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Unlisted double overdate - 5 kopek 1791/90/89 EM


kisenish
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Dear community :ninja:

 

This is my contribution to the overdate story ;)

 

The coin I publish here is the unlisted double overdate 5 kopek 1791/90/89 EM. This is an amazing coin in UNC with red-brown surfaces and lustre, unfortunately not seen on the scans. Both overdates can be clearly seen - last digit: big circle underlying - "0", small circle and a tail - "9", third digit - "8" under "9".

 

5k1791avql0.th.jpg5k1791reck2.th.jpg5k1791frvl3.th.jpg

 

Brekke lists only following overdates:

 

5 kopek 1791/89 EM

5 kopek 1790/89 EM (but not a combination of those!)

5 kopek 1791/0 EM

5 kopek 1790/8- EM

5 kopek 1791/8- EM

 

The ONLY double overdate at all (for all copper Russian coins 1700-1917) Brekke lists is 5 kopek 1779/7/6 EM (#65 suppl), he considers it rare (-).

 

Are double overdates rare? Do you know about any other double overdates which are not published in Brekke?

 

Thanks!

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[...some snipped...]

Brekke lists only following overdates:

 

5 kopek 1791/89 EM

5 kopek 1790/89 EM (but not a combination of those!)

5 kopek 1791/0 EM

5 kopek 1790/8- EM

5 kopek 1791/8- EM

 

The ONLY double overdate at all (for all copper Russian coins 1700-1917) Brekke lists is 5 kopek 1779/7/6 EM (#65 suppl), he considers it rare (-).

Thanks!

I wonder if the 1791/89 is actually 1791/90/89? The "0" and the "9" share mostly a common outline. Or perhaps your coin is really a 1791/89? I cannot tell, in spite of your excellent images. ;)

 

But it is a really very nice coin, Alexey! :ninja:

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I wonder if the 1791/89 is actually 1791/90/89? The "0" and the "9" share mostly a common outline.

This is a very good question. Usually, Brekke lists overdates completely, thus, he should have listed it as a double overdate.

 

Or perhaps your coin is really a 1791/89? I cannot tell, in spite of your excellent images. ;)

I don't think it's 1791/89, because under the last "1", two circles are clearly present: big one, full around the digit "1" - it's 0, and a small one - in the upper part of "1", well seen on the left side from "1", as well as the small tail underneath "1" - that's the digit "9".

 

But it is a really very nice coin, Alexey! :ninja:

Thanks, Bob! ;)

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My thoughts about double overdates:

 

1) Mintage for 5 kopek pieces 1763-96 EM for each year is 15 000 000 and higher! This is why so many varieties exist for each date, as one die is usually used for tens of thousands of coins.

 

2) It can be, especially if a new die was made at the end of the year, that it survives and the date is being re-engraved.

 

3) however, in the light of such high mintage figures, it should be a very rare event, that a die survives 2 mintage years and is being used in the third one. That is why double overdates should be rare.

 

4) even more interesting - the coin presented does not present any signs of die wear! How come that the die used during 3 consecutive years is not only not broken, but also not worn??

 

The only possibility is: it was used for only a few coins in 1789, then was re-engraved for the first time, then was used for couple of coins in 1790, then was re-engraved for the second time, then this coin was struck in 1791.

This coin is really beautiful and has completely intact surfaces, rarely seen on Catharina coins, but almost impossible for a double overdate due to the die wear!

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Kisenish,very nice coin indeed.

 

I believe it's not something as described but perhaps as an unused die of the 178- that was refashioned as a 1790 and eventually refashioned again as 1791. So it should be 1791/90/8-.

 

Here is a picture that I have manipulated:

 

kisen91ql7.jpg

 

I don't see any nine in there but I do think it's a zero. And indeed something is under the number 9 and hence that's what I think.

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The ONLY double overdate at all (for all copper Russian coins 1700-1917) Brekke lists is 5 kopek 1779/7/6 EM (#65 suppl), he considers it rare (-).

 

Are double overdates rare? Do you know about any other double overdates which are not published in Brekke?

 

Thanks!

gxseries can show you a russian coin with three clear dates between 1724-1759 I think... :ninja:

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gxseries can show you a russian coin with three clear dates between 1724-1759 I think... :ninja:

no, no, banivechi, I know what you think! ;) You mean double overstrike - e.g. 5 kopek 1727 -> kopek 1755 -> 2 kopek 1758, then you have indeed 3 clear dates ;) I have also many coins like this, but these are completely different dies, and are overstrikes, but not overdates

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Kisenish,very nice coin indeed.

 

I believe it's not something as described but perhaps as an unused die of the 178- that was refashioned as a 1790 and eventually refashioned again as 1791. So it should be 1791/90/8-.

 

I don't see any nine in there but I do think it's a zero. And indeed something is under the number 9 and hence that's what I think.

 

Thanks for your reply, gxseries!

 

This is exactly the point. First I also saw only a zero under "1", but there is no doubt that there is a "8" under "9", the lower part of "8" is fully and clearly present. As you know, it cannot be 1780, as the coins in 1780 had a completely different cipher side. This is the design of 1788 and therefore, it could be either 1788 or 1789. Then I saw a small tail under "1" in 1791 and thought, these are remainings of "9" :ninja:

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[...big snip...]

My thoughts about double overdates:

(...)

4) even more interesting - the coin presented does not present any signs of die wear! How come that the die used during 3 consecutive years is not only not broken, but also not worn??

(...)

I don't know enough about the preparation of dies during this period. But for some of the more modern coins, e.g. USA Morgan dollars, one or more hubs were prepared from which the numerous dies were struck. A hub was basically designed like a coin, except that it was made of hardened steel -- all the lettering and devices stood raised from the fields, just like a coin. The die, OTOH, was like a negative image, i.e. all lettering (including the dates) was incuse and in mirror image. Often, to repunch a date, an old hub was used and one digit of the date was filed or polished away, usually the last one. Then a new die was made and the last digit punched into the die (because it was missing from the hub). Also, there was a kind of "master die" from which more than one hub could be produced. The hub had little or no wear because it was only used to strike a limited number of dies; the die took the most wear because it was used to strike thousands of coins.

 

As I understand things, for coins minted in this period (i.e. Catherine II), each die was prepared individually by punching all the letters and the devices separately in parts into the die -- no hub was involved. Even the individual digits and letters were sometimes composed of parts: e.g., an "8" could be made by using two "3"s ... one of which was backwards. But maybe they used some kind of hub?

 

Where can we find more information about the technical aspects of die preparation during the 18th century?

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Dear community

This is my contribution to the overdate story

The coin I publish here is the unlisted double overdate 5 kopek 1791/90/89 EM. This is an amazing coin in UNC with red-brown surfaces and lustre, unfortunately not seen on the scans. Both overdates can be clearly seen - last digit: big circle underlying - "0", small circle and a tail - "9", third digit - "8" under "9".

 

Brekke lists only following overdates:

5 kopek 1791/89 EM

5 kopek 1790/89 EM (but not a combination of those!)

5 kopek 1791/0 EM

5 kopek 1790/8- EM

5 kopek 1791/8- EM

 

The ONLY double overdate at all (for all copper Russian coins 1700-1917) Brekke lists is 5 kopek 1779/7/6 EM (#65 suppl), he considers it rare (-).

Are double overdates rare? Do you know about any other double overdates which are not published in Brekke?

Thanks!

In the Russian Numismatic Society Journal No. 70 (summer 2000) there is a trial catalogue of EM 5 kopeck pieces. One of the pieces listed is the overdate 1791/90/8–, probably from the same reverse die as illustrated by kisenish.

 

Other overdates for 1790–1791 listed in that article are:

1790/8–

1790/88 (unconfirmed)

1790/89

1791/8–

1791/89

1791/0

 

As a general rule dies which had been used for coinage were not overdated. The double overdate probably began life in late 1788 but was given only the first three digits of the date (178) because it was uncertain if the die would be used in 1788 or 1789. It turned out that it was not used in either year but was then scheduled for use in 1790 and redated. For whatever reason it was not used in 1790 either and then redated a second time, to 1791. It was used in that year.

 

RWJ

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As I understand things, for coins minted in this period (i.e. Catherine II), each die was prepared individually by punching all the letters and the devices separately in parts into the die -- no hub was involved. Even the individual digits and letters were sometimes composed of parts: e.g., an "8" could be made by using two "3"s ... one of which was backwards. But maybe they used some kind of hub?

Where can we find more information about the technical aspects of die preparation during the 18th century?

The above is essentially correct except that I do not think that the figure 3 was used twice for an 8. With rare exceptions even the letters were made up of different punches. For example, the letter H would be punched as I, I, and –. Serifs would then be added with a separate punch.

 

The eagle and wreath were prepared from a set of small hubs, each containing some part of the design.

 

RWJ

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In the Russian Numismatic Society Journal No. 70 (summer 2000) there is a trial catalogue of EM 5 kopeck pieces. One of the pieces listed is the overdate 1791/90/8–, probably from the same reverse die as illustrated by kisenish.

 

As a general rule dies which had been used for coinage were not overdated. The triple overdate probably began life in late 1788 but was given only the first three digits of the date (178) because it was uncertain if the die would be used in 1788 or 1789. It turned out that it was not used in either year but was then scheduled for use in 1790 and redated. For whatever reason it was not used in 1790 either and then redated a second time, to 1791. It was used in that year.

 

RWJ

 

Wow, thanks a lot for this interesting story, RWJ! As you have the database, do you know whether this variant (triple overdate) is scarce related to other overdates as well as to the regular coins?

 

Thanks!

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Wow, thanks a lot for this interesting story, RWJ! As you have the database, do you know whether this variant (triple overdate) is scarce related to other overdates as well as to the regular coins?

 

Thanks!

 

Forgot to ask you - Do you know about any other triple overdates for the imperial copper?

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The above is essentially correct except that I do not think that the figure 3 was used twice for an 8.

Thanks, RWJ -- for this series, the "3" always seems to have a straight top, which I overlooked. Obviously, it wouldn't work to make an "8" out of this. :ninja:

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As you have the database, do you know whether this variant (triple overdate) is scarce related to other overdates as well as to the regular coins?

Thanks!

Actually, no. I do not keep a database of copper coins although I do have a considerable number of images for research purposes; this is done by Steve Moulding but I do not know if he keeps records for overdates.

 

Having said the above, however, overdates are almost always scarcer than regular dates. Triple overdates, in my opinion, would be much scarcer.

 

RWJ

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Here is the image on which the entry in RNS Journal 70 was based.

 

It appears that two different 1791 EM dies had this double overdate.

 

RWJ

 

Yes, I also think my coin is quite different. I'm still not sure whether mine does not have the digit 9, because it has a tail under 1 and 0, which is missing on your picture. Also a small circle under 1 (starting on the left side under the "cap" of 1) is not parallel to the big circle of 0 and may be remainings of the upper part of the 9. These remainings are also missing on your coin.

 

Thanks for the picture! :ninja:

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Yes, I also think my coin is quite different. I'm still not sure whether mine does not have the digit 9, because it has a tail under 1 and 0, which is missing on your picture. Also a small circle under 1 (starting on the left side under the "cap" of 1) is not parallel to the big circle of 0 and may be remainings of the upper part of the 9. These remainings are also missing on your coin.

Thanks for the picture!

Because of the rarity of double overdates I had thought it likely that the reverse die was the same. Clearly this is not true and it is therefore quite possible that your coin is in fact 1791/90/89.

 

RWJ

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Because of the rarity of double overdates I had thought it likely that the reverse die was the same. Clearly this is not true and it is therefore quite possible that your coin is in fact 1791/90/89.

 

RWJ

 

Interesting, it means, the die was prepared in 1789 but was not used that year, then it was scheduled for use in 1790 and accordingly re-engraved, but was not used either. Then, finally, they re-engraved it for the second time to 1791 and used it.

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I don't know enough about the preparation of dies during this period. ...

 

As I understand things, for coins minted in this period (i.e. Catherine II), each die was prepared individually by punching all the letters and the devices separately in parts into the die -- no hub was involved. Even the individual digits and letters were sometimes composed of parts: e.g., an "8" could be made by using two "3"s ... one of which was backwards. But maybe they used some kind of hub?

 

Where can we find more information about the technical aspects of die preparation during the 18th century?

 

You have a fairly good grasp. 18th & 19th century minting methods are my favorite field and I've written a good bit on them. I'll try to work something up this weekend. In the mean time perhaps RWJ will post some extracts of my articles from RNJ.

 

BTW, the coin in a prev. post on a 1791/0 may be an overdate, IMHO. I'll discuss with RWJ and post later.

 

Craig

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