World of Coins

Design and designing => Coin characteristics => Topic started by: <k> on August 23, 2015, 01:38:35 PM

Title: Mint marks on coins
Post by: <k> on August 23, 2015, 01:38:35 PM
Occasionally you see strange symbols on coins that look meaningless. Sometimes they are the artist's initials, sometime they are batch marks, but often they are mint marks.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: <k> on August 23, 2015, 01:40:14 PM
Look at this $25 collector coin of 1987 from Bermuda. Just above the sea, at bottom left, you can see some letters. Our forum member Niels tells me that it is the Singapore Mint mark. However, it is used only on their proof coins.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: <k> on August 23, 2015, 01:43:17 PM
This Cayman Islands 10 dollar coin of 1982 shows a symbol just above the "R" of "YEAR" (bottom right). Apparently it is mint mark showing that the coin was minted at the Tower Hill premises, in London, of the Royal Mint. Later, all coins were produced at the Llantrisant site in Wales.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: dheer on August 23, 2015, 05:25:47 PM
Could you clarify the theme a bit more ... is it unusual mint marks?, i.e. rarely used ones ... or mint marks that more like blend into the design, or mint mark at unusual places?

"symbol just above the "R" of "YEAR" ... this one is there on quite a few Indian coins as well ... in its usual position.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 23, 2015, 06:41:45 PM
Look at this $25 collector coin of 1987 from Bermuda. Just above the sea, at bottom left, you can see some letters. Our forum member Niels tells me that it is the Singapore Mint mark. However, it is used only on their proof coins.

SCWC 2015 edition 2001 to date fails to confirm this assertion.
It is the only mint mark they have but the restrictive clause is not mentioned.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: <k> on August 23, 2015, 07:25:19 PM
Could you clarify the theme a bit more ... is it unusual mint marks?, i.e. rarely used ones ... or mint marks that more like blend into the design, or mint mark at unusual places?

"symbol just above the "R" of "YEAR" ... this one is there on quite a few Indian coins as well ... in its usual position.

It can be anything you choose - mint marks in general. The first one, above, puzzled me - I thought it showed an artist's initials - but then Niels explained that it was a mint mark.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Figleaf on August 23, 2015, 10:07:04 PM
SCWC 2015 edition 2001 to date fails to confirm this assertion.
It is the only mint mark they have but the restrictive clause is not mentioned.

Niels' research is excellent, often direct from the source, while KM's research depends on the contributor and whether KM listens to the contributor. In case of doubt, I would give clear preference to Niels' research.

Apart from the quality difference, there is a target group preference. KM is a general catalogue, aimed at the beginning and moderately advanced collector. Its information is almost by definition restricted. Niels is an advanced and specialised collector who likely needs more information than KM provides. In other words, even if KM knew, they might choose not to include the information that the mintmark is used only on proofs.

I wonder if the SM mintmark is also used on non-coin objects, such as medals...

Peter
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Figleaf on August 23, 2015, 10:27:58 PM
There are more books on mintmarks. Mine is in Dutch*. It lists over 1700 different marks and I think it is fairly incomplete. However, it includes a good number of non-mintmarks, such as marks of mint directors and mintmasters. One thread (several are used by more than one mint) on half of those marks in my book would be enough for a whole new board. It would be an interesting board, but know what you are getting into...

Peter


* Muntmerken, by Jindřich Marco, ISBN 9789060171455
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: onecenter on August 24, 2015, 02:29:29 AM
Nonetheless, The Standard Catalog of World Coins does distinguish between Singapore's own coins as either having or not having the Singapore mintmark, and in most cases, if not all, Singapore's proof coins are the issues with their mintmark while the circulating, bullion or base metal coins, do not.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 03:55:16 AM
, and in most cases, if not all,

That is exactly where the numismatists, looking for exception to the rule, love to work.
I remember that nearly 8 to 10 years ago, a dealer offered me a circulating commemorative coin of India at nearly 10 times the normal price, saying that the mint mark used on the coin was supposed to be meant for proof sets only. It was then that I came to know that many times , mints have separate mint marks for general coins and proof coins. If some one is interested, I could look  in to my records and attempt to locate it.
Title: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Bimat on August 24, 2015, 05:38:03 AM
I remember that nearly 8 to 10 years ago, a dealer offered me a circulating commemorative coin of India at nearly 10 times the normal price, saying that the mint mark used on the coin was supposed to be meant for proof sets only. It was then that I came to know that many times , mints have separate mint marks for general coins and proof coins. If some one is interested, I could look  in to my records and attempt to locate it.

Doesn't Mumbai mint still use different mint mark for proof coins ('M') and unc coins (A diamond above date)? Or has this practice been stopped now?

Aditya
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 06:53:09 AM
It does but diamond is below date for circulating coins, including commemoratives.
This case was a coin which was circulating commemorative with M mint mark.
How many of about 60 mints which strike proof sets, have a distinctive mint mark for proof sets?
Of 4 Indian mints, how many strike proof sets?
Title: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Bimat on August 24, 2015, 07:27:19 AM
How many of about 60 mints which strike proof sets, have a distinctive mint mark for proof sets?

Interesting question. None, apart from Mumbai mint IMO (see below). Kolkata mint also strikes proof sets but not with distinctive mint mark, Hyderabad issues only single coins in proof (and probably Noida too) but again, no distinctive mint mark.

Maltese €2 commemorative coins from BU set have mint mark(s), but the loose unc €2 CCs don't have any mint mark(s).

Aditya
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: dheer on August 24, 2015, 09:52:58 AM
Hyderabad issues only single coins in proof (and probably Noida too) but again, no distinctive mint mark.

Hyderabad issues UNC, both Single coins as well as 2 coin sets.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: dheer on August 24, 2015, 09:55:08 AM
Doesn't Mumbai mint still use different mint mark for proof coins ('M') and unc coins (A diamond above date)? Or has this practice been stopped now?

Mumbai mint used "B" when it was called Bombay, and changed to "M" when Bombay got renamed to Mumbai. It also used "U" on a lone UNC strike of Nehru in 1989.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 10:33:48 AM
Maltese €2 commemorative coins from BU set have mint mark(s), but the loose unc €2 CCs don't have any mint mark(s).

Malta does not have its own mint.
Their coins were made by Royal Dutch Mint and unc. sets has mint marks but not general circulation.

Dutch coins have mint marks on both sides and privy mark ( mint masters ) on one side.

To the best of my knowledge, Bombay or Mumbai is the only mint which has two different mint marks, depending on nature of coin. They changed from B to M in 1996.
The commem coin which came in to circulation with proof mint mark has been recorded in SCWC.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 10:47:18 AM
In other words, even if KM knew, they might choose not to include the information that the mintmark is used only on proofs.

Such information does get included in SCWC, depending on who is the contributor and if it makes difference in the price.
Under George, SCWC was very much dealer driven database since they constituted largest group of information provider as well as buyers. Even in Belgium, SCWC is a preferred source over WMK since it gives detailed pricing every year.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Figleaf on August 24, 2015, 11:21:04 AM
Dutch coins have mint marks on both sides and privy mark ( mint masters ) on one side.

Not sure what you mean here, but the sentence gives the wrong impression. On coins of the kingdom of the Netherlands, mintmark (usually caduceus) and mintmaster mark are on the same side. On earlier coins, mint marks (usually present) and any mintmaster marks may be on any side. There is also the question of the last letters of the legend. I can argue that after 1672, these should be seen as mintmarks on federal coinage, not distinguishing the coins of a separate provinces, as before 1672.

Peter
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Figleaf on August 24, 2015, 11:31:48 AM
Such information does get included in SCWC, depending on who is the contributor and if it makes difference in the price.

It is logically impossible that a mark, used consistently, (whether on all coins or on all proofs or even on all coins of a single type) can have an influence on price. I am not prepared to wade through KM to see if the info was added always, never or sometimes. I'll take your word for it that it depends on the whim of the contributor, except that pseudo-coin minters have a vested interest in noting such detail, so I suppose they saw to it that, where their stuff was concerned, it was most extensively reported on.

Peter
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 12:26:02 PM
What is "L L" with overlap indicates?
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Figleaf on August 24, 2015, 12:41:32 PM
I am sure you know the answer. On euro coins, it is the "signature" of the designer of the common side, Luc Luycks (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luc_Luycx). I am sure you also know that it is neither a mintmark, nor a mintmaster mark.

Peter
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 01:46:15 PM
This does not appear on euro coins of all the countries so I though that only some mints are supposed to or forced to put it, more as a mint mark than as a trad mark.

In other words, what would you call it when it appears.

and, what would you ascribe it to, when it does not appear on the coins, circulation or commemorative.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 02:03:10 PM
It is logically impossible that a mark, used consistently, (whether on all coins or on all proofs or even on all coins of a single type) can have an influence on price.

It is inconsistency of the mints that give rise to Mules, errors and die variations as well as errors of whole variety.
One of our forum members, Globetrotter, specialises in study of such mistakes, involuntary or otherwise.
when the numbers are conspicuous, SCWC will not hesitate in listing them and even assigning as separate KM#.
I have already enclosed a listing earlier and more can be listed but I also think that one example is enough.
Those who need to work on the subject, can always seek further directions from Globetrotter.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Pabitra on August 24, 2015, 02:05:20 PM
I can argue that after 1672, these should be seen as mintmarks on federal coinage, not distinguishing the coins of a separate provinces, as before 1672.

Oh no, Peter, I deal with current coins only.
Any coin before 2001 is antique for me.
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: brandm24 on December 18, 2020, 01:46:33 AM
The West Point, New York mint was built in 1937 and used initially as a silver bullion depository. It started miniting small denomination coins in limited quantities in the early 1970's but didn'tbecome an official branch mint until 1988. Today it strikes the American Eagle series of coins, American Buffalo Gold Bullion coins and various commemorative issues as authorized by Congress.

This gold $100 issue commemorates the 225th anniversity of American Liberty. The West Point mint mark (W) appears on the reverse below the eagle's right wing.

Bruce
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: Figleaf on December 18, 2020, 10:54:48 AM
Wow! A jeweller would make a better diadem, but otherwise, I think this is a really most excellent design. It ought to be used on a circulating coin to show another dimension of E pluribus unum.

Peter
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: brandm24 on December 19, 2020, 12:49:14 AM
I agree, it's a beautiful coin but the diadem is awkward. Your eye is drawn to it, while the beautiful portrait should be the main focus. As you probably expected, the portrait is an emblamatic representation of Liberty and not modeled after a real person...I think it resembles Halle Berry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halle_Berry) though. ;D

Bruce
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: brandm24 on December 19, 2020, 11:45:34 AM
The first US mint was established in 1792 in Philadelphia but didn't begin minting operations until March, 1793.

While all branch mints used mint marks, Philadelphia didn't until 1942 and then for only four years and only on nickel coins. The reason was the change in the alloy used to strike the "war nickels." Because of the strategic importance of nickel in the war effort, the content was reduce from 75% to 56%.  When the war ended in 1945 the use of the old alloy resumed but not until 1946. The use of the "P" mintmark was also discontinued..

 "P" mintmarks were finally added to all coins minted in Philadelphia starting in 1980, with the exception of the cent coin. They started marking cents beginning only in 2017.

Bruce
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: brandm24 on December 20, 2020, 01:40:29 PM
The short lived branch mint in Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co., Georgia was built in response to the so-called "Georgia Gold Rush". Gold was discovered on the Georgia end of what's known as the Appalachian Gold Belt in 1828. To help miners assay and mint their gold without having to travel to Philadelphia the Dahlonega Mint was established in 1838. Only gold coins in denominations of $1, $2.50, $3, and $5 were minted there. No copper or silver coins were ever struck at Dahlonega. In 1861 at the start of the Civil War, the mint was taken over by the Confederacy. After the war ended in1865 the government decided not to reopen it and it was abandoned. The building was destroyed by fire in 1878.

The "D" mint mark appears on the obverse of the coin just above the date. The "5.D" on the reverse stands for 5 Dollars and isn't related to the mint's identification.

Bruce
Title: Re: Mint marks on coins
Post by: brandm24 on December 21, 2020, 08:27:59 PM
The Appalachian Gold Belt stretched northward through South Carolina and was the site of another branch mint in Charlotte. The Charlotte mint was established under very similar circumstances as the Dahlonega, Georgia mint was. It was the northernmost reaches of gold discovered in the Appalachians to date and needed a facility to assay and mint miner's gold.

The earliest discovery of gold in South Carolina took place in 1799, but it wasn't until much later that the significance of it was understood. Finally in 1835 the US Government authorized the establishment of a minting facility in the region and selected Charlotte for its location. The facility started striking coins in July, 1837. As in Dahlonega, they struck only gold coins and in denominations of $1, $2 1/2, and $5. The mint used "C" as their mint mark which appears on the reverse under the eagle. In total they produced only 1.2 million coins so all Charlotte issues are rare.

When South Carolina seceeded from the Union at the start of the civil war in 1861, the Confederacy seized the facility and converted it into a hospital. After the war the building became an assay office until 1913.

Bruce