UPDATE: An interesting mess…NCS slab and a possible improper details attribution
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In one of my late night strolls through eBay I came across a coin in an NCS holder marked as “EF Details Plated”. Normally I would not think twice about it and go on, but this was a somewhat unusual case. The coin was a 1797 SoHo issue twopence. For those of you who are not familiar with this coin, it is a fairly large and heavy copper piece.  It would make no sense for someone to plate this in hopes of passing it off as a gold coin to an unsuspecting merchant; however, I realize that there are a host of other reasons why some might want to plate a coin. Nonetheless, I decided to check it out.

I knew from prior experience that there are really only 17 (18-19 depending on how you view it) varieties of the 1797 twopence pieces. Of which, only 1 is a currency strike (Peck-1077). The others are either proofs or restrikes according to Peck. The quickest way to tell the proofs apart is to look at the reverse. Are there two sets of waves or three? If there are three sets of wave crests than you can focus your attention on a smaller subset of the known varieties (Peck-1067-1076; 1078-1079). Peck 1067-1076 used the same obverse and reverse dies; however, were struck at different times. Peck 1067-1069 can be distinguished from Peck 1070-1076 by the presence of several long and protruding die cracks along the rims of the obverse and reverse that are not as apparent or completely absent on Peck-1067-1069. To this extent, the die cracks along the broad rim of the coin tell a very important story. Likewise, one can distinguish between 1067-1076 and 1078-1079 by the presence of a prominent die crack protruding from the hair curl above the right shoulder and extending to the rim below the bust. The absence of this prominent die crack would point one in the direction of 1067-1076.  The coin in question does not have the prominent die crack found on Peck-1078-1079, nor are the stops drilled out which lead me to focus on Peck-1067-1076. General details for these varieties as follows (pictures are included when I was able to find an attributed example online):

Peck-1067 Gilt (die cracks rule this out)

1214280648_1067Obv.(3).jpg.7f4aca4e71d51d57a111b77d4e611ef9.jpg1670205458_1067Rev.(3).jpg.bc45ba1901a047f4840a4d79325dc58c.jpg

Peck-1068 Bronzed (die cracks rule this out)

Peck-1069 Copper (die cracks rule this out)

1995614700_1069Obv.(2).jpg.cc4e2883e2d189aeff70fe37c858f2d0.jpg87331136_1069Rev.(2).jpg.20dfb0263006200f3de7f8e7865d84f7.jpg

Peck-1070 Gold (obviously not this one)

Peck-1071 Silver (obviously not this one)

Peck-1072 Silver- Thin 3-3.5 mm flan (obviously not this one)

Peck-1073 Gilt

Peck-1074 Gilt- Thin 3-3.5 mm flan (thickness is closer to 5mm and not 3-3.5mm)

Peck-1075 Bronzed- not to be confused with a proof coin struck on a bronze planchet

Peck-1076 Bronzed- Thin 3-3.5 mm flan (thickness is closer to 5mm and not 3-3.5mm)

Peck-1076A Copper- Thin 3-3.5 mm flan (thickness is closer to 5mm and not 3-3.5mm)

I was able to find pictures of Peck-1067-1069 which all show the very weak to non-existent die cracks that I discussed above. The coin in question has very prominent die cracks and as such this leads me to believe it cannot be Peck-1067-1069. This really leaves us with Peck-1073-1076. I was able to locate a picture of 1073 but I could not find one for 1074-1076. Note the prominence of the die crack on both the obverse and reverse. They mirror that of the coin in question.

There are numerous other differences between the earlier and later striking of these dies but they cannot be easily detected by pictures which is why I have decided to focus on the die cracks. This leaves us to ponder the difference between the thin and normal thickness and the differences between a bronzed coin and gilt coin. This coin is in an NCS slab so getting a hard set measure of the thickness is impossible; however, as best as I can tell it is much closer to the standard 5 mm than the 3-3.5 mm thickness of the thin pieces. As such, I ruled out a few other possibilities. By deduction, this leaves us with Peck-1073 and Peck-1075. It is possible that someone could have decided to plate a bronzed proof so I do not have a foolproof way to eliminate this possibility: however, this coin lacks the fine-grained texture one would expect to see on a bronzed proof piece. It remains possible that the plating process removed this, but it seems unlikely. This leads me to conclude that this coin is probably Peck-1073 and in fact, should be a gilt proof which makes the “Plated” attribute all the more confusing.

I know I did not do the best job explaining my thought process, which may have been hard to follow. I apologize for that. If you are still following along, I would love to know what your general thoughts are. Do you agree with my conclusion? Do you think it could be something else? Can you think of any other things I should examine? Also, how do you think NGC would handle this if I were to send it in?

Edited by coinsandmedals
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The file size was too large to attach all of the pictures. 

Here is a certified example of Peck-1073

818338983_1073Obv..jpg.65d44a6ea7973a650b8014310439280a.jpg1882244360_1073Rev..jpg.cf362b0832614e4f321e6969b33d1eaf.jpg

Here are the images of the coin in question. Please note the holder is very scratched up and not all of the marks on the coin. 

UGHTE2311.thumb.JPG.31002ea68fc15182b876b3a795e1d56b.JPGBOUKE4879.thumb.JPG.9c0665b43a23888d954f836e1768a4b7.JPGJMBVE6547.thumb.JPG.f2f37fea747f4959867aaa65b1be1ce8.JPG

 

Edited by coinsandmedals

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3 hours ago, Conder101 said:

Definitely looks like a Peck 1073 that has had the gilt worn off.  Not the regular issue.

Thank you for the reply! It’s nice to know one of the more knowledgeable people agrees with me. Any idea how NGC would handle this if I were to resubmit it? 

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Interesting, I learned something today. 

"Light hairlines. Observers (particularly those online) should not confuse the mint-caused, long die-flaw on the heavy reverse rim with a scratch, which it is not. Peck mentions this flaw, and it distinguishes this variety from all others"

I'm sure NGC would fix the problem if you let them know. not sure if this is the correct page but it looks like NGC could use a photograph of that one. 

https://www.ngccoin.com/price-guide/world/search/1/?keywords=GREAT+BRITAIN||1797||2+Pence|GREAT+BRITAIN+1797+2+Pence

 

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Glad to hear that gtw-123! The excerpt you posted from heritage is also a good piece of info, but I figured it wouldn’t make much sense to post that without first walking everyone through the different varieties. 

I assume they would, but I wonder why it ever made it into a “plated” holder to begin with. I may just have to send them an email with the details above and see what they say. I will be sure to update the list with their reply.

The Krause catalog on our host’s website you linked to is an atrocious mess when it comes to this series. The lack of established selling prices yields the clumped categories listed. You are absolutely correct though, they list two gilt categories and do not have a picture for either. 

Edited by coinsandmedals

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16 hours ago, coinsandmedals said:

I wonder why it ever made it into a “plated” holder to begin with.

I would assume they thought it was a regular business strike that someone plated and the plating wore off.  They didn't recognize it as a worn Gilt restrike piece produced by the SoHo mint.

Edited by Conder101

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I just got this coin back from NGC and they agree that it is in fact P-1073. The "restrike" note is a bit puzzling as Peck lists this as a late Soho piece and not a "restrike". For those of you unfamiliar with the issue, it can be difficult if not impossible to classify a piece as either an early Soho, late Soho or restrike. Peck notes that the term "late Soho" is reserved for coins struck at the Soho mint possibly after that date indicated on the coin. Although these coins were struck at a later date they are not classified as restrikes but rather as "late Soho" pieces. The term "restrike" is used to denote pieces that were not struck at the Soho mint but were instead struck using dies purchased by Taylor from the Soho Mint in 1848. Peck lists 1073 as a late Soho piece suggesting that he had a reasonable amount of data to determine that this coin was struck at the Soho Mint and not by Taylor. It seems to be that the term "restrike" is not an accurate description of the coin if NGC is following the guidelines provided by Peck, which they seem to be given that they attribute pieces using his classifications. I understand not noting the coin as a pattern; however, would it not suffice to label the coin as a gilt proof or as a late Soho piece? I wonder why they decided to note the coin as a restrike when it does not fit the criteria put forth by Peck to be labeled as such. 

On any note, here is the final result. This thing is in an extra thick holder and taking pictures without a shadow of some sort was nearly impossible. I did my best, but there are noticeable shadows. If I get a chance I will take some new pictures tonight. 

608891002_1797SOHOGreatBritainTwoPenceRestrikeP-1073NGCProofAU-DetailsTooled.thumb.jpg.098aa83436ac30e5f62fe0d3a482c5e5.jpg

Edited by coinsandmedals

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Excellent questions Bob! 

Do you agree with the slight bump in grade that it got? I had originally thought this coin was likely somewhere in the 45-50 range so the slight bump in grade was not much of a surprise. I think I liked it better in the XF holder but I tend to be a little conservative when it comes to these giants.  

Where is the "Tooling"? This is a tough question to answer. As you know, NGC does not justify this type of determination. I assume they came to this conclusion based off of the numerous scratches on the obverse and reverse fields. Although not what I typically think of when the term "tooled" comes up, it is possible that someone attempted to smooth the surfaces of the coin to remove the noticeable scratches in the gilt. This would partially explain the numerous hairline scratches. This same surface condition is evident of George III's cheek as well. Comparing this coin with other circulated gilt proof coins in my collection the surfaces are very different. This makes me think that the tooling was done to enhance the coin by removing or smoothing out noticeable scratches in the gilt. 

1.thumb.jpg.c766230f4a1b1bceef9803ceebe2bae9.jpg2.thumb.jpg.11e0090ee8cd375104e69b333a85e736.jpg3.thumb.jpg.0b88b38d4e6f25176aef1b9dd741c07d.jpg4.thumb.jpg.39214ec8b5dacfc654c864dcda5f49ab.jpg

Here is an example of another circulated proof gilt coin. Notice the difference in the surfaces of the coins. This is a 1788 Great Britain gilt pattern halfpenny (P-965) that came back PF-35. 

5.thumb.jpg.5064c8217b597ec4cfae952090213348.jpg6.thumb.jpg.7b20dec9be48acaf3ce38c7fc9941cf1.jpg7.thumb.jpg.7cc6f72f93c7ae8acd8b3fc955cd39a9.jpg

Edited by coinsandmedals
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