By Jay Turner for PCGS ……
PCGS has been seeing some fantastic coins recently, including some new discoveries and old favorites. Numismatic headlines were made last month with the announcement of a 2021 Quarter-Ounce American Gold Eagle coin certified being struck with unfinished Proof dies featuring a West Point “W” mint mark. While many world varieties don’t take the limelight that those of United States discoveries do, we still appreciate them nonetheless.
The first highlight of this month comes from Brazil.
This incredible variety doubles as a mint error in its numismatic classification but regardless is still very cool. The coin is a Brazil 2012 50 Centavos muled with a 5 centavos reverse. Normally, Brazil 5 centavos coins are struck in copper-plated steel and feature a portrait of Joaquím José da Silva Xavier (aka Tiradentes). The 5 centavos coin is 22 millimeters in diameter. The 50 centavos measures in at 23 millimeters and thus at only a single-millimeter difference this neglectful mistake occurred with pairing a 5 centavos reverse with a 50 centavos obverse featuring José Maria da Silva Paranhos Júnior and striking with the normal 50 centavos planchet with the wrong denomination.
The next highlight is a known but still scarce and desirable coin from Mexico.
Recently we have been seeing Mexico becoming a popular series and more collectors are flooding to areas that were previously underappreciated, such as Estados Unidos Mexicanos coinage. Recently, PCGS received two examples of a scarce Mexico 1906 2 Centavos featuring a 6 repunched over an inverted 6, often referred to as the “6/9” variety. The 1906 2 Centavos coins were minted at two different mints both featuring the same mint mark of Mo.
Some five million pieces were struck at the Birmingham Mint and the remaining 4,998,000 were produced in Mexico City. Catalogs previously noted varieties as narrow and wide dates noting that the Birmingham Mint coins being narrow date. However, updated study shows that the dated distance is an incorrect description, with the reality being that there are just two different punches used for the “6” of the date. With that being the difference, the overpunching to correct the error becomes a more important major variety for the date and series.
A new addition to the ever-growing list of varieties from China is a strong doubled die on Fengtien 20 Cents from 1904. The generic coin is listed as L&M-485 or Y-91, but this strong doubled die on the dragon side ranks its very own variety number at PCGS. The doubling is quite strong, showing dramatic doubling on the dragon, rosette, and the Lettering “FUNG-TIEN” and “1 MACE AND”. With doubled die varieties starting to become popular in China, this may become a very desirable coin.
Finally, we wanted to highlight a known variety that is quickly becoming a favorite – an Australia 1962 Penny with a dramatic doubled die obverse. This doubled die shows Queen Elizabeth II with two noses as well as doubling on the hair, ribbons, and shoulders. The lettering also makes this dramatic variety special, with the first design transfer hubbing being too weak, leaving only partial transfer in the lower lettering. The second die hubbing was offset creating a ghost lettering effect for the doubled die, with the bottom the only part showing with lettering disappearing as it goes to the rim. This can most dramatically be seen on the “BETH II D” of “ELIZABETH II DEI”.
* * *