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Ghosting on Gold Sovereigns and Other Coins


LawrenceChard

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Thank you @LawrenceChard Fascinating and not something that I had noticed (or read about before)

Not comparable, and somewhat differently I examined some of the military medals from my family with a Zeiss microscope in the early 2000's and noticed something very odd on the 'South Africa' medal.  Essentially an almost imperceptible date in the field of the medals visible.

At the time there was not readily available internet sources to explain a ghosted date and I (wrongly) assumed that it was a manufacturing defect. A few years later I found out that the ghost date had been ground out of the die (but not quite). This was thanks to a coin and medal dealer who used to have a shop close to Magdelene bridge in Cambridge that has long since disappeared.

I don't steal images to put on this site so will just post the link to an article but it demonstrates what is on the medal I have.  Not sure if the RM produced medals.

https://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishguide/queens_south_africa_medal.htm

Best

Dicker

Not my circus, not my monkeys

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13 minutes ago, dicker said:

Thank you @LawrenceChard Fascinating and not something that I had noticed (or read about before)

Not comparable, and somewhat differently I examined some of the military medals from my family with a Zeiss microscope in the early 2000's and noticed something very odd on the 'South Africa' medal.  Essentially an almost imperceptible date in the field of the medals visible.

At the time there was not readily available internet sources to explain a ghosted date and I (wrongly) assumed that it was a manufacturing defect. A few years later I found out that the ghost date had been ground out of the die (but not quite). This was thanks to a coin and medal dealer who used to have a shop close to Magdelene bridge in Cambridge that has long since disappeared.

I don't steal images to put on this site so will just post the link to an article but it demonstrates what is on the medal I have.  Not sure if the RM produced medals.

https://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishguide/queens_south_africa_medal.htm

Best

Dicker

That was interesting.

In 1939, when WWII started, the optimistic recruiting propaganda lead people to believe that it would all be over by Christmas.

(Sadly, it was for many recruits).

2 minutes ago, pricha said:

Very interesting. I have seen this before and often wondered about it. I tried to avoid coins like this as i always thought they were something dodgy . 😆

Now you'll start collecting them!  🙂

Chards

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Nice article, well presented and very interesting.

The first time I saw "ghosting" was on the Gillick head sovereigns and it's an appealing feature. I've noticed it more on higher grade coins, is it possible lustre enhances it?

On the 1922 example above the obverse shows a halo effect around the kings head while on the reverse is a mirror image of his head. I wonder why we don't see a mirror image of George and the dragon showing in the obverse?

Here's another clear example I found on the net: https://coinparade.co.uk/1962-gold-sovereign/

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12 hours ago, Booky586 said:

Nice article, well presented and very interesting.

The first time I saw "ghosting" was on the Gillick head sovereigns and it's an appealing feature. I've noticed it more on higher grade coins, is it possible lustre enhances it?

On the 1922 example above the obverse shows a halo effect around the kings head while on the reverse is a mirror image of his head. I wonder why we don't see a mirror image of George and the dragon showing in the obverse?

Here's another clear example I found on the net: https://coinparade.co.uk/1962-gold-sovereign/

Thanks.

You have just created an extra job for me.  Now I am going to have t o get some QEII Gillick first portait sovereigns out to study, next time I am at Harrowside. I did check through a few dozen incoming ones on Thursday, but they have probably been allocated to bullion orders by now.

" I wonder why we don't see a mirror image of George and the dragon showing in the obverse?" I think this is because on striking, more metal is flowing down into the incuse parts of the obverse die, than is moving in the opposite direction. The raised parts of the die, which form the field of the coin, exert pressure, and squeeze metal into other areas. At this point, my imagination of the process gets a little hazy, although I hae spent much time trying to think through the process. I have also spent time wondering if there is some way I could model the process in slow motion, using something last plasticine. Perhaps I need to find an expert in fluid dynamics to get an explanation.

One way to think about the halo effect would be to stand on wet sand or mud. As your foot sinks, it would squeeze material from underneath, outwards. This would probably create a ripple effct with some surrounding areas being convex, other concave,

The example you found does show very clear ghosting. I looked at a few of our Gillick photos, but it is likely that we have chosen clean looking examples because they are more aesthetically pleasing, so I will be aiming to find a few less attractive but ghosted ones to photograph.

Chards

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On 09/10/2021 at 09:42, SidS said:

I really like ghosting on coins, the George V pennies are brilliant examples of it.

I just think it's really quirky.

There is a (now closed) discussion on Numista about ghosting on GV pennies, which mentions my old 24carat page, but one comment said I didn't explain it very well! 🙂

Another comment said he only saw it on worn or circulated examples, but others showed photos ot it on hich grade coins. Its visibility might depend partly on lightiing, and viewing angles.

Edited by LawrenceChard

Chards

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As we both know all too well, it had to be present on higher grade coins as it's a striking defect not a wear defect.

It seems most George V coinage of the teens has examples of ghosting.

I've seen it on sovereigns, half sovereigns, sixpences, pennies, half pennies and farthings.

I can't recall whether I've seen it on halfcrowns, florins and threepences, but odds on they will exist. I'd have to dig out my George V silver stash and have a look. I do have a great sixpence though.

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14 hours ago, Booky586 said:

The first time I saw "ghosting" was on the Gillick head sovereigns

Yes you do see an effect such as this on very many Gillicks but it never struck me that it was so definite that it could be attributed to ghosting from the reverse. Like @LawrenceChard I am going to have to examine some in detail now🙂

Profile picture with thanks to Carl Vernon

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On 09/10/2021 at 12:09, sovereignsteve said:

Yes you do see an effect such as this on very many Gillicks but it never struck me that it was so definite that it could be attributed to ghosting from the reverse. Like @LawrenceChard I am going to have to examine some in detail now🙂

I have just grabbed a handful of Gillicks, and every coin so far shows some ghosting. It is not as bad as early kings, and I guess I had stopped noticing it as I have seen it so many times.

We will re-do some photos, and post them here. Will probably also get round to adding them to a Chards blog.

 

Chards

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On 08/10/2021 at 21:48, Booky586 said:

Nice article, well presented and very interesting.

The first time I saw "ghosting" was on the Gillick head sovereigns and it's an appealing feature. I've noticed it more on higher grade coins, is it possible lustre enhances it?

On the 1922 example above the obverse shows a halo effect around the kings head while on the reverse is a mirror image of his head. I wonder why we don't see a mirror image of George and the dragon showing in the obverse?

Here's another clear example I found on the net: https://coinparade.co.uk/1962-gold-sovereign/

 

On 09/10/2021 at 10:32, LawrenceChard said:

Thanks.

You have just created an extra job for me.  Now I am going to have t o get some QEII Gillick first portait sovereigns out to study, next time I am at Harrowside. I did check through a few dozen incoming ones on Thursday, but they have probably been allocated to bullion orders by now.

" I wonder why we don't see a mirror image of George and the dragon showing in the obverse?" I think this is because on striking, more metal is flowing down into the incuse parts of the obverse die, than is moving in the opposite direction. The raised parts of the die, which form the field of the coin, exert pressure, and squeeze metal into other areas. At this point, my imagination of the process gets a little hazy, although I hae spent much time trying to think through the process. I have also spent time wondering if there is some way I could model the process in slow motion, using something last plasticine. Perhaps I need to find an expert in fluid dynamics to get an explanation.

One way to think about the halo effect would be to stand on wet sand or mud. As your foot sinks, it would squeeze material from underneath, outwards. This would probably create a ripple effct with some surrounding areas being convex, other concave,

The example you found does show very clear ghosting. I looked at a few of our Gillick photos, but it is likely that we have chosen clean looking examples because they are more aesthetically pleasing, so I will be aiming to find a few less attractive but ghosted ones to photograph.

 

On 09/10/2021 at 12:09, sovereignsteve said:

Yes you do see an effect such as this on very many Gillicks but it never struck me that it was so definite that it could be attributed to ghosting from the reverse. Like @LawrenceChard I am going to have to examine some in detail now🙂

 

On 13/10/2021 at 13:28, LawrenceChard said:

I have just grabbed a handful of Gillicks, and every coin so far shows some ghosting. It is not as bad as early kings, and I guess I had stopped noticing it as I have seen it so many times.

We will re-do some photos, and post them here. Will probably also get round to adding them to a Chards blog.

 

Ok, here goes:

1472972606_1967elizabethiigoldsovereigngillickwithoverlaystoshowghostingobvandreverse4000(1).thumb.jpg.f1a9552c85223d4215e82c1998716dbd.jpg

This 4x4 grid composite image highlights the ghosting of the obverse design on the reverse. The halo ghosting effect can also be seen on the obverse itself.

We did photograph a selection of about 10 coins; all showed ghosting, and I left it up to Doug, our tame photographer, to pick whichever he thought showed the effect most clearly.

 

Chards

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On 07/10/2021 at 23:40, LawrenceChard said:

I often notice "ghosting" on coins.

I tend to see it most on gold sovereigns, particularly George V and Edward VII, but it can and does occur occur on many other coins. Pennies of the same two monarchs also often show ghosting, but what it it?

A "ghost" image is where a faint or hazy part of a coin's design is reproduced elsewhere on the coin. The ghost image I see most frequently is a soft outline of the head or portrait of George V can be seen in mirror image on the reverse. This is mainly on the earlier "large head" coins from 1911 to 1928 inclusive.

Recently, I came across a remarkable-looking sovereign, a 1922-P Perth Mint example, which also had strong ghosting of the head on the obverse side, as well as on the reverse. I almost had to reach for some eye drops when I saw it.

Here are some photos:

1922georgevGHOSTINGGoldBetterThanBullionFullSovereignCollectablePerthMintobvcrop.thumb.jpg.85869eff2a2ee48a7a0a0c2429bd40a3.jpg

Here, you can see a "halo" effect surrounding the portrait, and roughly following its contours. I have seen similar effects before, but on this coin it is far more pronounced. The halo area appears to be slightly concave, and I am still  trying to understand what process or events caused it. The concave parts extend to the circle occupied by the lettering, where the field flattens back to normal.

1922georgevGHOSTINGGoldBetterThanBullionFullSovereignCollectablePerthMintobvwithoverlayshwoindoublestrikecrop.thumb.jpg.c5559d0203ff9a062654003fa6c1e224.jpg

Here Doug has drawn a line showing where to look for the ghosting.

1922georgevGHOSTINGGoldBetterThanBullionFullSovereignCollectablePerthMintrevcrop.thumb.jpg.120e030cab419b5cb580074313cae5c7.jpg

On the reverse, you can see a large depression corresponding with the portrait on the obverse, mirrored of course.

This effect is caused be the fact that the volume of metal displaced by the portrait is greater than that of the reverse design. This had been a constant problem, even back to the old head coinage of Queen Victoria from 1893 to 1901 inclusive.

There were some experiments with changes to the portrait on minor coins, from about 1922, until a smaller head portrait was adopted in 1929, which appears to have solved the problem.

1922georgevGHOSTINGGoldBetterThanBullionFullSovereignCollectablePerthMintobverseandreversecrop.thumb.jpg.603270097b3bd2e99cb93f644daa5b5d.jpg

This side by side image helps to demonstrate the effect

1922georgevGHOSTINGGoldBetterThanBullionFullSovereignCollectablePerthMintobverseandreversewithoverlayhighlightingghostingcrop.thumb.jpg.63185c828e453bdd588f89d5f6e4853a.jpg

This 2x2 composite image, with drawn outlines further demonstrates it.

Just for good measure:

1922georgevGHOSTINGGoldBetterThanBullionFullSovereignCollectablePerthMintobvwithpossibleairbubblehighlightedcrop.thumb.jpg.effe92d0de2fd6d6a88ac8c22b088107.jpg

Another interesting feature:

A sub-surface air bubble on the obverse. I have explained air bubbles elsewhere.

This old page http://24carat.co.uk/frame.php?url=1926modifiedpenny.html is about 1926 "Modified Effigy" pennies, which are scarce, and the same portrait was used in 1927. It also mentions ghosting.

Some collectors worry about various effects seen on coins, particularly because of counterfeits, and I hope this post provides some help and interest to all collectors, new and old.

 

Thanks for an interesting read 

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