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Belgium centime 1902

Started by mrbadexample, August 30, 2018, 08:28:09 PM

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Evening all. :)

I recently picked up this 1902 centime. I think it's probably 1902/1801, as listed in SCWC. The overdate on the 1 is clear, but over the 8 not quite so much, so I'm just after a second opinion really.


I have no doubt that your id is correct. Nice find! TFP.

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


Thanks Peter. Unusual to see that many possible overdates in a single year - I wonder what they were playing at?  :D


I guess they expected to be minting this type in 1899, so they prepared dies with 18 and relied on punches for the 99. Pretty much standard procedure at this time and it explains the eights and zeroes.

My scenario for the "near" and "far" variants is that the last two digits were put in by hand, without the guidance the 9 punch had with the place of the eight. That made for small variations, because a 1 is narrower than the other numbers in the date. One mint worker decided that all figures should have the same space. Another spaced them by width - this is known as kerning. That still doesn't explain why the fourth digit was overstruck and why there is a "far" two variant. Chaos and confusion, maybe? Also, I am not sure KM got it right. Maybe our member Aernout can advise.

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


Over de 9 over de 8:

Het antwoord is te wijten aan het gebruik van de stempels. We zien dat de 18 (begin van het jaartal) stabieler is. de cijfers erachter hebben dit minder. Vermoedelijk werden er moederstempels gemaakt met de cijfers 18 al op, later werden de laatste cijfers er aan toegevoegd bv. 69 om 1869 te hebben. Ik vermoed ook dat men niet dacht (in 1869)dat dit munt type zolang ging mee gaan. Wanneer men dan in 1900 (31 jaar later) kwam zat men nog steeds met de stempels met 18.. op. Het goedkoopste is dan 9 over de 8 te slaan of de stempel te hergebruiken. Dit verklaar waarom (bijna alle ?) jaartallen zo'n overslag kennen 1901, 1902...1907. Voor alle duidelijk dit is geen misslag, maar moedwillige aanpassingen. Hopelijk is de korte uitleg wat duidelijk ?

De stand van de cijfer, hier bv. 2

De cijfers werden per stempel aangeslagen. Vandaar er veel datum varianten bestaan met betrekking tot de positie van de cijfers...


(google translate)

Over the 9 over the 8:

The answer is due to the use of the dies. We see that the 18 (beginning of the year) is more stable. the chiffres behind this have this less. Presumably, mother die were created with the numbers 18 already on, later the last numbers were added eg 69 to have 1869. I also suspect that they did not think (in 1869) that this coin type would last as long. When they arrived in 1900 (31 years later) they still sat with the dies with 18 .. on. The cheapest way is to restruck 9 over the 8 or reuse the die. This explains why (almost all?) Years have such a overdate 1901, 1902 ... 1907. For all clearty this is no misstruck, but willful adjustments. Hopefully the short explanation is clear?

The position of the number, here eg 2

The numbers were stamped per stamp. Hence there are many date variants with regard to the position of the numbers ...

Best regards,
Start small to end magnificent - Start klein om groots te eindigen.



I think you're wrong, first it's a KM#34.1, since it's in Flemish and not French (km33.1)! Hence, the over date is wrongly interpreted as well, since it's 1902 over 1901, as indicated in SCWC, see attachment. I have made the corresponding documentation based on the images found here, since they are better than mine, and the 1902 normal date coin from my collection.

I hope mrbadexample is OK with that?


I cannot quite remember but there must be a Belgian book with good info on these overdates. Perhaps before being sure of which pieces are shown in this topic, find a better book.

The SCWC lists "1902/802 FAR 2" and "1902/801" for KM-33.1

If SCWC listed "1902/802 FAR 2" and "1902/801" for KM-34.1, or if some other book listed such pieces, then some may consider those to be what can be seen in Ole's set of images. Though the "1902/801" could well be a "1902/1801".

These are rather small date digits. An image of a pre-1900 date on Belgium KM-33.1 or KM-34.1 would be useful as neither "9" in the images presented by Ole seems to be "normal".

Then I found this... There is a Belgium KM-34.1 listed as "1902/802" in high grade currently listed here...

Their expert is the author of the "well known official catalogue for Belgian coins and banknotes (Morin catalogue)".

Thanks Mr Paul Baker


To me a good book on Belgian coins is "Catalogus van Belgische Numismatische Uitgiften" by Laurens Aernout: our member Aernout, who reacted above. He argues that on the early issues of the 1 centiem and the 1 centime, the first two digits of the date, 18, are always well aligned, while the third and fourth digits are less well aligned and concludes that the dies were made including 18, the first two digits, while the last two numbers of the date were punched in separately. This is in accordance with practices in many other countries and I suggest we accept this reasoning.

Having done so, we can discard the far 2 and far 1 variety as the simple consequence of the last two digits being re-punched. See my post above.

A problem arose in 1900: the master die included the numbers 18 of the date. The cheapest way to solve this problem was to use a nine punch on the 8. This fully explains the 1901 French variety 9 over 8 signalled by Aernout.

Now, the mint seems to have over-estimated the demand for 1 centiem/centime coins in 1901. At the end of the year 1901, they had some perfectly good 1901 dies left. These were recycled by punching a 2 over the last 1. Since on some dies the 8 had already been over-punched with a 9, the result was 1902, with either 9/8 AND 2/1 or 1902 with 2/1 only. Aernout lists only the latter, but the pictures in this thread show that the former exists also.

That leaves only 1901/899, as listed in KM. It is a bit less likely over-punch, but it is possible that dies prepared for 1899 coins were lying around until coinage of 1 centime/centiem coins was resumed in 1901. I would like to see a picture of this over-punch before accepting it.

Note that the situation is the same for the French and the Dutch version, except that the 1901 9/8 variety is only found for the French version.

To sum up, proven 1902 varieties are a) 9/8 as well as 2/1 and b) 2/1 only. Other variants are, in the words of KM, "reported, not confirmed".

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