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Non-circulating UK crowns and 25p

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Camerinvs
Joined: 19-May-2016
Posts: 2886
Hello all,

I'm curious to know why these three non-circulating issues:

crown 1965 Churchill
25 new pence 1977 25th of EIIR's accession
25 new pence 1981 Royal Wedding

are graded in all circulating grades from UNC down to VG and even G for the Churchill issue. Did these coins actually circulate?

If so, it would be like the 1892-1893 US Columbian Exposition halves, which were issued as non-circulating but mostly ended up in circulation.
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COINMAN1
Joined: 8-Jun-2013
Posts: 1881
I can remember the 1981 Prince Charles and Lady Diana wedding crown was actually given as change in a shop in Bath. I think I the shop was Boots the chemists.
Most people, as far as I know kept them, so not sure if you could spend them in this same shop. So yes, it did circulate, but probably not very much.
Not so sure about the other two.
I'm just a collector of coins, not a slave to it, unless I am in a coin shop.
harryg
Joined: 26-Mar-2018
Posts: 422
Yes, somehow I ended up with one (Churchill) here in the U.S. and clearly it was circulated. XF, but definitely circulated.
jacemcdonald
Joined: 17-Sep-2019
Posts: 43
Majority of the commemorative crowns issued by the UK before decimal day were circulating commemorative coins (The Churchill crown is a example of this). Commemorative crowns (Or known as 5 pounds now) issued after decimal day are usually not issued for circulation. But every so often you may still find them. Here in the US sometimes you may come across nifc kennedy halves or dollar coins. & other times you may be more lucky & the bank may have a silver ike/proof/silver eagle. Majority of the time they are found because people just release them into circulation after they buy them from the mint, or their children get ahold of them & they spend them.
Camerinvs
Joined: 19-May-2016
Posts: 2886
Thank all for your replies. :) If anyone else has something to contribute to this thread, please do so!

I collect circulating coins only, but also women on coins, so I was curious to know...

And as I write this I realize I forgot to include the

Queen Mother's 80th birthday issue

which, like the three others, is said to be non-circulating but graded from UNC to VG.
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brismike
Joined: 17-May-2015
Posts: 376
The Churchill Crown was definitely circulating. As a small boy when I lived in the UK I was given one by a very generous man. It was the first coin I ever collected and I still have the very same coin in my collection today.

Cheers Mike
Co-Referee for Australia - I Collect - Australia, UK & Dependancies, Some NZ, USA & Euros. I also have other World Coins that I swap.
Camerinvs
Joined: 19-May-2016
Posts: 2886
Thanks Mike. Very interesting to hear from a ... well, from a witness!

I'm looking at the mintages and they have something to say.

Circulating:
1953 Coronation (circulating) ─ 5,962,600
1965 Churchill ─ 9,640,000 (I thought the coin page was saying non-circulating, but it does say circulating)

Non-circulating:
1977 25th of ERII ─ 37,061,000 (+ 193,000 proof!) (50p ─ 49,536,000)
1980 Queen Mother's ─ 9,306,000 (+ 83,672 silver proof + 377,000 silver proof!!) (50p ─ 89,086,000)
1981 Royal Wedding ─ 26,773,600 (+ 218,142 silver proof!) (50p ─ 74,003,000)

So, based on all that has been said, I remain puzzled by the circulation of 25p coins since decimalization, except that the mintages are so big for non-circulating coins that some people may have seen them as not worth keeping. You point out, jacemcdonald, that you may occasionally see them in circulation, but I suppose they would quickly enough be withdrawn again, as happens here with our pre-1987 dollar. The lower grades seem unlikely to ever happen ... but I'm wondering... would they sometimes be pocket pieces like our silver dollars?



These are worth a premium because they rarely circulated even though issued for circulation. There are even such "low ball" silver dollars from the reign of Elizabeth II, especially the first portrait (1953-1964).
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jacemcdonald
Joined: 17-Sep-2019
Posts: 43
Yup, but they are still legal tender so every so often but rarely one may be seen in circulation.
COINMAN1
Joined: 8-Jun-2013
Posts: 1881
The grading system seems to be a default setting, which applies to all coins, even if it was only produced in UNC or Proof.
"Proof" has never had its own grading box, which is disappointing.
American commemorative silver dollars are produced in both of these grades, but it you have the proof coin, you have to tick the UNC box, and put 'Proof' in comments box.
I'm just a collector of coins, not a slave to it, unless I am in a coin shop.
Camerinvs
Joined: 19-May-2016
Posts: 2886
Quote: "COINMAN1"​The grading system seems to be a default setting, which applies to all coins, even if it was only produced in UNC or Proof.

​I agree, but what surprised me was that people had entered values even for the lower grades.

But it's may be because I almost never look at non-circulating coins. And unlike the current trend of capsules or other wrappings for non-circulating coins, those older ones look just like regular coins, i.e. they were produced like business strikes.

The closest thing I know since the start of the new millennium is the Canadian 50¢ piece which has kept on being produced as business strikes until now (I think) but since 2003 are not available through the banks.
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COINMAN1
Joined: 8-Jun-2013
Posts: 1881
Camerinvs,
I think that the very early 25 pence coins were made in such high quantities, that they just got thrown in a jar, and was then hit by all sorts of other things, also thrown into the drawer.
This would account for the various qualities, especially as none came encapsulated.
I'm just a collector of coins, not a slave to it, unless I am in a coin shop.
Camerinvs
Joined: 19-May-2016
Posts: 2886
I agree for higher circulating grades but not for G─VF grades. At the same time, though, I know that many people are careless when they enter their data in the catalogue. It's obvious, too, that one cannot trust the values people put in.

And we agree on the question of the high quantities that were issued. Actually, I was wondering: How were they distributed?? There were 37 million non circulating 1977 25p struck. How do you release them? Were they given to school children like the coronation medals here in Canada?
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COINMAN1
Joined: 8-Jun-2013
Posts: 1881
Camerinvs,
As far as I can remember, you had to go to a bank and buy one at face value. They came in little black sleeves with the name of the bank on the outside of the sleeve. A little advertising I think. I still have a coup!e of them.
I'm just a collector of coins, not a slave to it, unless I am in a coin shop.
ZacUK Numista team
Joined: 3-Jan-2011
Posts: 6823
Yes, I have some with Midland Bank in gold on a black sleeve -
also companies put their own details on when they gave the coins in promotions ...

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces3076.html
My collections >
http://mycoinssite.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=13560800
also 13750057 also 15924495 also 15995337
http://mycoinssite.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16060326
Camerinvs
Joined: 19-May-2016
Posts: 2886
Ah, yes ─ I actually saw some of these posted on Numista but just had to connect the dots...

I just noticed that in none of these coins is there any mention of the denomination on the coin itself, and that includes the pre-reform, circulating crowns.

So, let's say you're a millenial and got one of those in your change, quite a lot bigger than a 50p. You wouldn't be able to guess it's only 25p face value...
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Houseofham
Joined: 26-Feb-2015
Posts: 849
Ok, let's get something straight here...

A coin's grade describes how well a coin is preserved.

"Proof" is not a grade, it's a finish, an indicator used to show that a coin was manufactured to higher standards using a special process that resulted in a mirror-like surface.

A proof coin can end up in circulation and/or become less than ideal in any number of ways. There are known examples of the US mint releasing impaired proof half dollars (you can google it). Also, it's quite common for dealers to break up proof sets, sell higher denomination silver coins individually and throw the remaining low denomination base metal coins into a bargain bin with other cheap stuff. Once stripped of their protection, proofs develop wear just like any business strike coin. Someone may wear one in their pocket as a lucky charm. So, they'll oxidize, they can have fingerprints on them, show water/fire damage, etc. Still, just because they're worn, they do not stop being proofs, they just go down in grade.

There is usually a separate year line if a coin was struck in more than one finish.
HoH

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