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"Blackened at mint" ?


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During that time they were often confused with half sovereigns, to the point that farthings were even being gold plated to pass off as sovereigns. The British Royal Mint darkened the farthings after they were minted but before they were released in an effort to alleviate the problem.

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During that time they were often confused with half sovereigns, to the point that farthings were even being gold plated to pass off as sovereigns. The British Royal Mint darkened the farthings after they were minted but before they were released in an effort to alleviate the problem.

 

Neat, thanks :ninja:

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yea thats basically it, some victorian ones are some dates have both darkened and undarkened

the undarkened ones are rarer if the date had darkened ones, these dates are 1897 1901 1904 1918 was the last i think, in which the darkend one is the rarer they were darkned into the mid 1920's

 

i have a 1908 and 1912 fill the full blackened finish, they are quite nice if you can shine the light off them well.

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Artificial toning.

 

You know Scott, you may be right about the farthings being darkened until the mid-1920s since I don't actually know since Bronze coinage is a vast caynon in my knowledge, but I find it hard to believe that they'd bother darkening the mid-20s farthings.

 

Half sovereigns (and all gold for that matter) ceased to circulate early in WWI. £1 and 10/- notes arrived in 1914, and the public were not encouraged to make payments in gold (it being unpatriotic due to the austerity of the war effort, see Mayhew's History of Sterling), gold was needed by the Govt. to send to the US to get things needed for the war, thus they ceased paying out gold soon after the outbreak of war. The gold already out in circulation though was probably returned to the bank bit by bit, but I don't think it was recalled as such (so far as I can ascertain at present), I suspect it merely petered out by late 1914/early 1915.

 

Farthings continued to be darkened until about 1918, but after the war Britain was not on the gold standard and the gold coins had long ceased to circulate thus obviating the need to darken the farthings any more.

 

When Britain returned to the gold standard in the 1925-1931 period gold was only available in bars, not in coin. Thus most people could never afford to withdraw any gold (this was done to prevent bank runs). Furthermore the last half sovereigns struck in London were dated 1915 (never to circulate). The only half sovereigns issued from the 1925-1931 period were struck in Pretoria, and probably were used locally, if at all.

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there is a forgery of the 1913 half soveriegn i picked one up in a job lot of farthings, it was copper based with gold plating.

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Here are a couple of Dominion farthings for illustration

 

George V

 

974142.jpg

 

 

 

Even more interesting. So farthings definately weren't being darkened just to distinguish them from Half Sovereigns in South Africa, I had forgotten that South Africa (like other parts of the Empire) used the full bust portrait as opposed to the head only portrait found on the gold coins. So they were darkening for other reasons. (Ignoring the fact that gold was out of production by the mid 1930s).

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