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Gold plated platinum coins used in early European coinage question


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I remember reading elsewhere that in the early stages of platinum coinages, some of the European countries such as France and Spain tried to use platinum in their coinage and the gold plate them. I'm sure most of them were "forged" but I can't quite remember if that was the case or not.

 

Any additional details of such platinum coinages are appericated (I know there was the Russian platinum coinages of 1828-1845). I just can't find them in google at the moment :ninja:

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Gold plated platinum counterfeit sovereigns were sold in Spain in the 1860-70s. The expert on these is Graham Dyer, former curator at the Royal Mint and former president the British Numismatic Society. Unfortunately I do not think any of his work is on the web. Interesting counterfeit coin sold recently on eBay claimed to be one of this type:

 

http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/Great-Bri...emZ110193790198

 

 

Robert

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Very interesting. This is the first time I have heard about this subject. Thanks for sharing the information on it gx, Robert and GDJMSP.

 

It will be interesting to see if anyone else can add to the topic. Where they produced as counterfeits for other countries and were they only produced in Spain?

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Actually this is a coursework that I am working on, that is the study of the platinum group metals commodity in relation to the market demand and supply. The history of such metals is actually very very short, just slightly over 200 years for most metals and platinum has only slightly longer history than the rest. Here is a good site to read some history: http://www.stillwaterpalladium.com/history.html

 

As you can see, it was actually the Spanish colonization of South America that they made the discovery. Word got out that there is a type of silver that couldn't be melted down by normal means and it was an unwanted metal product. Silly enough though, if you read how the word platinum was formed, it was a degotory form of the native S. American word for "little silver"

 

As soon as when people in Europe knew about this unwanted metal as well as it's density heavier than gold, people smuggled out this metal as price of gold if I am not mistaken was at least 150% more than platinum at any stage and therefore it was profitable to have an alloy of platinum and gold plate it. From what I have seen, Spain, France, UK all had issues with such gold plated platinum coins and Russia was the only exception that dared to have legal platinum coinages for circulation. The only problem was, people's perception of such platinum coins were awfully bad and therefore they didn't last too long. If I am not mistaken, the US did have a dollar coin around that era that was trial struck in platinum as well.

 

In today's story though, such gold plated platinum coins actually do hold quite a fair bit of value - that is if you can even find one in the first place. Trust me, they are HARD to find and I'm even having issues trying to find a proper reference at the moment.

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There are some listed in Krause, and I have several catalogs with examples. Would take a while to sort thru them and find them though. Your best bet may be to use Numismaster and use their search function. That should turn some up for ya.

 

I seem to recall reading about some German city state and Austrian issues as well. The counterfeiters were definitely not limited to France, Spain and the UK. Just about everybody used the same scheme.

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It is discouraging to attempt to look for this subject on Google and to find this string as the first entry.

 

Some literature references:

Bulletin on Counterfeits Vol. 3 No. 2 June 1978 page 42, Counterfeit Sovereign 1862 in Platinum [note not gold plated!]

Bulletin on Counterfeits Vol. 4 No. 2/3 Summer/Autumn 1979, pages 30 to 35, Counterfeit Sovereigns in Platinum by G.P.Dyer

 

Graham Dyer did give a presentation on this subject to a conference on counterfeiting in London around the turn of this century but this has not been published.

 

Robert

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I recall a experiance back some 20 years ago I was in a friends stamp & coin shop when a elderly couple came in and were at first a bit wary of me (long hair, lethers etc LOL) but we all soon started talking ;) The upshot of the conversation was they had a number of soverigns for sale and would my freind be interested in purchasing them, naturaly he said yes :ninja:

Out came about 50+ coins and then the fun started, my mate began examining them and tut tutting to himself, you could see the couple visably wilting and when he told them they were all forgeries ;) they just stood there staring not knowing what to do, then he told them what they were forged out of LOL yep you got it Platinum, the Lady responded along the lines of well its better than tin I suppose ;) We including her husband just cracked up and had to explain to her what Platinum was. Needless to say they left the shop a lot richer than when they enterd.

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