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1970 Halfpenny Trial

Started by Deeman, November 14, 2022, 01:12:08 PM

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Deeman

Royal Mint experimental trial halfpenny, 1970, struck in chrome plated iron (Fe 86%; Cr 12%).

<k>

What is the story behind this piece? Wikipedia states that the predecimal half penny ceased to be legal tender from 31 July 1969.

So what was the point of a half penny dated 1970?
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Alan71

There is a proof of the old half penny dated 1970, along with other pre-decimal coins (including the half crown, which had also been demonetised by that point).  It was struck in bronze.

This can't be a trial of the new half penny as that had already been issued in sets in 1968 (though dated 1971).

Was this merely a trial to test the new alloy, and the old half penny design was used simply because it was available and matched the size they wanted?  If so, did the Royal Mint issue a chrome-plated iron coin for another country?

<k>

Quote from: Alan71 on November 14, 2022, 02:05:54 PMThis can't be a trial of the new half penny as that had already been issued in sets in 1968 (though dated 1971).

It certainly cannot. The decimal half penny of 1971 onward was much smaller than the predecimal half penny.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Deeman

Don't know the story behind the trial halfpenny. I was searching info on another topic and came across it, so I posted it hoping someone would know the background behind it. It was sold at a Spink auction and the only info given I have published.

Interestingly, I also came across this 20-cent trial.
Experimental trial, pattern for a 20-cent coin, dated 1981, but struck c. 1994-1996, in nickel-silver. Obverse, ROYAL MINT TRIAL, emblems of the UK below, orb within. Reverse, EXPERIMENTAL COIN 1981, crown and Royal shield, tower and rose flanking, ROYAL MINT in scroll beneath.

Alan71

Again I'm scratching my head.  Why would they make a trial of what looks like a 20p coin, date it 1981 and strike it between 1994 and 1996?  And why is it referred to as a twenty cent rather than twenty pence?

They were producing trial coins dated 1994 and produced that year, but they were for the smaller 50p and bi-metal £2.

Figleaf

The second pattern shows that the date on a pattern is not necessarily the date  the die was used. I think that also goes for the first pattern.

There is no case for the experiment (striking a chrome plated iron coin) around decimalisation time. At that time, the reasoning was to maintain the technical specifications of the shilling and florin and starting from scratch for the ½, 1, 2 and 50 pence.

There is a case for the experiment in the 1980s. There were increasing worries over the cost of making coins. Between 1984 and 1992, no 10 pence were struck for circulation. It makes sense to think about an "el cheapo" version of the 10p in the period 1984 to 1992. I think the first pattern was part of that thinking.

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

<k>

Quote from: Deeman on November 14, 2022, 03:47:04 PMExperimental trial, pattern for a 20-cent coin, dated 1981, but struck c. 1994-1996, in nickel-silver.

Whoever wrote that up got it wrong.

First off, calling it 20 cents instead of pence suggests that an American wrote the description.


We already have a topic about those pieces:

UK 1981 Trial 20p


Mrs. Thatcher was given a trial 20 pence and pound coin to examine around 1980.

I have written about it somewhere on the forum.
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<k>

Regarding the trial 20 pence.

See: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage.

Also look at the two posts after that one.
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Deeman

Quote from: <k> on November 14, 2022, 05:37:19 PMWhoever wrote that up got it wrong.
First off, calling it 20 cents instead of pence suggests that an American wrote the description.

Apparently it was for Euro trials

<k>

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Deeman

Did you know that the Royal Mint produced a 1961 pattern set in cents?

<k>

Quote from: Deeman on November 18, 2022, 07:51:05 PMDid you know that the Royal Mint produced a 1961 pattern set in cents?

Of course I know that. I posted about it long since.

UK trial decimal coins of 1961


That's an entirely different matter from this half penny trial.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.