From the Grading Room: Unique 1928 South Africa 6P

Posted on 4/29/2010

Recently certified by NGC is this recently discovered South Africa 6 pence, dated 1928. It is the only known example bearing this date.

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The coin was first spotted in an English country auction where it was cataloged with an unusual notation: the coin's date was not listed in the standard series reference. It was purchased by a dealer who had a strong suspicion about its origin. Although he had no doubt about the coin's authenticity, he sent it first to South Africa, where a number of experts examined the coin, all declaring it genuine. The coin itself, as a unique discovery piece, created a sensation among collectors of South African coins, who marveled that this discovery took more than 80 years to occur. From South Africa, the coin was sent to the United States to be certified and encapsulated by NGC.

The dies for South African coins of this era were manufactured in England and then sent to South Africa for use in coinage production. Mysteriously, six pence dies of this year were not shipped and no pieces dated 1928 were struck in South Africa. Other denominations of coins were produced in that year, however, and it is not certain why the six pence was omitted.

Numismatists believe the coin was produced in England as a specimen piece. It has shallow mirrored fields, a crisp strike and squared rims, similar to all South African presentation coinage of this era. It is also struck on a .925 fine silver planchet, while coins struck for circulation in South Africa are only .800 fine. It has a deep amber patina and is remarkably well preserved, evidence that it resided in the possession of a collector since it was struck.

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From the Grading Room is an occasional feature on this site in which we highlight some of the unusual, interesting and special coins submitted to NGC for certification.

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