of the coin where date should be. Chances again are low.

 

4. Date was worn off (seems likely).

 

or

 

5. Date was removed intentionally and surfaces smothed (seems likely). May be you were just unable to detect such tooling.

 

6. Combination of 2 or 3 and then 4 or 5; i.e. date was initially very weak and then worn off or tooled.

 

7. Coin is a fake.

 

However, 1 seems the least likely scenario.

 

 

 

WCO

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I use microscope. No traces of tooling at x20 magnification. Extreme wear is unlikely due to overall condition of the coin. The date is not the highest point of the design, and overall wear is minimal. Also, part of the date ribbon (plate) is lower than the rest of it and is somewhat concave (thus protected) and it also bears no trace of the year.

 

Filled die is a possibility. However, would it not leave at least a trace of numbers? After all, grease is not as hard as instrumental steel...

 

Finally, I strongly believe that this coin is not a fake.

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I use microscope. No traces of tooling at x20 magnification. Extreme wear is unlikely due to overall condition of the coin. The date is not the highest point of the design, and overall wear is minimal. Also, part of the date ribbon (plate) is lower than the rest of it and is somewhat concave (thus protected) and it also bears no trace of the year.

 

Filled die is a possibility. However, would it not leave at least a trace of numbers? After all, grease is not as hard as instrumental steel...

 

Finally, I strongly believe that this coin is not a fake.

 

High magnification (20-x in your case) is not always necessary or sufficient to detect tooling. Sometimes tooling is better visible with naked eye or 7-10-x magnification when you rotate coin, look on it under different angles and under different light.

 

Date is one of the highest points of relief of this design, so usually it is well worn. It possible it may be completely worn off, but may be you are right and this is not what happened.

 

Since you are saying that "...part of the date ribbon (plate) is lower than the rest of it and is somewhat concave..." I think that it looks pretty much as struck through foreign object. If this is the case then it is mint error, scarce but not that rare or unheard of.

 

In any case I do not think it is a "no date" coin and any other explanation looks preferable for me.

 

WCO

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very strange. Not only is the date gone, but the ribbon is flattened. The waving effect of the ribbon is gone.

Here is mine, which is much more worn overall, but still retains the date relief. Why would someone intentionally remove a date? Perhaps planning to add a date that is rare or non-existant, and giving up?

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I know that there are "no date" coppers of Ekaterina. But, I have never seen silver with out a date. On this coin there is no trace of any digit of the date whatsoever. No mechanical removal. Was not worn off -- a portion of the date is protected by metal and there is no trace of the last digit there. Additionally, it is also protected by design elements with higher relief, that are still intact.

Did anyone ever come across something like this in silver?

The minor silver of Catherine II is occasionally seen with dates partially worn away though I have never seen anything quite like this. The date, however, is opposite the mintmark SPB on the obverse, which is weak compared to other parts of the obverse. I do not think the date area has been altered but rather that 1) the reverse die was slightly out of parallel 2) the planchet was thin at this point, or 3) the reverse die had partially sunk in the date area..

 

RWJ

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I think we are taking it too far. Perhaps my easiest guess is that a person just took the coin on it's side, which is unfortunately the side of the years and wear it off against let's say some hard surfaces like a wall and let it circulate with the other coins.

 

By holding the coin at the top, and brushing the bottom against a hard surface, I am sure a similar effect would appear. Who said polishing had to be done throughout the whole coin? It could be done from an unusual angle.

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Looked some more at the pictures. I think I actually see some concave area on the right side of ribbon that was never struck and shows untouched surfaces as they were on the coin's planshet. So most likely it is not tooling or wear. Therefore out of several possibilities I would leave as the most likely these two:

 

1. Struck while there was a foreign object in the date area (a simple piece of fabric stuck between the dies could result in such an error)

 

or

 

2. Weak strike that resulted in complete absence of date (can be because of several reasons, planshet irregularities in thickness, problems with alignment of dies or filled dies).

 

WCO

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Looked some more at the pictures. I think I actually see some concave area on the right side of ribbon that was never struck and shows untouched surfaces as they were on the coin's planshet. So most likely it is not tooling or wear. Therefore out of several possibilities I would leave as the most likely these two:

 

1. Struck while there was a foreign object in the date area (a simple piece of fabric stuck between the dies could result in such an error)

 

or

 

2. Weak strike that resulted in complete absence of date (can be because of several reasons, planshet irregularities in thickness, problems with alignment of dies or filled dies).

 

WCO

 

I tend to agree with WCO - most likely, it is a result of a worn die or a foreign object in the data area.

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Thank you everyone. I learned something new today -- the foreign object theory. Never thought that a piece of cloth can impact the design of the coin by so much...

Foreign objects, usually a piece of cloth, do on rare occasion interfere with design elements. However, these foreign objects often leave some trace or outline and I see none here.

 

It is also possible that the digits of the date were filled with grease. When dies were prepared they were not always put to ready use and were normally stored, the faces covered with grease. If a new die was not properly cleaned then design elements would not be seen because of this grease.

 

RWJ

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Thank you everyone. I learned something new today -- the foreign object theory. Never thought that a piece of cloth can impact the design of the coin by so much...

 

 

Yes "foreign object" can make not just small but very dramatic impact on design of a coin. Found on the coin "concave area on the right side of ribbon" just may be such an impression from piece of fabric. I am not saying that it was for sure the case, but would not dismiss such a possibility.

 

Here: http://www.coinworld.com/NewCollector/Errors/Striking.asp we can read:

 

Struck-through errors: Struck-through errors occur when foreign objects fall between die and planchet during striking.

 

Struck-through

 

Pieces of cloth, metal fragments, wire, slivers of reeding, grease, oil, dirt, wire bristles (from wire brushes used to clean dies, resembling staples), die covers and other objects may fall between the dies and the coin. The most collectible struck-through errors are those with the foreign object still embedded in the surface of the coin.

 

Here is very dramatic example.

 

WCO

strike_through.jpg

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Unique ! ;)

 

:ninja:

 

 

You just might be right. I don't know that it is unique and suppose another one might exist, but if it does, I have never seen or heard of it.

 

I find it remarkable that such a coin ever escaped from the mint and survived to the present day, especially a gold coin which was supposedly subjected to closer inspection and tighter quality control than the silver and copper coins. ;)

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You just might be right. I don't know that it is unique and suppose another one might exist, but if it does, I have never seen or heard of it.

 

I find it remarkable that such a coin ever escaped from the mint and survived to the present day, especially a gold coin which was supposedly subjected to closer inspection and tighter quality control than the silver and copper coins. ;)

 

 

Agreed to everyone, very interesting and unusual coin. :ninja:

 

But how to explain that it has "fabric" marks on both sides? And it also looks as those "fabric" impressions on the coin are OVER design elements, not struck with it. So is it "struck through" or something else?

 

WCO

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Agreed to everyone, very interesting and unusual coin. :ninja:

 

But how to explain that it has "fabric" marks on both sides? And it also looks as those "fabric" impressions on the coin are OVER design elements, not struck with it. So is it "struck through" or something else?

 

WCO

 

 

I'm not an error specialist, so can't answer that other than to comment that it is a very thin and soft gold coin and suggest that might allow the impression of the cloth to transfer through to the other side, or perhaps there were shreds of cloth on both dies.

 

I obtained the coin many years ago. I believe that it was formerly lot 140 in the 1977 Swiss Bank Corp. (Basel) Auction #6, which was a specialized auction of an amazing collection of Russian gold coins, and this coin is pictured in the catalog. I'm not sure, but I believe that collection was formerly owned by a collector named Leonid Soederman.

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I'm not an error specialist, so can't answer that other than to comment that it is a very thin and soft gold coin and suggest that might allow the impression of the cloth to transfer through to the other side, or perhaps there were shreds of cloth on both dies.

 

I obtained the coin many years ago. I believe that it was formerly lot 140 in the 1977 Swiss Bank Corp. (Basel) Auction #6, which was a specialized auction of an amazing collection of Russian gold coins, and this coin is pictured in the catalog. I'm not sure, but I believe that collection was formerly owned by a collector named Leonid Soederman.

 

 

grivna1726,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

1. It seems extremely unlikely that impression from one side can "transfer" to another side. Following this logic then all design elements should be transferred to other sides too.

 

2. If the blank was wrapped somehow in fabric/cloth (both sides) and struck, then there would be almost no details struck on the coin (see 5 cents example above). A piece of the thinnest cloth would result in very soft if at all distinguishable image of bust and eagle, not to say smaller details.

 

3. I am not sure this coin is a "struck through" error. At least I can't explain how it could be made. May be you should consult an error specialist.

 

4. For me it seems as it gained those impressions after being struck. For example it was kept in some cloth and was hidden to a place where it was pressed hard (under or between bricks or stones for example). This is the only how I can explain what I see.

 

5. I do not doubt authenticity of the coin, and authentic or not it is irrelevant here.

 

In any case a very interesting coin and a reason and opportunity for a study.

 

 

Regards,

WCO

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grivna1726,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

1. It seems extremely unlikely that impression from one side can "transfer" to another side. Following this logic then all design elements should be transferred to other sides too.

 

2. If the blank was wrapped somehow in fabric/cloth (both sides) and struck, then there would be almost no details struck on the coin (see 5 cents example above). A piece of the thinnest cloth would result in very soft if at all distinguishable image of bust and eagle, not to say smaller details.

 

3. I am not sure this coin is a "struck through" error. At least I can't explain how it could be made. May be you should consult an error specialist.

 

4. For me it seems as it gained those impressions after being struck. For example it was kept in some cloth and was hidden to a place where it was pressed hard (under or between bricks or stones for example). This is the only how I can explain what I see.

 

5. I do not doubt authenticity of the coin, and authentic or not it is irrelevant here.

 

In any case a very interesting coin and a reason and opportunity for a study.

Regards,

WCO

 

 

 

WCO,

 

 

Thank you for your comments. I bought the coin as a strike-through error and never questioned that it might be anything else.

 

Frankly, I'm not particularly expert in errors, especially gold errors. You ask some questions for which I have no answer and I can only guess.

 

I will naturally be disappointed if it turns out that the cloth imprint was made after the coin was struck. Hopefully, someone expert in such matters will have some comments to make on the matter.

 

What you say seems logical and I wonder if you might be right.

 

The only comment I might make is that the picture of the strikethrough you showed seems to be of something metallic (like a wire or another coin blank) and possibly grease or some other substance as well.

 

Gold (especially high purity gold like that used for ducats) is very soft and usually strikes up very well, so it seems possible that more of the design might show up when a piece of soft cloth ends up in the die than might be expected with a harder metal such as the CuNi alloy used to strike nickels.

 

However, I'm in over my head here, and I could easily be wrong. :ninja:

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I obtained the coin many years ago. I believe that it was formerly lot 140 in the 1977 Swiss Bank Corp. (Basel) Auction #6, which was a specialized auction of an amazing collection of Russian gold coins, and this coin is pictured in the catalog. I'm not sure, but I believe that collection was formerly owned by a collector named Leonid Soederman.

The Södermann collection, sold in November 1968 by Adolph Hess/Bank Leu (Auction 39, lot 148), had a 1757 ducat but it was not this piece.

 

RWJ

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The Södermann collection, sold in November 1968 by Adolph Hess/Bank Leu (Auction 39, lot 148), had a 1757 ducat but it was not this piece.

 

RWJ

 

 

No, not the 1968 Hess/Leu sale.

 

See the Schweizerischer Bankverein (Swiss Bank Corp) Basel "Russland" sale (Auction 6), 4 February 1977, lot 140.

 

Here is a scan of the illustration in the catalog:

tmp64cropvw0.jpg

 

The pattern of the cloth imprint in the catalog illustration is a very close match for my coin. I think it is the same coin, but can't say for sure (because I obtained it sometime in the 1980s and don't know where it was in the intervening years).

 

tmp64lc2.jpg

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WCO,

Thank you for your comments. I bought the coin as a strike-through error and never questioned that it might be anything else.

 

Frankly, I'm not particularly expert in errors, especially gold errors. You ask some questions for which I have no answer and I can only guess.

 

I will naturally be disappointed if it turns out that the cloth imprint was made after the coin was struck. Hopefully, someone expert in such matters will have some comments to make on the matter.

 

What you say seems logical and I wonder if you might be right.

 

The only comment I might make is that the picture of the strikethrough you showed seems to be of something metallic (like a wire or another coin blank) and possibly grease or some other substance as well.

 

Gold (especially high purity gold like that used for ducats) is very soft and usually strikes up very well, so it seems possible that more of the design might show up when a piece of soft cloth ends up in the die than might be expected with a harder metal such as the CuNi alloy used to strike nickels.

 

However, I'm in over my head here, and I could easily be wrong. :ninja:

 

grivna1726,

 

Welcome any time! ;)

 

I just suggest you show the coin to an expert on errors.

 

Best,

WCO

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