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Replica Kew Gardens 50p

Started by Alan71, April 25, 2017, 09:15:53 AM

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Alan71

I've recently discovered that there are replica Kew Gardens 50p coins around.  I saw one in a collectors' shop the other day, and have since seen them on eBay.

Both the shop and the eBay listings make it clear they are copies/replicas and not for circulation, and that they are space-fillers for those without a genuine one.

The one in the shop, and the photos on eBay, give the impression they might be nickel-plated steel as they look too bright to be cupro-nickel.  Also, they look almost proof-like.  I'm also assuming the weight isn't going to be right.  Both the obverse and reverse designs look quite good.

Are they legal?  I don't mean as money, I mean as replicas?


mrbadexample

Are they legal? No idea to be honest. Plenty of those sold on ebay are not identified as fakes, unfortunately.   >:(

The fakes have the lines either side of the word KEW on the reverse, and the tip of The Queen's neck points to the E rather than P of PENCE.

Alan71

Quote from: mrbadexample on April 25, 2017, 11:30:55 AM
Are they legal? No idea to be honest. Plenty of those sold on ebay are not identified as fakes, unfortunately.   >:(

The fakes have the lines either side of the word KEW on the reverse, and the tip of The Queen's neck points to the E rather than P of PENCE.
Interesting.  I'm late to this party as I didn't know this.  Now I know what to look for, I just found a replica being passed off as genuine on eBay, with 18 bids going up to £62.  I reported it but the reporting is weak - doesn't give the option to say what's wrong with it.

I'm almost tempted to check the circulation one I have in my collection, bought off eBay long before it was announced how rare it was.

Also, I never realised the design actually included the word "Kew"!

andyg

There are more than one lot of replicas out there,
The one pictured above has "copy" after IRB - but not all do.
They can be bought reasonably cheaply from a certain Chinese website.

The situation with regard to legality I assume is similar to the fake pound coins - ie. It is not strictly illegal to own one if you are not planning to spend it or trying to sell it as genuine.   

More here though which does seem to contradict what I've just written, although this person did buy 4000.....
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Figleaf

The greatest irony is that in fact, the coin is not scarce. The UK mint just hyped it to the extent that the get-rich-quickly crowd started hoarding it. Unfortunately, coin prices tend to be sticky downward, even when they ought to come down significantly, so post-hype owners will have to wait for decades before they can expect to play even before inflation, let alone make a profit on their "investment". Also, the fakes will be with us forever. In that sense, the overblown marketing hype led to long-term unintended consequences. Will the lesson be heeded?

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

Alan71

I'm wondering how it actually compares with the 1992-93 EU Conference Table 50p.  We know that only 109,000 of those were struck for circulation, compared with 210,000 Kew Gardens, but I'm not sure if more proof and Brilliant Uncirculated versions of the EU one were produced.  2009 was before the massive price hiking for sets but also before the mass interest in coins caused by the Olympic 50p series and the Kew Gardens "rarity" news itself.

At one point, 100,000 proof sets were issued per year and an "unlimited" number of uncirculated sets, but the proof set figure was reduced at some point.

mrbadexample

Quote from: Alan71 on April 25, 2017, 09:43:53 PM
Now I know what to look for, I just found a replica being passed off as genuine on eBay, with 18 bids going up to £62.  I reported it but the reporting is weak - doesn't give the option to say what's wrong with it.

His listing states: "For anyone that just wants a look a like to put in the collection without spending loads of money. Here you are."

so he'll probably get away with it. Some buyers clearly don't read the listing.

Alan71

Not sure they did get away with it!  I wasn't watching it but it was in my "recently viewed items".  However, when I actually go into the listing it says "this listing has been removed or this item is not available".

http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/252877964293

chrisild

Try this one then. "Kew gardens 50p- Copy WIthout The IRB COPY Under The Queens Head" ... ::)

Christian

Alan71

#9
Quote from: mrbadexample on April 25, 2017, 11:30:55 AM
The fakes have the lines either side of the word KEW on the reverse, and the tip of The Queen's neck points to the E rather than P of PENCE.
I've made a discovery tonight... two types of Kew Gardens 50p coins were issued by the Royal Mint.  Those in sets, plus the silver proof version, have the lines either side of the word "KEW" that mrbadexample describes.  The version issued for circulation does not have these.

I haven't checked all three of the "sets" versions I have (I have two base metal proof and one BU, all bought in 2009) but the one I did check (40th Anniversary 16-coin base metal proof 50p set, October 2009) does have these lines.  The circulation one I have (bought off eBay, but well before the Mint announced how rare they were) doesn't have these lines.  The point of the Queen's neck on the obverse points to "P" of PENCE.

Sadly this means my instant identification of fakes on eBay listings is no longer accurate, though the obverse differences are still reliable.

From my 2009 40th Anniversary 50p set (direct from Royal Mint, October 2009):


My circulation example (eBay purchase, 2010 or 2011):


The full set of 2009 50p 40th anniversary coins: