NGC Registry Featured Set: Great Britain, Penny George V

Posted on 12/13/2022

This month’s featured sets belong to Vic Readies.

Vic Readies has virtually complete top-ranked Registry sets of over 100 years of the British penny, from George IV to George V:

George V Penny 1911-36
George V Penny 1926-1936 Proofs

The crown jewel of Vic Readies’ collection is the fabled 1933 issue. Never released for circulation, only a handful of examples were struck but the coin has kept people checking their pocket change for decades. Vic Readies realized a lifelong ambition in acquiring his MS 63 example, one of only two or three in private hands, in a 2016 Heritage sale.

Great Britain 1933 George V Penny

It all began as a boy delivering newspapers in 1956. Among the dull circulated coinage he had collected for the newspapers, Vic Readies spotted a bright 1950 penny and arranged to have the coin paid to him as part of his sixpence pay. He discovered the key-date coin was worth £20 — “a fortune to me!” Vic Readies wrote.

The start of what is a mighty collection today, including not just his 1933 Mint State penny but several of the 1933 Lavillier patterns (only four are known!), was delayed for almost 50 years by a simple accident.

“Disaster struck when my mother unwittingly paid for a loaf of bread with my 1950 penny from my hiding place on our Welsh dresser,” Vic Readies wrote. “My ‘collection’ was decimated (eliminated) in an instant.”

Vic Readies always checked his pocket change but never got another 1950 or 1951. In 2004, he discovered eBay (“I was like a grown-up kid in a sweet shop”) and became hooked, quickly replacing his 1950. As he learned, researched and honed his eye, his collection grew. Collecting circulation issues by date turned into collecting by die pairs and acquiring patterns and Proofs (including almost all of the first 45 entries in Freeman’s The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain) in top quality. Vic Readies’ George V complete Proof penny set, one of his favorite sets, contains nine out of ten coins in top pop. As for those key dates he hunted for, his collection now contains an MS 65 BN (only four coins grade higher in RD and RB) and a top-pop 1951 MS 66 RD.

It has been an exciting nearly 20 years of collecting for Vic Readies, who encourages people to participate in the hobby.

“Many people might consider numismatics boring,” he wrote. “I can assure any future collector it is anything but as it involves virtually all human emotions — constant frustration and excitement as you progress into more and more valuable coins and the thrill of the chase.”

While many collectors collect types or simply buy what they like, specialization in one denomination has paid off with Vic Readies’ impressive collection. Although he made mistakes at the start as all collectors do, the knowledge he has gained over the last nearly 20 years has helped him build a valuable collection. Even with all he has accomplished, Vic Readies humorously lamented, “Now if my mother hadn’t spent my penny all those years ago…!”

The NGC Registry is a free online platform where collectors register and display their certified coins and can compete against other collectors around the world for recognition and prizes. The NGC Registry continues to be the world’s most comprehensive online coin collecting platform thanks to you, our valued collectors. This popular resource now boasts over 30,000 users, 280,000+ registered sets and over 1.6 million registered coins. In January of 2021, we awarded more than $30,000 in prizes — the highest prize value awarded yet! Get ready for the 2022 awards! To learn more about the prizes, click here.

Would you like your set to be featured in a future article? 100% completion in a set is not always feasible. Perhaps, we will choose someone whose set has a personal story behind it or some interesting historical facts. We are looking for those sets where someone has taken the time to make the set unique and a reflection of his/her personal collecting style. It may be your set! Stay tuned.

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