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UK 1912H penny

Started by geohag, October 26, 2022, 10:49:39 AM

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Hello to everyone here and thanks for allowing me to join.  I collected coins from change in circulation while at school in the 60s. Unfortunately, they have just sat in a drawer since then, but after watching a few videos on youtube recently I had a look through them.  I have a 1912H penny which is undersized at  only 29.59mm dia and 1.58mm thick. Most of the outer rim is missing and after close inspection I am satisfied that this is how it left the mint as there are punch marks on the outer edge confirming it has not been filed down. I have not found any reference to this type of error on the internet so I am hoping that someone on here can put me right.
Thanking you in advance.




The edge confirms it as been modified as the original edge was plain.

Compare your coin with an image of an unmodified coin and it will be obvious that metal has been removed. This isn't an error, it is all damage/modification after it entered circulation.


The absence of a rim proves that the coin has post mint damage it has been filed down and was probably being modified as a jewellery piece
All coins are equal but some are more equal than others


Welcome to WoC geohag! May you have a lot of fun here. Here's a little tip: at the top of the list of topics of many board are some sticky threads. They are indicated with a red pin in the column Subject / Started by. For instance, there are 7 stickies in the sub-board Pre-decimal coins and trade tokens. I bet you'll find them interesting.

On your piece, I agree it was doctored outside the mint. That opens the question why it was done. The coin wasn't filed down by much (less than a mm), so it was a precision job done for a precision purpose. There are no traces of silvering or gilding and there's no reason to file it down to make it suitable for jewellery.

My guess is that it was smallified so that it could pass for a more valuable foreign coin in a vending machine. Let me give you an example. At 30 mm, it would be the same size as a copper Indian ½ anna, as struck until 1893. It would be considerably lighter, but there were vending machines that checked only on size, notably those accepting telephone tokens. However, there were and are very few vending machines in India, so the example doesn't work.

I think it is more likely that your coin was to pass for a token than for a foreign coin. If you bought it from the UK, the token may be British. The best candidate I found with some quick searches is a Brazilian telephone token. Since this coin circulated until 1969, the date may fit. A call in Brazil must have cost more than a UK halfpenny. Still, how did the halfpenny end up in Brazil?

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


Thanks to all for taking the time to respond to me. At least my interest in old coinage has been re-ignited and I am enjoying finding so much info again.