A Counterfeit 1928 Australian Shilling – Gary Oddie

This note will describe a very successful counterfeiting operation that took place in Australia in the early 1930s. The counterfeit shillings, dated 1928, were of such high quality that they could be deposited directly into banks, from where they made it into circulation. The quantities involved were so large that the banks noticed the accumulation in their vaults and an investigation began. The counterfeits were being manufactured in China from good silver and imported to Australia by a Sydney businessman, where they were exchanged for notes. The silver bullion prices at the time meant there would be a profit, not counting production and shipping costs, of about 9½d per shilling. Following the trial, three Chinese men and their families were asked to leave Australia and not to return.

A Die Study of Charles I Shillings – mm Heart – Gary Oddie

The previous two notes identified a counterfeit Charles I shilling, of type 1b2 mintmark Heart. The quality suggested it was cast from a genuine coin, and so the search began to identify dies of this scarce issue and mintmark. Ultimately the counterfeit was found to be a die duplicate of Brooker 434. The die study has been extended to look at 34 coins, with mintmark Heart, from 14 obverse and 16 reverse dies. The results are presented here.

An Unusual Counterfeit Charles I 1b2 Shilling, mm Heart – Gary Oddie

This note presents a detailed analysis of a recently acquired Charles I shilling. It’s weight was suspiciously low and the colour not quite right. XRF analysis reveals a low silver content and the density confirms the alloy to be almost pure copper. Apart from the curious alloy it is an exceptional cast copy of a coin that is a die duplicate of Brooker 434. Unless any compelling evidence of more recent manufacture is found, e.g., the discovery of more identical specimens or further analysis reveals unexpected metals, I am inclined to consider this to be of near-contemporary manufacture. Also see:

A Token of Appreciation for a Jacobean Hoard – Gary Oddie

In August 1847 a hoard of silver coins was found by workmen digging a foundation at Deighton, four miles south of York. The coins ranged from the reign of Mary to James I, with the latest datable to 1613. Some of the coins were donated to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and are now in York Museum. The rest were returned to the landowner, Lord Wenlock.A silver tankard was made, with several of the coins mounted on the outside, and presented to the finder. The location of the tankard was unknown until it appeared at auction in 2014 when it was sold along with a silver salver, also mounted with silver coins. From the weights of the tankard and salver, it is speculated that the hoard was melted to provide the silver.

A Mould for a 17th Century Lead Token – The Rose at Stony Lane, Southwark – Gary Oddie

The copper and brass tokens issued between 1648 and 1672 are well known and several of the original dies used to make them have survived. There is also a smaller, parallel series of cast lead tokens that started several decades earlier and finished about the same time with the introduction of a regal copper coinage in 1672. This note presents a copper alloy mould, found recently on the Thames foreshore, which was used to make a lead token for the Rose Tavern on Stony Lane, Southwark. The token is known and a specimen is illustrated.