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British Coins - new pictures of some coin of mine


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Here, for those that appreciate great coin photography, are a couple of new pictures that I've had taken of coins of mine. Coin photography is tricky, so I had a pro do it.

 

1818 LXIII Crown - one of the finest!

 

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1850 Victoria YH half crown - superlative example (proof?). The 1850 is one of those early half crowns that are so difficult to fine in mint state. It had a smaller mintage and is elusive in any condition. Just search Heritage for the 1850, and the best you'll most likely come across is an MS65 1850 that doesn't hold a candle to this coin. Still unslabbed but probably an MS66-67 (or proof?).

 

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Of course the 1818 crown was a history-making production. The master of the mint devoted a great deal of care to each strike, making sure that they were each wrapped in tissue paper. That's why, today, you'll find many nice examples. Supposedly there were proofs made, but the quality of the business strikes was so high that it's tough to really tell a supposed proof from a high quality proof-like strike. The coin I have is proof-like.

 

1818 was the first year of steam-driven crown production.

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Of course the 1818 crown was a history-making production. The master of the mint devoted a great deal of care to each strike, making sure that they were each wrapped in tissue paper. That's why, today, you'll find many nice examples. Supposedly there were proofs made, but the quality of the business strikes was so high that it's tough to really tell a supposed proof from a high quality proof-like strike. The coin I have is proof-like.

 

1818 was the first year of steam-driven crown production.

 

Great piece of history.

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And the great thing about this crown is that even collectors of modest means can own a relatively nice example. At the GEF or AU levels, they're reasonable. Just make sure you find one that isn't cleaned (hairlines) and might have some attractive toning. You will then have a real piece of history in your hands. In the US, those grades would probably be MS63 OR MS64.

I really like the 1818 LXIII Crown, one of the finest pieces ever struck.

 

If you study the history of this coin's creation, you will lean about the competition between Benedetto Pistrucci and William Wyon, and how the master of the mint at the time colluded to try and make the Italian (Pistrucci) the Chief Engraver of the Mint but found he couldn't. It's also fun to contemplate the fact that at the time of issue of this crown, George III was a mentally ill old man with a long white beard rather than the heroic leader depicted on this crown. So, lots of history connected with the George III 1818-1820 crown type.

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  • 1 month later...

Wonderful coins, though I am partial to Victoria. That is a proof as best as can be judged from the photos, and is an example of cameo "tin foil" appearance. I have seen a number of the 1853, 1862 and 1864 pieces with only a couple having this surface. Also, occ. see the 1839 proof with this - at one time on the pcgs pop. reports as a "deep cameo". Congratulations on them - let me know if you ever want to dispose of the Vick!

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  • 3 weeks later...

And the great thing about this crown is that even collectors of modest means can own a relatively nice example. At the GEF or AU levels, they're reasonable. Just make sure you find one that isn't cleaned (hairlines) and might have some attractive toning. You will then have a real piece of history in your hands. In the US, those grades would probably be MS63 OR MS64.

 

I searched ebay, but I think the better grades is overpriced. Any other places to search?

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What is "overpriced?" There are no bargains in coins. You will never (or almost never) get "lucky" and find a coin for $25 for which someone else will pay $1000. Unless you educate yourself, it's much more likely that you will pay $100 for a coin that no one else will pay more than $25 for. Search ha.com, ebay results, coinarchives.com, sixbid.com, acsearch.info, and other auction sites to see their historical prices for the 1818-1820 crown in various grades. Then you will have an idea what people are willing to pay for these coins. Only then will you be able to make a judgement as to whether something offered by a seller is "overpriced" or not.

 

Once you know what comparable coins have sold for in the near past, you are better armed to go into an online auction at Heritage or Stacksbowers or Spink or Baldwins, or ebay, etc., and make a reasonable bid on a coin you like and think you can afford. Unless you are able to distinguish possible Chinese counterfeits, stick with coins graded and encapsulated by reputable grading houses such as PCGS or NGC (or their British equivalent). At least that way, if you spend $500-$1000 for a nice AU example with some luster and good strike (most are very well struck), you will be getting something that you will always enjoy and not be worried that when you sell it you will discover that it was a fake.

 

FWIW, a really nice high-grade coin of that type can sell for $4000-$10,000 depending on eye appeal and whether it's a proof.

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Thanks for the tips. I am thinking of spending around $1000, so I am not going for the absolute top coins but a rather nice one.

 

I found this, NGC graded MS-63. WINGS Approved. Estimated Value $1,000 - 1,200. Any comments?

 

1553039l_zps2f4f89c2.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

This is a very nice coin, and an example of what you can get for not a great deal of money. Don't buy retail (from a dealer) if possible. Become familiar with the prices for various qualities of coins in this series (if in a slab, the grade on the slab is just a starter - once you look at enough coins at auction, you will develop a sense of what is nice and what is not). Don't buy the first thing you see. Then, when you have this experience, you can begin to get serious at auctions and have an idea of about how much to bid if the coin is really nice for the grade. It's important to look at many coins and the prices they sell for; otherwise, you have no idea what a fair bid is. If you can't attend auctions in person, a good website with high resolution pictures is worthwhile - Heritage (www.ha.com) comes to mind, but Kuenker and others in Europe take pretty good photos. To me, at least, the pictures on Spink and Baldwins are crap - pardon my terminology. You can't judge coins by their pictures IMO. The picture in your post is a very good picture. But beware - it is impossible to really see a coin except in the hand with good lighting. Pictures will never reveal very fine hairlines or missing luster (usually indicative of wear on post 1816 coins). So, when you get serious, if you can't attend in person and view the coins, find a good agent who will attend and give you a good description of the coins in which you're interested. You might have to pay that person a small commission, but it's worth it to prevent buying something you really won't end up liking.

 

What I'm telling you is from personal experience. I have bought coins based solely on a picture, even a high res picture, and ended up dissatisfied with the coin.

 

BTW, I started this thread with two pictures, one of which was my 1850 (raw) halfcrown. I guessed MS66 or (hopefully) MS67. Just got it back from NGC, and it is now officially in an MS67 slab! Finest graded at PCGS or NGC. Next best at NGC is the Cheshire MS65. There is only one other 1/2 crown graded 67 between 1816 and 1887, and that's a high-mintage 1844. I've not seen that coin at auction, so I don't know how it compares, but I'm sure it's nice - anything MS67 is nice, but there are many variations of "nice."

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Thanks for the comment and advice. Since I live in Norway I have few opportunities to see the coins live, since they are rarely sold in Norway. But since my bid on this one ($1200) wasn't enough I will spend more time to see as many as possible.

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