Ratio of 1d to 2d 1797 coins

ajaanajaan Posts: 15,357 ✭✭✭✭✭

At a coin show, what's your experience with the ratio of 1797 1d to 2d coins found?


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Don

Comments

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭

    Here in Australia (where the coins tend to command a premium, as they are considered part of our "Proclamation" series of colonial coinage) the 1 penny coins are far more common. They are also far more commonly encountered in a very worn state; the twopence coins, when available, are almost always in high grade. But overall, I would hazard a guess at a ratio of about 4:1.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"
  • SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 5,994 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sapyx said:
    Here in Australia (where the coins tend to command a premium, as they are considered part of our "Proclamation" series of colonial coinage) the 1 penny coins are far more common. They are also far more commonly encountered in a very worn state; the twopence coins, when available, are almost always in high grade. But overall, I would hazard a guess at a ratio of about 4:1.

    In Britain the 1d coins tended to circulate a very long time, in an 1840 survey in Northern England they were still in a high percentage of circulation. Of course they were popular for other reasons - a lot of them ended up holding the dead's eyes closed.

    Of course some of them also seemed to have been used as grape shot during the Napoleonic wars, given that they apparently were dropped, thrown etc so that the edges took quite a beating.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016
  • JBKJBK Posts: 4,806 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting about the length of circulation of the 1p coins. The 2p were rediculously large so that may have caused them to be left at home more often.

    I keep an occasional eye open for the 2p on eBay. A 1797 2p in nice shape (no heavy wear, no corrosion, no significant rim dings, original dark brown color) is a beautiful thing to own. I did pick up one some years ago but it seems a nice high grade circulated one these days will be $100 or more (sometimes much more).

    I am glad this was a one year type coin (both 1p and 2p) so that even the heavily worn ones can still be identified.

  • ajaanajaan Posts: 15,357 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting that they were used as grape shot. This is the most worn one I've owned. Can't make out any of the lettering or date.



    DPOTD-3
    'Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery'

    CU #3245 B.N.A. #428


    Don
  • sylsyl Posts: 545 ✭✭✭

    I think that 1797 was the last year that the Royal mint struck coins where the metallic scrap value of the coin equalled the face value of the coin. That's why they were so big. After '97 all their coinage became a standard size so they didn't lose money by striking coins. At least that is what I have read.

  • SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 5,994 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @syl said:
    I think that 1797 was the last year that the Royal mint struck coins where the metallic scrap value of the coin equalled the face value of the coin. That's why they were so big. After '97 all their coinage became a standard size so they didn't lose money by striking coins. At least that is what I have read.

    From about the early 1780s there had been a serious shortage of coinage - the Crown more or less ignored smaller coinage as a nuisance. Silver 1d and 2d coinage never were minted in enough quantity to satisfy commerce. When the proposals to alleviate the shortage by switching over to bronze the decision was made that to replace a coin with a metallic value that the new coin would have to have an equivalent value in metal.

    All this was made possible due to the new steam powered coin presses developed under the direction of Matthew Boulton. When you think about it, the 1797 coins are a testament to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution - those sizes with the quality of the strikes made them marvels that were not possible a few years before.

    I have a book somewhere, "Cunyie, A History of Small Change in Scotland" that is a fascinating read.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016
  • JBKJBK Posts: 4,806 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Quite frankly, those huge 2p coins are a minting marvel even by today's standards. Large, thick, wide rims with incuse lettering, and lots of detail on the portrait and figure. It is amazing to think they were minted over 200 years ago.

  • BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 2,624 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 9, 2019 8:11PM

    Numista says 722,100 two penny and 8,601,000 one penny coins were struck in 1797. Accuracy?

    Another source says that the Soho Mint struck 45 million 'coins' in 1797 on a total of eight presses. Must have included things struck for the East India Company.

    Of interest, but doesn't answer the question:

    I have at least ne more book to look at, but no time right now.

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭

    These coins were struck in years other than 1797, with the 1797 date "frozen". I believe mintage figures like on Numista are quoted for the entire issue bearing that date.

    And OP's question is more about current survival rates, rather than original mintage figures. There may be reasons why one denomination had a greater probability of survival. For example, the 1 penny coins were more likely to be worn flat and eventually withdrawn and melted; the twopence coins, seeing little circulation, would suffer little wear before being souvenired by someone and are thus more likely to have survived, increasing their relative abundance today.

    Another factor is repurposing. These "cartwheel" coins were popular with merchants for use as 1 ounce and 2 ounce shop weights; some thus survived that way, long after their official withdrawal. But a shopkeeper would only have needed one or two of each, or maybe enough coins to make up one pound-weight; thus, the relative abundance of 2d coins would increase this way as well.

    With those two factors both in play, as well as others, I can easily imagine that the original ration of 11:1 could narrow to something more like the 4:1 I have experienced.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"
  • SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 5,994 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As large as the tuppence were, Boulton's mint churned out even larger tokens in 1813:

    This beast weighs in at an impressive 2.5 ounces. And trial strikes were made for a bronze sixpence that weighed 5 ounces, the latter of which I really want to find someday. All this fooforrah about the ATB hockey pucks the US mint turns out, Matthew Boulton was cranking out hockey pucks over 200 years ago with steam powered presses.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016
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