Author Topic: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan  (Read 3611 times)

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Offline Rangnath

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Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« on: October 10, 2007, 07:10:13 PM »
I?m posting two Afghan coins, both cataloged as Km#909:  ? Afghani or 50 Pul.  Coin A is SH1304/7, 1925.  The note in the world catalog states that there are two varieties known for this date.  Coin B is SH1306/9, 1927. 
Both coins depict a mosque and I?ll concentrate on the comparison between the two. There are numerous differences. Significant ones include: smaller bricks above the arch, different and narrower dome architecture, narrower and seemingly taller minarets with lines on the minaret enhancing this perception, thicker and more free standing flag poles.  The differences go on and on.  Is this in fact a different mosque?
I?m rather new to the nuances of numismatics.  My question is, why are both coins cataloged with the same number, Km#909?  I?ve seen Victorian Rupees using virtually the same likeness of the Queen with far fewer discrepancies (differences in foliage are noted) with catalog distinctions.  Is this a controversial subject? Are there differences of opinion?  Are there ground rules which determine when a coin is deemed a Type or a Variety?
Richie

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007, 07:11:33 PM »
and the comparison coin.
And by the way, I've collected both because of the differences.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007, 07:50:38 PM »
It's a good question, but there is no satisfactory answer that I know of. In the beginning, there was Yeoman and Craig and they simple decreed what constituted a type. Then came KM and contributors. As the plural indicates, there are many and they're not all alike. Some will review a major part of KM, others, like myself, will stick to a few country chapters. The generalists don't give types much thought. The specialists do. See the consequences e.g. in the modern India chapter. Some contributors took long known varieties and made them into types. Not to be outdone, KM took some editing decisions that created a whole new "type": the "type" where only the mintmark is different. See Denmark or 19th century France for horribly out of touch examples. Another really bad KM mistake is to designate proofs of commemorative as different types, but proofs of circulation coins as varieties.

The question is as old as collecting. Republican coins of the Netherlands are always collected by province, though, especially after 1672, more and more coins were federal and the province indication is not more than a mintmark. In the Austrian Netherlands chapter, coins from different provinces are treated as one type, even though not only the mintmark, but also the legend differs by province, which is enough to make them different types in the Austria chapter.

While there are no rules for what constitutes a type, there is also no problem, because in the end it is still the collector who decides on what a type is.

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

Offline Prosit

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007, 09:34:03 PM »
In general I don't do varieties but of course like all my rules I make exceptions.  :)  For the coins you show, personally iIsee enough difference to call them different types.  Again my personal opinion, if you need a magnifying glass to see difference, then it is a variety.  Not sure anyone would agree with my opinion but that it is  ;D

Nice looking coins too BTW.

Dale

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 04:47:15 AM »
I like your definition Dale.  How do you feel Peter?
richie

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 10:40:35 AM »
I think Dale's definition is fine for Dale. It works like the foot, which is the size of the foot of the king or the inch, which is the size of the thumb of the king: as long as the king is around, there's no problem, but it ain't very scientific.

At what point does Dale need a magnifying glass? Does he wear spectacles? May he squint? :P Do dates count? Mintmarks? Should he see A diiference or THE difference (e.g on the French 20 francs 1950, is it sufficient to see that the designer's name is longer, or should he actually be able to read GEORGES GUIRAUD, rather than G. GUIRAUD?). How would this approach work for Greek and Roman coin, where two coins made with the same dies are big news? These questions are very easy to answer by Dale, but his standards don't give much guidance to anyone else.

As Dale says, I collect this or that, but I make exceptions. I think that's about the only standard collectors can agree on. If you think the above coins are different types, they are for you. If someone else sees it otherwise, that's not a problem. The problem is taking the word of the cataloguer for gospel.

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

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 04:12:38 PM »
Thanks Peter and thanks Dale.  My intention in posting this was to learn about the differences between types and varieties and you guys gave me food for thought. 
Good point about coins of antiquity or about some hammered coins. Finding two exactly the same could be quite a thrill.  I'd be inclined to collect them as a rare occurrence.
Sometimes I think what distinguishes types from varieties is the level of anal retentiveness of cataloger and collector.  I tell people that I collect by type.  At times, when collecting coins of the British Raj for example with magnifying lens in hand staring intently at the crowns of two coins and trying to make the call as to which type is in front of me, I think "What the bloody bleep am I doing! Really Richard, you need to get a life!"
But I also know me.  If the Standard Catalog lists one coin as 419 and another as 419.1, both identical in every way except that one is brass and the other is brass plated, I would want both!
It's my mother's fault: excessive praise during early toilet training.

Anyway, getting back to my two Afghan coins.  I enjoy the differences and will keep them side by side. 

Richie
richie

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 04:56:12 PM »
Euro coin collectors will happily tell you that coins with the edge inscription upside down are different. In fact, the edge inscription is put on seperately from the obverse and reverse, so that only chance determines whether the edge inscription faces up or down. This is one element in my own considerations: I like significant differences. I have several coins in my collection that are completely indistinguishable, except that one is magnetic and the other one isn't, a difference you cannot even spot with a microscope. However, the difference is significant. The story is that after x amount of time, the country needed to make the coin in a cheaper metal, probably owing to inflation.

Another element that appeals to me is humor. I can't afford the "Louis aux cornes", but would like to own one. This is a Louis d'or 1786 BB, where a little innocent touching up gave the king horns, suggesting marital infidelity of his wife :) Yet cataloguers would not consider the coin a different type.

Peter

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

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 06:16:09 PM »
Hmm. I can't find the horns?  Have I got the right coin?
I'm supposing the King hadn't the sense of humor that the mint had, but who was responsible for this joke?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Different Coin, Type or Variety: 1/2 Afghan
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 07:48:22 PM »
Well, this is a Louis d'or struck in Strasbourg (the heart below the head proves it), but the horns show up only on some coins dated 1786. Gadoury (Monnaies Royales Fran?aises 1610-1792, ISBN 2-906602-00-0) estimates that only about 30 remain today. The official story was that director of the mint Beyerl? and chief engraver Jean Gu?rin had acted on purpose on the instructions of cardinal de Rohan as revenge for his treatment in the affair of the diamond necklace. While Rohan went free, the other "plotters" were arrested.

In reality, both officials had served long and well before the affair, so that it is likely to have been an innocent dust-up of a die with unintended consequences. Even in corrupt, socially discriminatory, pre-revolutionary France this seems to have become clear. Gu?rin was acquitted and Beyerl? was ordered to remelt the issue at his personal cost and pay a fine of 350 000 livres, which ruined him. While his punishment was severe, he was undeniably responsible for the bad die.

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