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Troubled coins

Started by Figleaf, March 25, 2008, 11:33:55 PM

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brandm24

Here's a picture of the Half Penny (1900) with the "Ireland / 1918" slogan. The coin is so worn and damaged that it's hard to tell if its counterstamped or crudely engraved...engraved I think.

In any case, the area of interest to me is the markings in the field of the coin in front of the portrait's face. I can't tell if they're damage or an attempt at further engraving of the piece. By reexamining the coin, I still have no explanation as to what it means. I can't decipher the marks in the field, so I'm at a standstill. Any ideas?

Sorry for the bad picture. It's the best I could do for this very dark coin.

Bruce
Always Faithful

eurocoin

EA? Initials of the person who engraved it? Just a guess.

brandm24

I thought that might be an "E" too, eurocoin. You may be right about the second being "A" and the two together being the initials of the maker. I can't think of any appropriate phrase with this acronym, at least in a political context.

I would love to be able to clean this coin a bit to remove some of the dirt and grime so as to reveal the devices in a better light. I rarely clean counterstamped / engraved coins, but some are so hard to decipher it's necessary. I used to have a neutral solvent that I used. It would remove grime and contaminants, but not change the color or surfaces. I don't have any presently, mainly because it's very expensive.

Thanks for your comment.

Bruce
Always Faithful

malj1

I have lightened the image and enhanced a little but can't make out what is there, If rotated left a W can be seen at right of mark.

I see 03 at left ???  inverted.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

brandm24

I'm going to have to dig out the coin and put it under my scope again. I think this one is undecipherable, but I'll go another round with it. It drives me crazy when I can't figure out these things.

Thanks , Mal and eurocoin for your observations.

Bruce
Always Faithful

stef

Thanks for the interesting thread. I just found in a junk box an "UV" stamped irish florin from 1961. Without this thread I woldn't even notice it.

Figleaf

Good for you, Stef. Is your coin anything like the one in reply 34 of this thread?

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

brandm24

Glad you found the thread, Stef.

Most of the Vanguard stamps are fairly rare including yours. The most common is probably the "V" stamp.

Well, you're one up on me. I've never found a single example of any political counterstamp in a junk box or anywhere at a coin show here in the U.S. If you could take a picture and post it, I'd like to see it. Thanks much.

Bruce
Always Faithful

stef

#68
I didn't post the image as it is like the coin in reply 34. Here is my coin:

brandm24

Thanks for the picture, Stef.

Yours is a nice original piece, probably stamped in the 1970s. There are a fair number of modern fakes...many different slogans / acronyms...that have shown up in the past several years. Most of them seem to have gone away recently, but not all.

Bruce
Always Faithful

brandm24

I acquired this interesting stamped coin about 2 years ago from a man in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.

This is a 1937 / 1946 style Half Crown made into a key ring by a Loyalist prisoner in Maze Prison likely in the mid 1970s to the 1980s. The ring was included with it, though I haven't pictured it. The coin and the hole both show heavy wear, so it was used for some time. The UDA (Ulster Defence Association) badge is colored in with paint or ink. The motto "Quis Separabit" translates to "Who shall separate us".

Many items were made by prisoners, including leather goods, jewelry boxes, prison art, etc. and sold on the outside to raise money for prisoner's families. I also have two small leather key rings and a wallet, the wallet being marked and dated by the maker. These were acquired more recently from a different source.

I'd be interested in any information anyone has about this prison art. Also, I'm guessing about the date range of the host coin, as it's so heavily worn. Any help on that would be appreciated too.

Bruce

Always Faithful

FosseWay

Re the date range of the host coin - I think you're right on 1937-46 and won't be able to get it more precise than that unless you can see more detail in hand than we can on the picture. The colour is very typical of worn 50% silver, so I think we can rule out 1947-48 (same design but cupro-nickel).

Figleaf

I think you are quite right that the coin was counterstamped, not engraved. I see four counterstamps, shield plus motto, crown and the decorations on the sides of the shield. As far as I can see, the stamps are of equal depth, both compared to each other and within designs, i.e. the counterpunches and host were placed perfectly horizontally at the time of stamping. The grooves were filled with black ink and the black ink in the hand design was covered by red ink. It looks like the ink was perfectly well distributed and did not flow over the lines (perhaps with the exception of the center lower part of the band of the crown, though that may have been a technical necessity.) Looking at the straight lines, it seems obvious that the stamps were professionally made. The only sign of amateurism I could discover is the abandoned attempt to make a hole at the wrong place. This may have been done at another place by a different person, who turned a propaganda medal into a key hanger.

It is not credible that a prisoner, working clandestinely, would have all the skills and access to the machines required to produce this effect. I could well imagine that the skills and machines were available in e.g. Belfast, but not inside a prison.

As for dating, there are some clues here. My best guess would be 1975-1985, making the host someone's "lucky coin".

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

brandm24

Quote from: FosseWay on July 23, 2019, 08:14:06 AM
Re the date range of the host coin - I think you're right on 1937-46 and won't be able to get it more precise than that unless you can see more detail in hand than we can on the picture. The colour is very typical of worn 50% silver, so I think we can rule out 1947-48 (same design but cupro-nickel).
I ruled out the cupro-nickel too because of color. I examined the coin very closely, and I think the 1937-1946 range is correct.

Bruce
Always Faithful

brandm24

Quote from: Figleaf on July 23, 2019, 08:52:54 AM
I think you are quite right that the coin was counterstamped, not engraved. I see four counterstamps, shield plus motto, crown and the decorations on the sides of the shield. As far as I can see, the stamps are of equal depth, both compared to each other and within designs, i.e. the counterpunches and host were placed perfectly horizontally at the time of stamping. The grooves were filled with black ink and the black ink in the hand design was covered by red ink. It looks like the ink was perfectly well distributed and did not flow over the lines (perhaps with the exception of the center lower part of the band of the crown, though that may have been a technical necessity.) Looking at the straight lines, it seems obvious that the stamps were professionally made. The only sign of amateurism I could discover is the abandoned attempt to make a hole at the wrong place. This may have been done at another place by a different person, who turned a propaganda medal into a key hanger.

It is not credible that a prisoner, working clandestinely, would have all the skills and access to the machines required to produce this effect. I could well imagine that the skills and machines were available in e.g. Belfast, but not inside a prison.

As for dating, there are some clues here. My best guess would be 1975-1985, making the host someone's "lucky coin".

Peter
There was nothing clandestine about these "manufacturing" programs in the prisons...they were encouraged to keep the inmates occupied.

The skill level I've seen ranges from amateurish to highly skilled, particularly in leather goods and wood working. One man who I've became acquainted with was a former UVF prisoner in both the Maze and Crumlin Road jails who learned leather working while incarcerated. He later started a business with his sons in Spain making hand-tooled leather products.

Bruce
Always Faithful