Author Topic: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece  (Read 588 times)

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Offline eurocoin

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Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« on: May 19, 2019, 09:32:33 PM »
In September of 2016, rumours started to spread that the mint was planning to introduce a bimetallic 50p coin by 2020. Not much was heard about that since, until earlier today a trial piece for a bimetallic 50p coin was sold on Ebay. The Royal Mint usually produces trial pieces specifically for the vending industry so they can change the settings of their machines. The piece sold for 150 pounds.

It seems that the information may well have been correct.


Offline Deeman

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 09:45:41 PM »
The description read:
"Royal Mint Trial Old Size 50 Pence Piece. Very Rare. Same on both sides.
pre 1969 issue of the 50 pence piece. Undated."

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 09:46:41 PM »
The description read:
"Royal Mint Trial Old Size 50 Pence Piece. Very Rare. Same on both sides.
pre 1969 issue of the 50 pence piece. Undated."

The description is incorrect. This was with 100% certainty made in the last few years.

Offline <k>

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2019, 09:51:09 PM »
Isn't that the Tower Mint mark at top left? If so, that cannot be a recent piece.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2019, 09:57:32 PM »
Seems odd that they would make a trial piece in the pre-1997 size. I'm wondering whether the eBay description is wrong on this count too.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2019, 10:07:36 PM »
Isn't that the Tower Mint mark at top left? If so, that cannot be a recent piece.

The Royal Mint has continued to use the Tower Mint mark on its trial strikes until well after their branch there had closed. Apparently they still use it up until this day.

Offline <k>

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 10:08:59 PM »
I see.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2019, 10:16:05 PM »
Deeman, do you have the url of the Ebay ad? As more often with Ebay, I can't find it. Not even with the title and full description.

Offline Deeman

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2019, 10:24:28 PM »
Search 50p trial, then choose the option 'Sold Listings'.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2019, 10:40:42 PM »
The ad can be found here: Royal Mint Trial Old Size 50 Pence Piece. Very Rare | eBay (Scroll down to see it).



The metallic composition of this trial piece also matches exactly with the detailed rumour back in 2016 which mentioned a silver outer and gold-coloured inner part.

Offline Alan71

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2019, 11:35:29 PM »
The design on that trial piece isn’t the current Royal Mint logo but an older one.

There wouldn’t be any logic in changing the coin.  There haven’t been any reports of forgeries in circulation and, with new coin issues being reduced because of increased use of electronic payments, why on earth would they remove every existing 50p from circulation to replace it en masse?

The 50p, at eight grammes, can’t get any smaller (it’s just 1.5 grammes heavier than the 10p, and the 2p is less that a gramme lighter).  It was re-sized in 1997, and as the 5p and 10p were changed to steel earlier in this decade without changing their specifications, I very much doubt there’s anything in this.  We have two bi-metal denominations now and that’s enough.

The 1997 change was done because the old-size coin no longer fitted in with other coins after the early 1990s re-sizings of the 5p and 10p.  It would make no sense whatsoever to make the coin larger again.

There was some talk in 1994 of the 50p becoming bi-metal but this may just have been The Mail On Sunday getting its facts wrong.  By the time the review got underway properly, there were just two alternatives to the larger coin: the smaller version eventually chosen and a smaller round coin.  If there was ever a bi-colour version, it was ruled out at an earlier stage of the review.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 11:48:47 PM by Alan71 »

Offline Deeman

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 12:28:17 AM »
Prior to the Reuleaux polygon being adopted, lengthy discussions were undertaken for the design of the new 50p coin, and one design that was shunned was for a ‘silver’ circle within a ‘gold’ circle as later adopted for the £2 coin.
I wonder if an unrecorded trial/pattern piece for a Reuleaux polygon with a gold circle contained within a silver outer was made?

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 07:39:03 AM »
Is there any chance that this is a fake?

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 08:49:57 AM »
Is there any chance that this is a fake?

That is impossible.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Unknown Royal Mint trial piece
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 08:54:48 AM »
That is impossible.

Why? As we all know, fakers are getting better and better - and it is surely easier to fake something that doesn't exist than copy an existing coin that may then not bear comparison with the original. I just wondered whether e.g. the Chinese fake factories had cottoned on to the higher level of demand for trial pieces. I'm just trying to find an explanation for a 30 mm piece made after 1997.