Author Topic: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp  (Read 171 times)

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Offline brandm24

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1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« on: June 07, 2020, 11:18:11 AM »
I'm not sure why this half penny is stamped with the seal of York, but feel it must be a commemorative or celebratory piece.

Apparently, York is known as the "city of festivals" and by information supplied on their website, it certainly appears to be the case. Would this be a commemoration of a special city event?

The only other thing that came to mind was that 1966 is the 900th anniversary of the Norman conquest of 1066. I don't know if this has a special meaning to the city or not, but I couldn't come up with anything else. BTW, the obverse is un-stamped.

Any explanation that you can think of?

Many thanks,

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2020, 11:25:41 AM »
In 1066 there were two invasions. The second by William is the famous one (because it was successful), but just before - and arguably the cause of William's success - Harold's army had defeated a Norwegian invasion and killed the king of Norway, Harald Hardrada. That battle happened at Stamford Bridge, not far from York, but previously the Norwegians had occupied York, apparently with a degree of support from the locals.

I've no idea whether the events of 1066 have anything to do with the counterstamp, but 1066 is perhaps even more significant for York specifically than for England as a whole.

Offline malj1

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Re: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2020, 01:09:10 PM »
Not necessarily dated 1966 as I think1966 or 67 were the last issued halfpennies so it would be legal to deface them now.

Other types of souvenirs are produced at the Jorvik Viking centre in York (closed at present due to covid 19)

see St Peter's Money replica
Malcolm
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Offline brandm24

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Re: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2020, 06:15:40 PM »
Many thanks to you both.

The stamp is very well executed and looks to be an official issue, perhaps by the city itself. The city claimed to have a festival nearly every week, so if this is to celebrate one of them it would be nearly impossible to pick the one.

By what you say, FosseWay, the celebrating of or at least the taking note of the Norman Conquest theory is still on the table. BTW, the picture doesn't show it, but the coin's color shows nearly full-red and appears to be brand new.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2020, 06:31:26 PM »
What Malcolm says is of course quite true - it's just the host coin that's 1966. For some reason when I first looked at the picture, I was convinced that the counterstamp itself had the date 1966.

The problem with the Battle of Hastings/Stamford Bridge idea is that there's no guarantee that coins of a given date are reliably available in that year. I don't know how things were in 1966, but during my collecting life in the UK it was the exception rather than the rule that the year's new coins were actually found in use that year. There's a big contrast with my experience of US new coins: although I've only ever been in the US for holidays, a week or two at a time, and only I think 5 times in my life, every time I have found some or all of the current year's new coinage in use.

So if the makers of the piece wanted specifically 1966-dated coins to commemorate something in that year, they would have had to be sure of getting hold of some - waiting till 1967 wouldn't really have cut it!

Offline brandm24

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Re: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2020, 09:56:01 PM »
What Malcolm says is of course quite true - it's just the host coin that's 1966. For some reason when I first looked at the picture, I was convinced that the counterstamp itself had the date 1966.

The problem with the Battle of Hastings/Stamford Bridge idea is that there's no guarantee that coins of a given date are reliably available in that year. I don't know how things were in 1966, but during my collecting life in the UK it was the exception rather than the rule that the year's new coins were actually found in use that year. There's a big contrast with my experience of US new coins: although I've only ever been in the US for holidays, a week or two at a time, and only I think 5 times in my life, every time I have found some or all of the current year's new coinage in use.

So if the makers of the piece wanted specifically 1966-dated coins to commemorate something in that year, they would have had to be sure of getting hold of some - waiting till 1967 wouldn't really have cut it!
You're points are well taken, so maybe the Norman conquest reference is stretching it a bit thin. I'll have to think further on this.

You're right, new American coins do enter circulation very quickly. There always seems to be a "contest" among collectors to see who gets the first ones. Something to do with bragging rights I suppose.

Bruce
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Offline malj1

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Re: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2020, 01:29:29 AM »
There was indeed a glut of halfpennies of 1966 with the mint producing over 95 million of them in that year, goodness knows why as it ceased to be legal tender in 1969. I well remember at that time all the advertising trying to sell these in bulk as a nice investment.
Malcolm
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Offline brandm24

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Re: 1966 Half Penny with York counterstamp
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2020, 12:04:00 PM »
There was indeed a glut of halfpennies of 1966 with the mint producing over 95 million of them in that year, goodness knows why as it ceased to be legal tender in 1969. I well remember at that time all the advertising trying to sell these in bulk as a nice investment.
That could be it, Mal. The city was marketing these coins as souvenirs to not only advertise but to bring in some revenue. Getting the die made would have been an expense, but getting a large number of the coins wouldn't have been costly or difficult to acquire.

Bruce
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