A short note looking again at a contemporary mould for counterfeit George III shillings.
The previous notes have presented details of the reference collection of counterfeit shillings of George III dated 1816-1820 and a description of the pieces in terms of the appearance of the metal. This note will present a few typical pieces from each group along with a few outliers and determine the metals using XRF analysis. The results confirm the three main groups of counterfeits; (1) ‘tin’ based, (2) the ‘copper alloys, brass and copper’ pieces and (3) the ‘silver’ pieces that are genuine coins. Two odd-coloured silver pieces have been found to contain significant amounts of nickel, a metal not used in coinage applications until after the 1850s. Many of the pieces show traces of mercury (200-500ppm) likely from previous silvering, though is only just above the Limit of Detection using this XRF machine. Those pieces with complete silvering show the highest mercury contents (>3000ppm) suggesting the silvering was created using evaporation of a mercury-silver amalgam.
A quick question from a retired economist.
The previous note presented details of the reference collection of 1,490 counterfeit shillings of George III dated 1816-1820. This note will look at the metal composition and plating based on the data gathered in the previous spreadsheet. Simple plots of the weights and densities of the pieces allow them to be separated into three groups ‘tin’, ‘copper alloys, brass and copper’ and ‘silver’ counterfeits, mostly consistent with visual observations.
This is the first of a series of short notes looking at the counterfeits of the shillings issued during the recoinage of 1816-1820. This will begin with a statistical analysis of a reference collection which, at the time of writing, contains 1,490 pieces. Subsequent notes will look at the metallurgy, methods of manufacture and ultimately a die study.
In this fifth and final instalment some peripheral topics will be covered. Ranging from the mentions of counterfeit pound coins in the media, to publications, to the response of the establishment, to prosecutions, to counterfeits of the new dodecagonal pound. New data has been added to the table of known counterfeit designs, bringing the total to 122 muled designs and 30 counterfeits with the correct obverse for the reverse. This will not be comprehensive, and is not in any particular order, but hopefully will provide a good starting point should anyone wish to take the topic further.
In this fourth instalment several more unusual issues are presented, essentially a postscript to the second note. The first three pieces follow on the theme of materials and the final three look at unusual die/mould manufacturing techniques used particularly for brass counterfeits that were not covered previously. Earlier articles….
In this third instalment, the brass counterfeit round pounds will be presented. The data is based on two collections totalling 2,063 pieces. Amongst these are varieties with incorrect edges, 76 different mules and two different metal types. It is observed that the number of counterfeits of a particular date bears a close relationship to the mintage of genuine coins of that date.
In the first part of this series of notes, the lead alloy counterfeit round pound coins were introduced. In this note some of the more unusual counterfeits will be described. Ranging from resin coated lead cores to impossible dates to an overstrike on a foreign coin, the pieces demonstrate the ingenuity and skill of the counterfeiters. Though the coins were circulating only a few years ago, all of the pieces presented here are now very rare.
Until the introduction of the dodecagonal bimetallic pound coin in March 2017, the round pounds had suffered extensively at the hands of counterfeiters. The problem began almost immediately after their introduction in 1983. Of the 1.5 billion or so round pounds in circulation in 2016 it was estimated that 3% were counterfeit. Now that the coins are no longer circulating, and ceased to be legal tender in October 2017, this might be a useful time to make some observations about these counterfeits before they are forgotten and lost. The counterfeits fall into several groups and in this first article I will make some brief observations about the lead alloy issues which were typically produced between 1983 and 2006.