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great war coins


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#1 khaki

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:23 PM

I have recently been buying some examples of great war coinage British and French as a representative set of 'pocket change' that would have been carried by a tommy. Some of the bronze coins are almost black.
I just want to make them readable, I know that some coin collectors consider cleaning sacrilege. They are worn examples and not worth a lot. What should I use to clean them with? I was thinking of a mild solution of vinegar, any thoughts?
khaki

#2 ph0ebus

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:03 PM

I have used Tarn-X to great effect, though if you soak them too long they may come out shiny!

In case you are not familiar with the product, Tarn-X (which looks like water but smells a bit like old eggs) removes oxidation and dirt without scrubbing. And no, I have no stake in the company. :)

-Daniel

#3 ianw

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:23 PM

I don't think cleaning is any real problem for coins of little value - and the Great War series of George V coins can be bought quite cheaply - even the silver ones which are .925 sterling siver. Personally, I think the half-crown and florin of the war years are wonderful coins and you can purchase the equivalent of a Tommy's weekly wage for only a few pounds.

#4 auchonvillerssomme

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 06:29 AM

I dip the silver in silver dip and have had fantastic results with found silver.

#5 Phil_B

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:16 AM

Coins lasted a long time in those days - you could still find QV coins in your change in the 60s. I think the avarage soldier would have had a mixture of QV, KEVII & KGV coins in his pocket but very few would be KGV. Most battlefield pickups I`ve seen have been QV.

#6 dycer

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:45 AM

I possess a French 2 Franc coin dated 1917,which is likely to have belonged to a British Pioneer Battalion Sergeant.I say this because no member of his Family visited France in the immediate post-WW1 years and I did not bring it back from my first trip in the 1970's.
Obviously the coin is blackened through age and lack of use and cleaning it to my mind is incidental.
Were British Soldiers paid in French Francs whilst abroad in WW1 and how does a 2 Franc coin relate to their wages in WW1 i.e. the Bob(Shilling) a day?
George

#7 Peter Doyle

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:01 AM

Were British Soldiers paid in French Francs whilst abroad in WW1 and how does a 2 Franc coin relate to their wages in WW1 i.e. the Bob(Shilling) a day?


The rate of exchange at the time was 25 francs to the pound. The average rate of pay was ten francs per week (minus stoppages), paid in local currency, Five franc notes are commonly referred to by soldiers of the day.

Cheers
Peter




#8 dycer

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:28 AM

Thanks Peter,
I do wonder if my Father thought he was rich when his Brother gave him the foreign coin,whilst he was on Home Leave. :lol:
George

#9 Peter Doyle

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:45 AM

Quite possible. It could have bought him some vin blanc or oeuf frites for sure!

I have a 5 mark 1935 coin that my Dad brought back from Germany when he was a POW in the Second World War. Has the same connotation, I guess.

Cheers
Peter




Ps - I'd leave them in as found condition, myself

P.

#10 khaki

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:31 AM

Coins lasted a long time in those days - you could still find QV coins in your change in the 60s. I think the avarage soldier would have had a mixture of QV, KEVII & KGV coins in his pocket but very few would be KGV. Most battlefield pickups I`ve seen have been QV.


Not being a coin collector, I wonder if the production of wartime British copper coins was impacted by the demand for copper in war producti on of munitions etc?
khaki

#11 Peter Doyle

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:35 AM

Not sure, but it certainly did in Germany. German Iron coins are common towards the end of the conflict.

Cheers
Peter

#12 ianw

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:40 AM

Obviously as coins are metal , you can remove the discoloration/blackening or whatever but this will not restore the lustre that the coin has when it leaves the mint. Also the wear on the coin will be as was.

No collectable coin should be cleaned but where a coin has no real monetary value, it is a matter of preference if you want to clean it to create a facsimile of what the the coin looked like when it was in a contemporary pocket.

As per a previous post, the Tommy would indeed have had a mix of several reigns on the coins in his pocket - back to William IV at least.
QV mintages were large but mintage figures in the reign of Edward VII were low especially for silver. George V saw mintage figures increase - with bronze minted at additional places to augment the production of the Royal Mint.

Perhaps surprisingly George V silver coins remained .925 silver with this only being debased to .500 from 1920. WW2 finally saw silver disappear from the coinage with our post-war impoverishment in 1947. So a 1916 florin or half-crown "rings" splendidly when tossed with the thumb!

#13 Phil_B

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:22 PM

George V saw mintage figures increase - with bronze minted at additional places to augment the production of the Royal Mint.


Did mintage figures increase during wartime, despite metal shortage? As a matter of interest, did the Mints get involved in war work to any extent?

#14 ianw

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 01:16 PM

The mintage figures for George V were certainly higher than for Edward VII. Private mints were used at Heaton and Kings Norton for pennies in 1918 and 1919 but I don't know what was the precise reason for that.

#15 dycer

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:52 PM

Ian,
Is there any silver content in the 1917 2 French Franc coin I have inherited?
Or just I enjoy the fact that it now belongs to me?
I do accept that it would be treated with disdain by an antiques expert,or the serious coin collector,whatever the fancy term for that hobby is. :D
George

#16 ph0ebus

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 04:01 PM

Ian,
Is there any silver content in the 1917 2 French Franc coin I have inherited?
Or just I enjoy the fact that it now belongs to me?
I do accept that it would be treated with disdain by an antiques expert,or the serious coin collector,whatever the fancy term for that hobby is. :D
George

That's 'numismatist'. :)

Now I need to dust off my own collection and see if I have any Great War-era, non US coins.

-Daniel

#17 NigelS

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 06:11 PM

Be very thankful that you're not handling period bank notes Click ! I've often thought of attempting a 'virtual' digital re-construction, but for some strange reason I've never quite got round to it...

NigelS

#18 ph0ebus

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 06:36 PM

Be very thankful that you're not handling period bank notes Click ! I've often thought of attempting a 'virtual' digital re-construction, but for some strange reason I've never quite got round to it...

NigelS

Yikes....don't open the window, a slight breeze will disintegrate it! :X

-Daniel

#19 rob carman

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:07 PM

Heaton and Kings Norton


I still have several 1912, 1918 and 1919 H and KN pennies from my childhood coin collection. I knew they were a bit more collectable but I never knew what the letters by the date meant. Now I know. Thank you.

Rob.

#20 dycer

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:26 PM

It tickles me,although my reply should be in Skindles,bearing in mind,the Originator of this Thread,asked a serious WW1 question.
The second time I went with the British Army,as a T.A Soldier ,to Germany I received a 5 Mark note in my change.
I did not exchange it,when I arrived Home,but knew it was there.
You can imagine the fun and consternation I caused when giving the 5 Mark Note as change,in Germany,after a 10 year absence.
Should it be accepted by the Shop as lawful currency,or as collectors item?
Little did I know,or care.
George

#21 ianw

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:34 PM

Is there any silver content in the 1917 2 French Franc coin I have inherited?


I think these french coins are 0.800 or 0.835 , something like that.

Amazing that silver coins of this period worldwide tended to have a minimum of 0.500 silver. When we debased our coinage in 1920, we took the silver content down to 0.500.

#22 The Inspector

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:47 PM

Hi All
Ralph Heaton formed the Birmingham Mint in 1850 and worked in conjunction with the Royal Mint supplying blanks. Hence the letter H. In 1911/12 competition came along the Kings Norton Mint and that's where the KN comes from. In 1919 the last coins bearing the H were minted and so we get 1919 H and KN for that year. The H was on early Victorian pennies as well, ie 1874H. Now I'll just have to dig them all out and get some more ear- ache.
Regards Barry

#23 dycer

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:52 PM

Ian,
I'm sure you're not suggesting that "Jonty" or some other "expert" on "Cash in the Attic" or some other Antique Programme would identify the silver content,of my Dad's 1917 2 Franc coin,and suggest it should be sold,either for a piece of History,or for its content?
George

#24 ph0ebus

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:57 PM

Checked my collection:

no British Great War Examples...(earliest 1775)
no Belgian Great War examples, but one or two WWII-era (earliest 1944)
no French Great War examples, but a few WWII-era (earliest 1855)
no German Great War examples, but several Weimar Republic and WWII-era (earliest 1874)
no Canadian Great War examples (earliest 1913)
no Italian Great War examples, some WWII (earliest 1861...scratch that, 307 AD)
Turkey? Maybe. I have a 40 Para and the date range is 1909-1918....hmmmmm.
US of A - no Great War examples, several WWII examples (earliest 1785)

Who did I miss?

Dang, I need to go coin shopping!

-Daniel

#25 Sepoy

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 06:48 PM

I was given this a couple of years ago and thought it may be of interest to people viewing this post.

Unfortunately, I have not had time to sit down and research R G Claridge, but will do so during the long winter nights. The coins came from Essex and it may relate to a Robert Gerald Claridge born in Colchester District, Essex during 1885 and Died in Braintree District, Essex during 1964

Sepoy

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