Saint Helena: 1 pound Una and the Lion 2021 error

Started by eurocoin, March 19, 2021, 11:04:24 PM

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eurocoin

A strange error has been discovered in the very popular Una and the Lion bullion series that is being developed by The East India Company. On some of the 1oz silver coins, mistakenly a reverse design was used of the 1oz gold coin, that depicts a different version of the same design. The coins were minted at the BH Mayer Mint in Germany.

The mistake was likely made after they had to rush to get new coins produced. Many collectors initially complained about long waiting times which were caused by problems related to Brexit as the coins had to be imported from Germany. When they finally received the coins, there were a lot of complaints about the quality of the pieces they received and quite a few collectors returned them to the dealer. Soon after that, the dealer refused an entire batch of these coins from BH Mayer Mint over similar quality issues. The coins had to be quickly reminted.

The error version is the piece on the left.


eurocoin

#1
The gold 1oz version of the coin can be seen below. Interestingly it does not appear to be a simple mule error as the inscription "Una and the Lion" is depicted on the right side on the gold coin while it is on the left side on the silver error coin.


Figleaf

Once again, these pieces have no denomination. They are not coins or pseudo coins or tokens but either precious metal bars that could in theory be used for retail metal speculation or, if you wish, medals - in view of their archaic style, I would hesitate to call them art medals.

The driving force behind this issue is not the East India Company that was established in 1600 but a shop in - if memory serves - Covent Garden in London that discovered the name was not protected.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

eurocoin

I hope you are not going to comment this on all of my posts about bullion coins.

FosseWay

I don't really see the conceptual difference between these issues and those from e.g. the Royal Mint that do carry denominations, but where the denomination bears not even a distant relationship to the intrinsic value of the piece, or indeed those from the Royal Mint that have implicit denominations by historical precedent but no actual marked denomination (the sovereign series).

I also don't see why the absence of a stated denomination makes a difference to whether you collect them or not. Personally, I don't collect bullion coins, whether they have denominations or not, and whether those denominations are explicitly stated or not. Other people will make their own decisions.

If your problem with these issues is that they are being marketed as "coins" when they're not, then actually I think the greater problem is caused by those bullion issues that claim to have a denomination, like the sovereign series, "just to make them coins". Now, I know that the sovereign series can be justified as an exception by its historical pedigree, and the fact that coins of the same denominations and specifications did once circulate - fine, I'm happy with that exception. But I don't see that these St Helena issues are doing anything other than presenting bullion in a form that people may find interesting or attractive. The gold Britannia series denominated in sterling, on the other hand, seeks to attach to the pieces the added cultural and/or numismatic value that comes with the title "coin" by claiming completely spurious "denominations".

It would be better all round if companies marketing lumps of gold with designs on, sold them as lumps of gold with designs on, and not coins.

eurocoin

They are actually coins. The denomination is on the other side. The silver version is 1 pound, the gold version 5 pounds.

FosseWay

OK, thanks for the correction.

In that case, I would argue that these pieces have no less right to be regarded as coins as the silver/gold Britannia series from the RM, for example. I would further argue that there is a case for not calling any of these issues coins for the reason I gave above, but I find any attempt to classify some bullion issues as coins but others not, rather spurious.

Figleaf

Bullion coins are not coins and should not be posted on a coins board. I realise the distinction becomes harder to make if you go back in time, but it is very clear in new issues.

It is not my business what anyone collects, but they should make collecting decisions on the basis of facts, not commercial babble. That is not in the interest of the hobby but in the interest of those who intend to milk people. Therefore, this stuff should not be given an aura of coins.

And yes, I shall continue to resist attempts to make the status of new issues unclear.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

FosseWay

I understand that approach, and don't have a particular problem with it. Apologies if I've misunderstood, but I don't understand the implied difference you draw above between bullion coins with a denomination and those without. Bullion coins are bullion coins, regardless of what is written on them.

eurocoin

For investment purposes there are legal tender bullion coins and non-legal tender rounds. The legal tender bullion coins are coins, the non-legal tender rounds are not. Both are popular and both are part of numismatics.

I don't want this discussion in my topics though. Make a separate topic and discuss it there. This topic is for the remarkable type of error that has been discovered.

Also, there are so many things in numismatics going wrong, certainly in the Netherlands, that this is the last possible thing a true conservative numismatist should worry about.

andyg

Quote from: eurocoin on March 20, 2021, 08:13:18 PM
For investment purposes there are legal tender bullion coins and non-legal tender rounds. The legal tender bullion coins are coins, the non-legal tender rounds are not. Both are popular and both are part of numismatics.


This is a question because I don't know the answer - where are these legal tender?
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

eurocoin

Quote from: andyg on March 20, 2021, 08:24:29 PM
This is a question because I don't know the answer - where are these legal tender?

They are legal tender on Saint Helena. The silver pieces have a face value of 1 pound, the gold ones have a face value of 5 pounds.

Figleaf

Quote from: FosseWay on March 20, 2021, 07:33:18 PM
I don't understand the implied difference you draw above between bullion coins with a denomination and those without. Bullion coins are bullion coins, regardless of what is written on them.

Let me put it like this. A button battery is not a coin. A piece circulating as money is a coin. It is useful to make the distinction between non-coins and coins. The question is, where do you draw the line. Shady metal traders and their marketeers try to stretch it as far as possible towards the button battery. When they are successful, they can make a crazy profit on the backs of the ignorant by stamping bullion and selling it at an agio that makes it impossible to re-sell.

Some people fall for that. Their responsibility, not ours. However, we have a reputation to uphold. It's more than a legal responsibility for what gets discussed, it's a moral issue. Once responsible people agree that bullion coins are not coins, the evil metal traders, marketeers and supporters will try to argue that their trinkets are not bullion coins, so you have to come up with ... not a definition, because they'd circumvent it in no time but a series of characteristics like "private issuer", "silly subject", "silly metal", "non-serious country of issue", "heavily overpriced stamped metal" and "no denomination". None of these characteristics alone make a bullion coin and you don't need all the characteristics to make it a bullion coin. It's the pattern that creates the concept. As a British politician put it a long time ago: "I cannot define a sovereign, but every gentleman knows what it is", implying of course that if you pretend not to know what it is, as his challenger did, you are not a gentleman.

While we shouldn't tell others what (not) to collect, we need as much clarity as possible on the status of items discussed here. We have boards for just about every item, ranging from historical non-numismatic to manhole covers, with tokens, banknotes, decorations, medals and what have you somewhere in between. If necessary, we can create a board for stamped bullion. However, calling bullion coin and being uncritical does not serve the purpose of clarity.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

FosseWay

Fine, I can accept all of that. But you didn't answer my question: what is the practical difference between a bullion "coin" with no stated denomination and one with a denomination that has no relevance to its intrinsic value, and therefore no impact on resale value?

If you want to go down the strict route you've argued, I'd say you should include "denominated" bullion as well.

Figleaf

The answer is that it's not the denomination or lack of it alone that determines whether a piece is bullion, but if it is lacking, that's a clear indication that the piece of bullion and if it is there, there may still be other indications that it is bullion. I gave a little list of such indications in my previous post. It seems to me that we agree. I am not stricter that you are, but I am more specific.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.