Great Britain 1958 half crown

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from Stack's Bowers 2016 ANA sale, part of lot 20647
photo courtesy Stack's Bowers LLC
This specimen was part of lot 20647 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Anaheim, CA, August 2016), which sold for $30,550. The catalog description[1] noted,
"GREAT BRITAIN. Eight Piece V.I.P. Proof Set, 1958. PCGS PROOF-64 DEEP CAMEO (2), PROOF-65 RB, PROOF-65 CAMEO, PROOF-65 DEEP CAMEO (2), PROOF-66 DEEP CAMEO (2) Secure Holders. W&R-450(R4); S-4125, S-4145, 4146, 4147, 4148, 4149, 4153 & 4158. VERY RARE. The set includes proof versions of the 1/2 Penny, 3 Pence, 6 Pence, Shilling (with two different reverses), Florin, 1/2 Crown and the Sovereign. Alex Wilson and Mark Rasmussen, in their monumental reference book "English Pattern Trial and Proof Coins In Gold" estimates only 11 to 20 specimens are known of the Sovereign struck in proof for 1958. Which, issued as part of a set, would imply extremely low mintages for the other denominations as well, especially given that Spink doesn't list the set or minor denominations as having been struck in proof. Likewise, while Krause estimates 10 sets for 1953, no listing is indicated for 1958. Struck at a time in England when many of the old aristocratic social distinctions still remained intact, prior to the Profumo Affair or the arrival of The Beatles (both of which would permanently alter British culture), the set of coins offered here represents a historical slice of England that in large measure no longer exists. The very limited production suggests they were meant for only the most influential members of 1958 British society. Struck to the highest tolerances, and clearly demonstrating great care in their manufacture, the coins at once convey a regal quality and are completely free of defects or impairment. The chance to acquire the set is a VERY RARE opportunity to add what can only be described as a British twentieth century numismatic treasure to the collection. The coins grade as follows from lowest to highest denomination: PROOF-65 RB, PROOF-65 CAMEO, PROOF-66 DEEP CAMEO, PROOF-65 DEEP CAMEO, PROOF-64 DEEP CAMEO, PROOF-65 DEEP CAMEO, PROOF-66 DEEP CAMEO, and the Gold Sovereign as PROOF-64 DEEP CAMEO."
This type of 1954-70 was the last half crown issued prior to decimalization. It did not fit into the new decimal system, being worth 12½ new pence, and was demonetized.

Recorded mintage: 15,746,000 plus proofs.

Specification: 14.14 g, copper-nickel, 32.3 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM-907.

Source:

  • Bressett, Kenneth E., A Guide Book of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1962.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2016 Anaheim ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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