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A few words on Trial Pieces resurfacing on the market Royal Mint 1st Time Auction




Royal Mint Trial Pieces Auction 26/09/2021 resurfacing in 2022




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The very 1st Royal Mint trial piece auction was held in Sep last year. Some pieces are resurfacing in March 2022. Many points you can use to argue trial pieces resurfaced, but this post only puts focus on how to understand trial pieces and trial pieces resurfaced.

Firstly, back to 2016 or soon later, trial of the Pyx was first known publicly without more related-information. Actually, it is an annual programme held jointly between the Gold Smith company and the Royal Mint on the purpose of inspecting coins made previous year. Secondly, back to 2021, trial piece auction was kicked off with many errors evolved, but getting improved bit by bit in 2nd time sales. These two auction sales lead to A). coins/trial pieces are relatively used, B). a procedure of making a coin from start to finish demonstrated by the British Royal Mint.

So, we move on a sample from the very 1st trial auction, lot 14. Lot 14 was a G10PD 5 oz Victoria Anniversary Gold Proof Coin. It has been slabbed by NGC PF70 UC (6318876-001). I am aware that the 3rd grading company is fully endorsed by the Royal Mint or other way round. You can check NGC marketing campaign for the 2nd time trial auction.

  • Lot 14 G10PD Victoria Anniversary 5 oz Gold Proof Coin
  • Credit: NGC online data

PF70 UC!! Really??? The designation UC it has no doubt about it, but a trial piece can score a 70 mark. Really??? From this point, you can see how this UK market is doomed to fail later. First, a 70 mark is impossible in logic, because trial pieces are existed in advance for the Proclamation and pre-solve some technique issues during a mass production. Of course, the grader is going to make a strong defence for the coin slabbed to the customer, a happy customer. Secondly, you are going to find some interesting point on your own if you have a very close look at lot 14 and the slabbed trial piece. Most importantly, it is an investment coin that is not going to sell quickly (i.e., flip). This collection is not easy to form, like trial piece (1/1), a coin (1/500 for instance) and trial of the Pyx (1/9). Flipping a coin, in terms of a financial term, you are short selling your trial pieces. The lot-14 was at £14k mark (excl. BP) to buy originally and bid at £12K mark (excl. BP) to sell in a secondary market within a 6-month period. The trial piece’s value is devalued by this transaction and short-seller’s bet either internally or externally.

Based on results from the 2nd time auction, it looks good from the perspective of seller, but still need more to fill in and let buyer come in. If the Royal Mint is going to do auctions like the trial of the Pyx annually, it is really hard to gauge interests.

#The End


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Gibraltar £1 Pound Virenium Proof Coin 1988




Gibraltar £1 Pound Virenium Proof Coin 1988




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By reading the title, a Gibraltar £1 Pound Virenium Proof Coin made in 1988, it is really a difficult topic to illustrate here. Because it has no any written records about this coin. It is a coin or not, it all depends on the detail of COA. So, let we bring you our new coin today.

  • 1988 Gibraltar £1 Pound Virenium Proof Coin with AA
  • Photograph: richukcoins®

  • Its COA
  • Photograph: richukcoins®

This is a special coin that has a very unique position in the numismatic world made by the British Pobjoy Mint in 1988. The reasons are as follows:

  1. Rarity;
  2. According to the COA, a limited batch of 100 coins was minted in 1988 for the purpose of commemorating 1st £1 Pound coin in Gibraltar, but subject to the approval of HM Queen Elizabeth II after 14/11/1988. A 100-coin sample means 100 pence is equal to £1.

  3. A Proof standard stamped with AA;
  4. It is not often to see a coin like a proof condition with AA made by the Pobjoy Mint. If you are very familiar with coins made by the Mint, it is easy to say that this coin is a sample, for instance, 1994 Isle of Man Christmas 50p silver proof coin with AA. Meanwhile, this £1 Virenium Proof coin with AA makes it rare very rare within the all decimal coin range in terms of proof grade, even right now.

  5. Composition Virenium;
  6. According to the Gibraltar Coinage Act 1990 (renamed in 2006 from the Gibraltar Coinage Ordinance 1990), metal Virenium is one of many possible metals list for £1 pound category in law. Also, it shows that Gibraltar’s Virenium is a combination of 81Cu/10Sn/9Ni. Bear in mind that the name of Virenium is a registered mark by the Mint. This type of Virenium looks very close to Nickel Brass in colour if you look hard. It is likely a possible reason apart from no any precious metals being allowed to strike £1 pound coins in 1988.

  7. The Year 1988;
  8. In the year 1983, UK 1st £1 pound coin was issued in Nickel Brass, silver Proof and silver proof piedfort and so forth. But, you find nothing when you search for Gibraltar 1st £1 pound coin only Nickel Brass type. However, the Gibraltar government issued 100 coins in platinum in 1989 for the 150th Anniversary of Gibraltar Coinage.

  9. History.
  10. A told story either word by word or written down is easy to explore but something still remains untold. This identified piece is a piece of history of Gibraltar coinage clearly.

From the perspective of financial terms, this coin is a financial instrument due to its very unique position demonstrated above. Right now it has been slabbed by NGC PF 68 UC (Cert # 2869941-001) which this extra security gives a buyer more confidence and value added with its designation. In terms of valuation, it all depends on people/collector how to value the Gibraltar coinage history, but sadly, nobody could tell you more and how much it is worth. Only here, it tells you information about this coin for free. This coin will soon or later trade like a 1989 Isle of Man £2 Virenium Blimp coin, be sure.

Reference
**The Gibraltar Coinage Act 1990 [Online].
**The Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar 1704-2014 by the Gibraltar Government [Online].

#The End


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Royal Mint Die Trial Pieces Auction The First Time In Its History 26th September 2021




Royal Mint Trial Pieces Auction 26/09/2021




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I have been not here for a while since last post while we are coming out from the woods slowly and safely, hope all collectors are doing good and keeping well. Today, I am going to bring you a fascinating news with regard to die trial pieces, First Ever, from the Royal Mint during Collect Week 2021. In this post, you are going to see some insights of the die trial pieces auction and how important are die trial pieces in the coining process before and after.

Let we start it with some basic terms, this is a easy step to give us a starting point of knowing die trial pieces more. Here it is the official explanation published by the Royal Mint. Generally speaking, a die trial piece is a sample piece made before bulk production.

Trial pieces are not actually coins, because as follows:
>> have not gone through the processes of A). the trial of the Pyx (Latin pyxis, small box), and B). the ratification of the Royal Proclamation;
>> have new security features added A). microtext, and B). a latent image;
>> 3 pieces for each design denomination, one for the Royal Mint Museum, as always, one for the Royal Mint itself for a running standard, and the last one is down to collector’s hand.

— Gordon Summers, the Mint’s Chief Engraver

Trial pieces were auctioned via the Royal Mint website on 26th September 2021 by the way of Hybrid (a combination of timed manner and w/ an auctioneer). It is the very first time in its history either the way of selling or offering trial pieces for sale on its own. A list of 61 lots in total were up for sale and the offering range has covered two parts on the list in terms of metal purity, 0.916 and 0.999 gold coins w/ a few silver coins. The product variety in terms of theme design had most sought-after Kew Gardens 50p coin, the Sovereign series, Three Graces from the great engravers series, of course, a longer waiting one James Bond 007 (premiered on 28/09/2021 in London) and others.

Most trial pieces up for auction were (carefully?) picked up from the limited range of the trial of the Pyx sold, meaning a Britannia New Pence 50p gold proof coin in blister matches one of many trial pieces a Britannia New Pence 50p gold proof coin, but a Celebration of Sherlock HolmesTM 2019 UK 50p gold proof coin was not in 61-lot auction. At this point and stage, on the one hand, the Mint pried a bit room on a sturdy door from the perspective of the Mint market demand. Are they going to flood the market with more to come or just one-off time? It all comes down to collector’s pocket now. At the present moment, collectors are yet psychologically hooked up by the term of Royal Mint Trial. However our data suggests clearly that the Mint are carefully cultivating many royal followers. On the existing market, the most sought-after trial pieces are the 5 kilo and 2 kilo (see NGC 5880629-001 PF69UCA) Una and the Lion (both w/o security design) in terms of weight and innovation. On the other hand, it is hard to see the direction of this type of trial pieces “coin” going from the perspective of collectors. It is a pretty new concept, like they say, First Ever. It takes time and only time can tell worth it or not if a collector is after one.

On the auction day (i.e., a second past 1200pm to 90 mins later), 4 items were unsold of 61 lots (6.6% unsold) and the total price realised £389,800 (hammer price) in 90 mins, and VAT contribution was made up to almost £78,000 plus 4% extra on top of the hammer price. Next, we present auction highlights (all excl. BP):

**Lot 7 — G50P Kew Gardens 2019 sold at 26K (prebid at 24K);
**Lot 45 — G2oz 3 Graces 2020 sold at 17K (prebid at 15K), and
**Lot 52 — G10oz 3 Graces 2021 sold at 25K (no prebid).

The most interesting part during the auction was from Lot 1 to Lot 13, not only the first 5 lots contain errors but the bidding process was in a excessive and uncontrolled manner, plus another part from lot 28 to lot 39. This two parts consist of all legal tender coins. It is like they said in title after main title “Hybrid”. Invoices were sent out after 4 or 5 WORKING days due to some system failure issues.

Is it easy to find a piece in a secondary market? How often you can see one appearance? How much the last is sold? Many many question raised, but who can tell, only time tells you later.

#The End

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