Tracing The Elusive 1775 Pattern Shilling – Gary Oddie

This note brings to an end a long search for a specimen of the 1775 pattern shilling of George III. Listed as R4 or R5, regular (5-10 year) sightings at auction or sale were anticipated, however this assumption caused the author to be looking in the wrong places all along. Embarrassingly, two specimens have been found in captivity (Royal Mint Museum and British Museum) and in identifying their provenances a third specimen has been identified and is possibly still in the wild (ex Hyman Montagu).

Numismatic Graffiti – End the BBC Monopoly – Fight for Free Radio – Gary Oddie

The chance find of two bronze pennies with political graffiti added in white tipp-ex brought back vague memories of pirate radio in the North Sea. I was too young for the original story to register properly, but I do recall the navy raids on the transmitter ships in 1989. Ironically, the subsequent litigation confirmed that pirate radio had been ended by government piracy. The graffiti can be dated to sometime after 19 February 1967 with the formation of the Free Radio Association and its headline message ‘FIGHT FOR FREE RADIO’.

Counterfeit Shillings of George III 1816-1820 (iii) Metallurgy – Gary Oddie

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.

Counterfeit Shillings of George III 1816-1820 (ii) The Observed Metals – Gary Oddie

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.

Counterfeit Shillings of George III 1816-1820 Part (i) Reference Collection and Statistics – Gary Oddie

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.

Counterfeit Round Pound Coins (v) Loose Ends – Gary Oddie

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.