Well it’s been a long time since I last wrote. Retirement has kept me pretty busy at my church having delivered the morning sermon last Sunday and again tomorrow. With all that I am doing, I have a whole new appreciation of pastors. However, I’m not writing about my outside exploits today but my numismatic ones.
You see while I have been busy with church activities, I have been amassing several new purchases along the way including a new book! I also served as kind of a consultant for a Coin World writer who is publishing an article about Laura Gardin Fraser in the next issue. Oh, and I will have to write about the podcast I recorded for Coin World that is still being edited. But today I’m writing about a Spanish provisional government pattern I got in the mail this week from an e-bay seller in of all places, Argentina.
First the new book. I haven’t got it yet but it is on order from Wizard Coin Supply. The book is by Roger Burdette entitled, “Girl On The Silver Dollar.” It is Roger’s contention that the girl that graces the Morgan Dollar is not Anna Williams and I have long wanted to know why not.
These are indeed exciting times and without further ado, let me get into the meat of my blog.
After the 1868 ouster of Queen Isabella II from the throne in Spain came a new provisional government and new coinage. Without a royal on the throne these exciting new coins featured the feminine personification of Spain, Hispania. I started collecting these coins years ago for my seated imagery collection but it has been a rough go. Because most of the coins circulated very few of them survive today in MS condition. Fortunately, I have been able to purchase all the copper coins in MS condition but the silver coins are difficult and expensive to obtain in that condition. My highest grading silver coin is AU-53. I am still missing three of the silver coins in my collection and need a miracle to get the 20-Centimos silver coin with a mintage of 5000 and a survivability today much lower. However, I digress. Back to the point of toady’s blog.
Since I am a guy who only started collecting these for their design, I wanted to have at least one coin with design features as crisp as if they were just struck. In this copper pattern I get all that and them some. The relief on the pattern is much higher and sharper than that on any of the coins, bar none! When I happened upon the e-bay listing by accident I couldn’t believe it. Because it was an overseas seller, I hesitated a little. When I saw that he had an excellent feedback percentage with over 11,000 replies I placed a reasonable snip bid on what is now the first pattern in my collection. I won the auction with a bid that is about half of what certified examples had sold for at Heritage.
Still this pattern has a few drawbacks with some sort of foreign residue on the obverse and around the rims and lettering but most important NO mechanical damage. There does not appear to be any nicks or scratches in any of the fields! Yesterday, I sent my pattern off to NCS for conservation that I hope leads to a good grade.
With that I am starting a new custom set over at Collectors Society entitled, “The Coinage of the Spanish Provisional Government.” It is populated with all the coins I currently own including my new purchase albeit in “want” status until it is graded. There is a lot of information I have collected and saved that I will have to shake the dust from but it all leads to a great start to a new set! If you look there is a rabbit at the feet of Hispania on the pattern that is not on any of the coins. This design feature goes all the way back to Hadrian and the Roman Empire but for now I can’t remember what the rabbit signifies. I digress again! You know I’m getting excited by all the rambling on!
Thus, I will leave you with a link to my new set. https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/WCM/CoinCustomSetView.aspx?s=28027
Oh BTW, I’m also posting a Germania Mint medal I just purchased featuring you guessed it, “The Allegories.” Germania and Britannia are the first in the series. Germania and Columbia are next! This looks like it will be a pretty cool series of medals that I will want to collect. Gary