Great Britain 1869 penny

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Heritage sale 3026, lot 24970
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 24970 in Heritage sale 3026 (Long Beach, October 2013), where it sold for $9,400. The catalog description[1] noted, "Victoria Penny 1869, Laureate or Bun Head, MS65 RB PCGS, a beautiful example of this classic rarity in the bronze penny series, a few old scattered nicks to be seen but sharp in almost all details, including the date, the luster hard or semi-reflective, and toned to a lovely golden brown. A few 1869 pieces are known with some bright red but most of those are not blessed with such appealing surfaces as seen on this jewel of a penny. If you want a really special example of this key date, this coin will command your attention. The 2013 SCBC value is given as £4250 (about $6500 at press time) with a note that coins called UNC in that reference must have full mint luster, but the statement is a fantasy, or wishful thinking, as only a tiny number of any date in MS still possesses such luster and most such pieces show some carbon spotting, which means that they would not be rated MS65 by PCGS. In a word, there is no perfect 1869 penny, but the coin offered in this lot is clearly special in its preservation. Seldom offered, and rarely topped. A truly superior 1869 penny." This type was struck 1860-74 at London and Heaton with a slightly modified obverse extending to 1894. Despite the large mintage, this is a key date.

Recorded mintage: 2,580,000.

Specification: 9.4 g, bronze, 31 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: S-3954, KM 749.2.


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  • Freeman, Michael J., The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain, Rev. Ed., London: Spink & Son, 2006.
  • Peck, C. Wilson, English Copper, Tin and Bronze Coins in the British Museum, 1558-1958, 2nd Ed., London: Oxford University Press, 1970.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3026, World & Ancient Coins, featuring the RLM Collection, Part Two, the Nogales Collection and the Goetz Medals Die Archive, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.

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