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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.
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.