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  1. This flyer arrived in a magazine yesterday from our friends at Harrington & Byrne. There is a plethora of 80th Battle of Britain anniversary gold coins being issued at the moment; this one from the Solomon Islands. It has the exact specification as the 'Tuvalu' coin .5g (1/62 of a toz) and 11mm in diameter for £39! Whatever the design on this or the James Bond coin I wouldn't buy it. Its the smallest coin I have ever seen and would need a magnifying glass! I M O I believe H&B are targeting the gullible public, and maybe Silver Forum members! My smallest coin is a 1/20th oz gold Panda and I thought that was small! You will see how small the print is for the specification, easily missed by Granny who wants to by one for her Grand-son who likes Spitfires. 'Coincraft' a London coin dealer publishes 'The Phoenix' paper catalogue and always prints an actual size picture so as not to mislead the buyer. I don't know of any marketing company that does this. It should be compulsory to do so.
  2. Apologies for missing the point of your question. You are right, it is shown in the latest 'Marsh' revised by Steve Hill as 53A 'Die number 34 struck from "yellow gold" with a rating of R3. My earlier Marsh books only shows one variety as C. I am not sure what that means in terms of the exact alloy used. I suggest you email Steve Hill at Sovereign rarities and ask for clarification. He has been helpful to me in the past. Perhaps the percentage of silver was increased in the alloy to make it appear more yellow - who knows? but just for one die number? I'm baffled.
  3. Could well be! Anyone else have theories? Perhaps Lawrence Chard could help out...
  4. Didn't expect this thread to reappear after 17 months! I agree with Dicker - there is no evidence that a London mint mark determines the colour variant. There is no agreed reason why some sovereigns are different in colour over time than others. There could be impurities in the alloy either silver or copper. Certainly early Australian sovereigns had silver in the mix, because it could not be separated from the gold until the chlorine gas process had been discovered. This was about 1870. London mint tended to use all copper I believe. Regardless of the alloy used have you noticed that all sovereigns look 'golden' over time - Queen Vic, all the way to the Gillick QEII s? so I wonder if this is a natural degradation of the copper alloy. Perhaps the Royal Mints' red gold sovereigns will also soften overtime and the gold will come back! Yippee! Here are my 2 1869 Sovs ( Mint marks 15 & 19 ) looking as yellow as, well.... 'Gold!'
  5. https://www.chards.co.uk/blog/coin-toning/232 If you search ' cleaning/red spots' you may find useful info. Also try Chards above. It may be to do with the alloy used. The first Brits (1987) used copper in the 22ct mix. Later they seemed to be experimenting with mixtures of copper and silver (1997 & 2007) judging by the difference in colour, before using 9999. Anyway here's mine which also has the faintest of red spots, but too faint to see on the photo. I have never tried to remove them but I understand that NGC can.
  6. Yesterday, I weighed 15 Shield-back sovereigns ranging from 1843 to 1881 using a 'Tanita' calibrated scale. I used a 2002 shield sovereign as a control which weighed in at exactly 7.98. Bearing in mind the legal limit of 7.937 I found that 2 sovereigns at 7.92 (1855 and 1862) were under weight! Both I would describe as in 'Fine' condition. There was noticeable wear in the hair above the ear as to be expected. So technically these coins would have been returned to the Bank, melted and re-coined, or refused by a shop keeper in Victorian times, once checked on a brass sovereign scale. 2 other sovereigns at 7.94 were just within the limits and confirmed on my own brass scales by starting to balance. At the other end, several were 7.98 in EF condition. Average weight of all sovereigns was 7.956g. However, as others have commented, an underweight Sovereign still has numismatic value, so carry on collecting! Oddly, 2 other sovereigns ( 1979 Isle of Man and an 1870 'Australia' sovereign) showed 7.99g! - not unheard of as 7.9881 is nearer to .99 than .98.
  7. Looks good! Here are my 2 anniversary Krugs.- 30th gold and 50th Silver. The S.A.M. is the only mint I know that tells you what the alloy is - in the case of the 'Gold' 8.33% copper!
  8. Just to put some meat on the bone, here are my 3 Indian sovereigns = 3 different obverses. Bought the original 'Bombay' 1918 many years ago for £55!
  9. MMTC-Pamp renewed its licence in 2018. 2013 was the 1st. Pity the 2018 was not given a special mint-mark for the 100th anniversary, but was attached to a maroon card instead of the earlier post-box red ones. Presumably they should be minted 'til 2022.
  10. I agree - the '165' seem to be scraping the barrel. The first 'Australia' sovereign was minted in 1855 at the Sydney mint. Perth didn't start minting until 1899. My 2005 'Australia' sovereign acknowledges the Sydney mint on the coin, but not anymore it seems!
  11. Thanks everyone! especially Happy Panda, trozau and Sovereignsteve. NGC regards the 'small' and 'large' as .."2 major varieties" so it was worth knowing the difference I think. Bought this 1994 set 22 years ago for £420 for all 5 coins! but gold was $325 an oz.then - Sovereigns were going for £45-£50 and 1oz coins for about £220. This set seems to be rare but I had no idea what I was buying at the time. I am actually a sovereign collector and have nothing better to do than look for the multitudinous varieties that exist from the 8 different mints - after all its fun! Cheers.
  12. 3-1 to 'Large' Now I am confused!
  13. TDC (Tristan da Cunha) has always been a target for marketing companies with exclusive deals. This British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic has a population of about 250, but I suppose they get an agreed cut of sales of the coin. Which private mint has produced this awful sovereign? I am surprised at H&B - they seem to be emulating the London Mint Office with misleading advertising. Remember, newspaper adverts like these are not generally aimed at the knowledgeable collector, but the gullible public.... Got that off my chest! Great reverse ! Not.
  14. This is a 1994 100 yuan 1oz coin, from a 5 coin set. Help needed as to whether this is a small or large date? Although I suspect that its from the Shenyang mint (small) I really can't tell the difference. Large dates were minted in Shanghai, up until 2001 when the date size was standardised. Perhaps I should go to Specsavers! Thanks for any help/opinions in advance.
  15. Missing from the original sovereign collection would be IMO the 1st and 2nd type busts of the Sidney Mint Branch 'Australia' obverses of James Wyon (1855 & 1856) and Leonard Charles Wyon (1857 -1870) These were the first sovereigns to be minted in the Empire so worthy of any collection. Alloy used - 8.3% Silver! I hate copper!
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