*Originally drafted October 20th 2013 12:20 AM, and I have not revised this copy as of the time stamp above. Thanks for reading my thoughts.
So lets talk about this “Pig” thing. Some dudes in 1911 who had nothing to do back in market/bazaar/shop/store caused all this “Pig” mayhem back in December 1911. because somebody really couldn’t see the trunk of the “Elephant” we have a few “Type” coins today in the George the 5th series. The 1911 coins are/were supposedly withdrawn, recalled, recoined, melted, non-distributed, and blah blah blah blah blah…
*I did not add the 1/4 Anna to this story, because I have inconclusive data
Is there really a “Pig” on this series of this Inaugural coinage? If one were to view the animal on George’s robe with an eyeglass or loupe, one would clearly see his trunk, and even see the elephant without the magnifier. Actually, I can see the trunk of the elephant mixed in with the chain links, and the elephants “trunk” is extremely pronounced. How about back in 1911? Did the average Joe/Johann/Joyti/Joginder use a magnifier to see the trunk of an elephant? No? Ok. Maybe one of the Jo’s had an eyeglass, but the person who spread this story surely did not I speculate.
But that’s what I get paid to do currently : Speculate- Am I getting paid to write all of the below, and the above: Hell No! But I enjoy it, and it makes me think. Anyways, so if the gals/guys eyes are bad they can see whatever the hell they want to see, and he/she could perceive whatever his/her dear heart desires. The “trunk” isn’t that big, throw in some bad light, and one could see almost anything you wanted on the One Rupee coin after the contagious spreading rumor.
700,000 Rupees were distributed from December 12th 1911 to January 23rd 1912, and then the “famed” withdrawal/recall went into effect. Did the government actually go out, and seek this 1911 Rupee coin? Probably not. It’s all the matter of perception, and showing the people they (The Government) are making an effort to satiate the bull$hit that was going on at the time.
So if only part of the mintage was made for the Rupee, wouldn’t it make sense that the fractionals also were minted/released in a similar fashion? The fractionals (1/2 Rupee, 1/4 Rupee, and Two Annas) aesthetics are a completely different story, and I can picture seeing the “pig” on his robe. The trunk of the elephant actually blends right into the chain link area, throw in a not so stellar strike, bad eyesight, and viola: Oink Oink!
Let’s Look at the 1911 George the 5th proposed mintages below:
1/4 Rupee 2.2 miliion
1/2 Rupee 2.3 million
One Rupee 9.4 million
Two Annas 16.7 miliion
From my experience the following availability ranking does hold true from least scarce to most scarce:
1/4 Rupee or 1/2 Rupee?
The Rupee we can find all the time in this series if you look simply on ebay. Now the Two Annas coin is the second most available/common, and I my self bought two examples from ebay in a span of 4 months when they were available. The 1/4 Rupee I only saw one for sale, and I bought my example from ebay well over two years ago. I never saw another one listed. 1911 1/2 Rupee I have never seen on ebay. But, do some scans on some other buying venues, and you will find the availability pattern of the 1911 series as described above.
How scarce are the 1911 1/2 Rupees?
Half Rupees you either find them in gem grade or complete really bad circulated grades, and yes there are at least 5 business strike coins in MS64 + grades. The 1/4’s you ask? Lesser available in higher grades, and remember the Obverse die design was not so hot either. Big Pigs get saved, little piggies roam if they can, do much walking in commerce, and can show up looking very tired. Nobody can confirm what was distributed in lieu of the fractions, and it is a mystery which will remain for many years to come. But what is available today does hold some weight.
I am starting to believe that the 1/4 Rupee may be more difficult to track down than the 1/2 Rupee, and more specifically in a gem grade. Look at what’s graded out there in the 1/2’s, and think to yourself again what has been burned into our coin buying hearts. The 1/2 Rupee is always tougher to find than any other denomination. I personally think that 1/2 Rupees are always deemed “scarce” when appropriate which is always.
For this 1911 series I will bet anyone in the world you/me/one has a better chance of getting a 1/2 rupee in MS 65 and above than finding a 1/4 Rupee in MS 65 of above. I know this or think I know this because of the availability of these coins, and what is out there in the market that I have encountered. But think about the following as well. The release of the 1911 Rupee was a disaster for the British Indian Government, and the fractionals were not struck in the same proportionate quantity. “But cranko, The Two Annas they struck many more than the Rupee.” Ahhhhhh…..yes……it was a proposed mintage, and the availability of the Rupee exceeds that of the Two Annas.
Can you/I find a 1911 Rupees on ebay? Yes. Can you find 1911 Two Annas on ebay? Not as many as the Rupee, and not so many nowadays. So that being said the 1911 1/4 and the 1911 1/2 you will never see on ebay, and if you do they will be really badly impaired. Anything is possible though, those denominations are the toughest to find in general, and think about the dilemma at the mint back in 1911/1912. The Two Annas is a denomination that is/was widely used during that time, and so was the Rupee. We know from what is available in present day that both these denominations were distributed more than the 1/4 Rupee and the 1/2 Rupee.
Also there were many more Big Pigs and Tiny Pig running around by comparison. The Half Pig and Quarter Pig were not as free as the other pigs. They may have had the opportunity to exist, but didn’t get to run around as much as the other swine. Did the mint let them out of the bags? Yeah. Some of them got out but the total recall was established on January 23rd, I don’t believe the 1/2 Piggies, and 1/4 Piggies got fully minted/distributed. Just as many people kept the Big Piggies for novelty, and the same holds true for the pristine examples we see today for the 1911 1/2’s we see at least I believe.
There is a problem with above data though. The business/circulation fractionals were not distributed in the same numbers as the Full Rupee. Do I know this first hand? Yes, I got in my time machine, and went to the Calcutta Mint December 11th 1911 at exactly 4:20 pm. An auspicious time for pot smokers all over the world, and first hand I saw what was minted. Marty McFly was with me on this trip, and after all it is his time machine. Technically it’s the Doc’s time machine.
*I originally wrote this on October 26th 2013 2:40 PM. The writing never had the proper flow, I never made time to revise it, and I’m not really a writer. However, it’s been revised and chronologically much better than before with less mistakes as well. Just a few cut and pastes here and there with a few minute rewrites and it’s all fixed for now. Part Two I have posted as well, and it remains intact as I had originally written. I took my time with the second part, and both parts now harmoniously compliment each other in my eyes. A trip down coin memory lane can be experienced as I did many years ago. Thanks for reading my thoughts if you choose.
Tails from the Crank-
Christmas Eve 12/24/2010 I made a deal buying Chinese slabbed coins with someone on ebay, and out of this sale blossomed a so called “friendship” in the coming weeks/months. We continued to bounce ideas off of each other, observed the market closely, I always stuck to my “no reserve” strategy 99.9% of the time, and he had his “buy it now”/”best offer”. When you are in need of money like me all the time you try to sell what you can as quickly as you can to keep the cycle going. Unless of course you have money then time is on your side. Usually time is against me.
Demand was insatiable-
For Chinese coins around this time, my new buddy was a constant cheerleader about the prices infinitely rising, and was pumping prices like a kid pumping his new spare tire on his bike that went flat. In a hurry to replace his tire, and start peddling again. Seriously. This guy would sell your ass out in a New York Minute to save his own. Anyways, he had sold inventory to me when he thought prices would peak, they kept going, and he is now starting to accept my views/speculative thoughts about continued rising prices.
Now being a strictly by the numbers guy, I translate data to confirm price action, and what price action I see forms a rising trend. At least to me this is what I conclude, and I happen to guess correctly. I’ve been monitoring some type of pricing or another since the age of 8….Yes 8 years old since 1979, and I still can’t get it right most of the time.
The prices kept rising higher and higher every week for almost 40 consecutive weeks, primarily on eBay, and even to me it’s puzzling but I go with the flow. My new found “friend” has assured me the prices in the future will surely continue to exponentially compound forever. Sound familiar to anyone that follows the British India market?
We (me and my confidant) had an opportunity to sell coins in the month June 2011 to a prospective buyer who I refer to as “X”. This buyer believes in the future of the Chinese coin market, to him it looks really bright, and will continue. During this time I had offered a coin to his close family friend who I refer to as “Z”, and the deal never transpired. But it wasn’t a completely dead deal. My friend mentioned he met “X”, he will be selling him some Chinese coins, and wanted to know if I wanted to sell my “so and so coin”. I mentioned that I had offered the coin to “Z”, and waiting for a response. He says, “F#CK Z”! His statement reminded me of a scene from the movie TRADING PLACES where the Duke Brothers have lost all their money to Dan Akyoyd and Eddie Murphy. One of stock exchange representative says, “Mortimer, your brother doesn’t look well.” (The guy looks like he’s having a heart attack in the movie)”…..Mortimer say’s with great excitement, and anger, “F#CK HIM”! This is the same selfish behavior I see erupt from my trading friend, and his close family friend is not so close to him when it comes to MONEY!
In April/May 2011 he took an interest in the India market because I had mentioned how I thought it was undervalued. We made a deal on an auction as he asked me “Will you be bidding on this gold coin or do you have any interest in it so we don’t run each other up.” I never looked at it, and casually said “no.” I mentioned I had another few lots I had my eyes on. When the guy went to the coin viewing in person he viewed 2 lots for me which I appreciated. What else would one homeboy do for another? We don’t want to “run each other up”, hence our so called “auction alliance”. These auction alliances never work by the way.
August 2011 there is a major/massive auction set to auction Chinese coins which will give us more data about the market : The Wa She Wong Collection Part Two in Hong Kong. I always need data to keep my thoughts at bay or to readjust my forecasts. Since forecasts are ever changing as frequently as the weather at times. After three hours of monitoring auction prices I realized the prices have peaked, and they are going to go down. Quickly. But on the surface it looked like a slight pullback, but my brain says something different. I conveyed my thoughts to the head cheerleader, my newfound buddy, he vehemently denied any fissures in the foundation of building a skyscraper to Mars, and living next to the Martians. I don’t argue, and keep my thoughts to myself. Why? I’m a numbers guy, and the numbers don’t lie they generally reveal the real deal. Plus he just dropped “big money” on Chinese coins to secure a deal which two weeks ago which he planned on selling in 3-7 months.
He has to believe his decision was correct. Even if it wasn’t as that’s part of the risk process. Damage control has to be implemented, and you cut your losses as quickly as possible as a trader. September, he missed one major Indian coin auction, and he knew of the “Yashoda Singh Collection” only because I brought it up, and deep down he knows the Chinese market he has been pumping is starting to quickly erode.
We chatted a bit about the lots in the Singh Collection, a day before the auction he calls me, and asks me questions in a hasty manner. “What do you think about this, what is the potential, and what is the scarcity.” I revealed a few of my price points to him about a few lots which was one of the dumbest things I did. More dumbness will follow in the coming years though. Without mistakes I cannot succeed- how could I distinguish success from failure? I want to make more mistakes but just less of them at crucial times.
Now keep in mind that the Chinese coin market is in free fall, and he/we sold this guy (buyer “X”) a bunch of Chinese coins by chance at the height of the market. Out of the total dollar value of the sale my coin was about 30% or so, and remainder of the 70% were coins that my acquaintance had sold to this dude. That sale took place in June 2011, and was no small amount of money. Did we do anything wrong? No. It was a sale, and there was a demand that was fulfilled. In hindsight this guy got completely screwed as he bought at the absolute height of the market. It happen. Happen to my a year or two later. Lol!
I’m not certain how much my acquaintance had pumped the Chinese coin market to buyer “X”. The unknown is still the unknown, and forecasts are forecasts. They are never a sure thing. But now the Chinese coin market is going straight down at its peak from June, it is now September, and more damage will come. The rising sun is about to reach the horizon once again, and this time on the way down though. Not up.
Buyer X had lots of money to burn according to my acquaintance, and he is not so happy I suspect 4 months later when the prices have fallen 30% by the month of September. Who would be, and I never told him to buy my coin. I gave him a firm price, and he paid up. Now on the other end of the sale I don’t know whether the sale was hyped up or not by my buddy. I suspect it probably was because my acquaintance thinks he is a know all speculator, and at times I think the along the same lines.
But he is much more prouder than I am, and I call it like I see it. You have to believe in your ideas because belief is the only thing someone cannot take away from man. But there comes a time when ego starts driving that chariot, you got to get back in the drivers seat, un lodge ego from taking over the journey, and put ego in check, and throw it in the passenger’s seat.
Here is what I think happen : For “my buddy” to get back in the good graces of “X” he has to give him something. Essentially make him feel that part of his money has been replenished or “recovered”. Now I suspect I have been the “fall guy” for this guy losing his shirt somewhat. My acquaintance probably blamed me, and maybe mentioned: “I have been relying on that guys data, and I know a way you can get even with him. There is huge sale of Indian coin coming up in England, and I know the guy knows his prices (which is a budgeted forecast). You can get even with him, and I know he knows India. This is your opportunity to get even with him.” What he ended up doing to this guy is screwing him over again because he was blindly buying coins with no knowledge of what he was buying.
I recall a second phone call with him, right before the Yashoda Singh Collection auction at Baldwin’s of London I had with this man who was formerly known as “my friend”, anyways, he spoke very quickly, and was in a hurry. Remember to be wary of anyone who is a fast/slick talker. This is what the country folk here say where I live in Bridgeville, PA or was it from the movie “Doc Hollywood” starring Michael J. Fox where the girl he’s chasing says something to the effect that “I can spot you city slickers a mile away.”
So my buddy goes right into a conversation immediately about “What has potential in India, what should I paying for this and that, how scarce are two annas, and what would you pay for this?” Are these scarce, how rare are these. “X” is buying India heavily. There is BIG MONEY chasing INDIA now.” I thought to myself, “Hmmm. I guess he discounted all the money I have put into the market, which according to his statement is peanuts, and what he says is really amusing to me.
He must have overlooked the : “Shah Alam II, AH 1173-1221; 1759-1806 A.D. 10 Rupees, Hijri, AH 1185, year 6. AR 115.6g, 45mm. Struck at Surat, in the name of the Mughal Emperor Shah ‘Alam II” which sold for almost $200,000 That coin sale was 9 months prior, I guess that was “small money”, and I wonder if he was planning on spending $200,000.01 which would qualify as “BIGGER MONEY”…..haha….I casually revealed my bids, lots, thoughts, and some of the trading ideas I was planning on implementing at the Baldwin’s auction. We have had numerous conversations about coin trading ideas, our communication was an open freeway of information between me, and him. What do I have to fear? He is my buddy.
Note to self : Never share your trading ideas with anybody-
Keep that shit to yourself-
Mysteriously during the September Baldwin’s auction I was outbid on all of the lots I was planning to buy. Some dude from the United States was in the room buying up all kinds of coins. Blindly outbidding almost everyone in the room. I realize that my so called buddy probably conveyed most of my trading ideas to “X”, and sold me out. What a swine. I distance myself from now my former acquaintance or we drift apart. Whatever you want to call it. Things won’t be the same as before, and that’s life.
Anyways, he has bigger problem on his hands, as he’s invested a chunk of change in the Chinese coin market which is eroding as I had mentioned. He also is trying to get me to invest in a so called “pool or tranche” investment to buy coins in an upcoming auction/catalog (that is off the radar, and does not as much exposure as some of the other major auction houses according to him), and we can flip it for “Millions”!!!!!Basically it’s an opportunity to make some money that he wants to share with me, and I suspect he’s looking to share this same generosity with with his childhood friend, remember “Z” and his newly found friend “X”. Don’t forget about himself as an investor either, but why is he being so generous, and sharing all this information?
To keep the market at high prices so he can liquidate all of his stock and be out.
I listen, and play along. But I have no inkling of investing a single penny with Slick Rick. Wouldn’t you know it that “X” is considering investing, and so is his family friend “Z”. Remember that he needs to go to the next hot market or growing market, and employ the same strategies within the India coin market. First though he must liquidate his Chinese coin holdings, and his strategies remind me of the movie Boiler Room.
I still stick to my guns, tell him my money is tied up, and I can’t invest. I recall in September 2011 sometime he is asking me what do with his most recent acquisition of Chinese coins he bought in August at the ANA. He’s uncertain as what to do. I mentioned he should “split up the coins in two auctions.” Half in December 2011, and half in April 2012. “The April auction has more exposure, money, and is in Hong Kong” he mentions to me. Not sure what he ended up doing but I think he may have elected to sell all the coins in April. Which was the wrong move in hindsight.
One time I had an auction for a Chinese Copper coin on eBay in December of 2011, and he told me he would be bidding. It was nothing special but it made me wonder : Why is he bidding? The prices are on the way down week by week, and this copper coin is nothing special. It’s a variety but nothing that special. I don’t know much about Chinese coins, but have attempted to study price action in general for many years, it’s ever changing, and never set.
I only had one thought from a speculative standpoint. He is supporting the prices for this copper coin to keep the bullish illusion fresh on eBay, and it’s in his best interest to keep prices high. But that’s got to be really hard to do on the way down, and you would need an exorbitant sum of money to sustain the market. Now ebay, which is a smaller coin auction venue in the grand scheme of things it’s easier to support or manipulate prices. His major Chinese coin auction is slated for April 2012, and he would have to keep these buying charades up for many months. Which must be a lot of work, and he might have to eat a coin or two at times. But he is working a classic pump and dump as prudently as he can to cover his ass.
The April 2012 Hong Kong auction shows the market what I had been thinking from August 2011 after The Wa She Wong Chinese sale : The “Specter of falling prices” rears it’s ugly head throughout the entire auction, and roils prices. This trend will continue for a few more months until it finally bottoms for the Chinese coin market. I had actually stopped monitoring that particular market in September of 2011.
I learned a lot from my former buddy but our friendship is soon slipped back to the “acquaintance” phase quickly and it happens with competitors quite often. I have unique identity as a competitor, and for someone to replicate what I do is identically is difficult. Everybody has got their own style like a fingerprint, and if you succeed. People will try to mock what you do, and then mock you. Kind of fucked up eh? That’s Life-
To be fair : Do I view my competition? What businessperson wouldn’t? I do, but I go about my business my way, and see more what I’m doing in my competitors work than what I take away from them. In a way it’s a great compliment, and a nuisance at the same time. Guess you can’t always have it your way like Burger King.
KRS ONE says, “you got to have style, learn to be original, and everybody is gonna wanna dis’ you.” dis’ = disrespect-
When I view my competition, and I see them copying my style. What do I have to fear? Myself? Possibly.
Back to my friend who is now my acquaintance and slipping to lower levels in my eyes. Remember that deal we had in June 2011 with “X” that we did well with our coins in a deal he brokered. He did sell my coin, which I thanked him and I asked, “Are you all taken care of with price.” Essentially meaning did he carve out a commission for himself the sale.
His reply, “Yeah, and I’ll have to cut the paypal fees out from the sale.”
My reply, “Sure”
I’m happy, and he’s happy. We both handled our business, and made some money in an illiquid market.
But there is an underlying problem in the Chinese coin market that arises after the fourth massive Hong Kong Wa She Wong sale in April 2012. The prices are eroding day by day, and there were prices that crossed that nobody has seen on the downside before. Some items went for ridiculous prices and coins with the most liquidity are starting are dropping. Quickly. Which is the beginning of a free fall in the market from what I saw.
When prices rise 8x-10x in a short span of time, jumping of a cliff is destined to be the only path to travel as a speculator, and that is what happen. Tulip Mania, Elliot Wave Theory, South Sea Bubble, and there are many other examples that point to past compressed price explosions. Who is to blame for these behaviors? Nobody. It’s a marketplace, and that’s how it works. Perception can be construed in many ways especially if you are not the person monitoring the situation closely.
Now in May/June 2012 my friend who is not my friend is quietly playing a role in boosting the British India coin market artificially in a small trading arena : eBay. But it will take him much longer then he anticipates to artificially boost the prices as I have blocked him from my auctions for over a year. In addition I have blocked 7 other people he knows in order to shield my client base from his monkey business. Essentially I won’t let him run up a common coin (1841 TWO ANNAS) in high grade (MS65) to create an illusion that prices are rising. I could care less, and want the market to flow naturally as it should. I tried as long as I could. But who am I to what is fair?
*Originally drafted on August 27th 2014 4:21 PM. Thanks for reading my thoughts if you do, and this includes mistakes and all.
So where did I leave off. Oh yeah-
P A R T 2
My descriptions on eBay never forced anyone to buy anything. Ever. How could I? My auctions were almost all generally no reserve, started at a penny, and the market controls the price. How did I control the price? By selling British India Coins for a little over two sequential years? By blocking people that were artificially boosting prices I suspected, and not allowing them to bid? My eBay “me” page clearly described “illiquid markets”, and when my risk decisions go bad I have the luxury of blaming one guy : me-
In spite of all the above information, risks of trading, and characteristics of risk that can be read almost anywhere on the internet. I was recently told by one collector on one occasion (and another time as well) that I was responsible for the downturn in the British India Coin market acorrding to someone he spoke with. Who : lost money. Tomorrow I will be crashing Nasdaq, and the S&P so please buy puts. Short the market! I’ve never heard more ridiculous talk about anything, and I think the crap is funny.
This guy blamed me for losing quite a tidy sum of money. But then again I had warned someone else about listening to someone in their teens for speculative advice. Because I wasn’t that specific teen myself but was a young man in his late 20’s giving speculative advice, and it ended in absolute disaster. Maybe another guy, and his cohort also blamed me as well. Which I think is very amusing. Blame me for all of your problems as well.
These buyers never thought ahead that since there was swooning interest, rising prices, that more coins wouldn’t come into the marketplace, and the David Fore Collections would siphon massive amounts of money from everyone’s pocketbooks. Not only did I describe this scenario in Part One above, but had given my thoughts about prices. I always mentioned these remarks in subtle ways. Because it is my responsibility to know what I project, and others should make their own projections.
Now remember the guy I described above in Part One that I suspected manipulated the Chinese coin market? Wonder if he had a hand in this market? Wonder if he employed the same strategies to create a mini massive boom, and bust cycle within the British India Coin market. There was a buyer that I had blocked in addition to his 7+ cronies he used to employ these strategies above? Whenever I mentioned this to anybody there was only one guy that ever believed me.
The rest just thought I was crackers, crazy, but some of those guys sided with his logic, and they paid dearly. Because he was “educated”, I was not, and boy that guy sure did give them an education. Maybe some of those folks can pray to the heavens, the man upstairs, whoever that may be for anyone, that the prices will come back to what they paid or greater, and they can sell.
I guess what many didn’t realize at the time is that if I did let this person propel the market higher. The downturn would have been much worse than now or the losses would have been much greater, and sure I would have had greater profits. Has anybody seen the Chinese coin prices lately for common coins? OH MY MAN UPSTAIRS…..On top of that it wasn’t fair to my consumer base. I could give a damn less about who else ran their business their way, but I would not allow manipulation in my eBay auctions. I did everything in my power to keep prices at bay without his greedy hand going into the cookie jar.
Sooner or later “manipulato” got people to join him in his quest to boost prices, and essentially derailed my vision of fair competition. It was easy for him to recruit people. He only needed one person that didn’t like me, for the record I don’t give a damn who likes me, and then it would snowball into two separate camps. I always remember a line from a song, “If you were to govern or rule a certain industry. Right now this whole room would be in misery.”
I never ruled or governed anything, but I planned much better than my competition. Which was nonexistent at the time because there was no market at all almost on ebay. I took the risk, and it worked out. But it could have blown up in my face dearly, and I would have suffered heavy losses. Think anyone would have tried to friend me then or ask me for advice? Hell no-
sooner or later I was at a point where I gave no information to anybody. Not that I was privy to information before anybody, but they were my thoughts, from my experiences, data points, research, and I work for no one. Be that my trading ideas were right or wrong didn’t matter me, and I presented data available to everybody as well in the past for risk buying decision. Luck does have to prevail as well quite often, and speculation is ever changing. I did freely share information in the the first year of trading coins. But that came back to haunt me in the future.
Note to self : there are no friends in competition for money, and competing for the best of anything in life. Second place means you lose. But that’s how life works, and I know I paid dearly many times financially. It’s tuition guys, for a lifelong education that never stops, and now I trust nobody. Nor do I communicate with anybody on a frequent basis as I once did.
My last eBay sale was 2013 or September. Matter of fact is was September, and a regular client tried to scam me. Because I blocked him, and he was colluding with others to manipulate prices. Probably with the same guy that I suspected colluding a year earlier. He won an auction under a newly created eBay username, and paid immediately. What the moron failed to do is put a street address into the eBay side of the user name. This went on for a few days, of course eBay sided with me, and case closed after some correspondence.
Someone with all the time on their hands, and no brains formulated this brilliant scheme. Which backfired, and I laughed so hard when he forgot to put the street address into his genius plan. He must have been practicing theses strategies from Homer Simpson “DOH” for many years as the negative feedback was removed, and good riddance of two headaches at once.
What was even crazier is the guy that was using another guy to do his dirty work was a regular buyer from me. I stopped selling to him because I suspected he was communicating with someone that I thought was trying to milk information from me indirectly, and more specifically the guy who had been trying to manipulate the market. Call me paranoid. Many did. But I was right. It took some time for my thoughts to transpire, but he eventually choose poorly as his puppeteers. He was their “chumcho” or danced as they said. But this is a young guy trying to make some cash, and money is blinding. Especially if you need some-
That last sale was the last straw for me, and I decided to close up shop on ebay. I sold British India and Republic coins for almost 24-27 months. It was time for me to go as I didn’t need these headaches anymore. I needed a break from one person telling me “to die” over and over,people getting pissed because I would not share my supply with them, reveal sources, multiple people accusing me of fixing prices, the drama, the drama between two cousins, and it all got old. I thought : really? Is this what this is about? I had every intention of returning to ebay, but sided against it, and soon it will be almost exactly one year. I don’t have time to babysit.
The final coin I sold for $200+ I donated the money to a charity via eBay. Here is the description I had written :
I can’t end an auction on November 10th 2013 because i’ll be in India, and can end an auction on September 8th in your spirit. It’s a month or so before your one year anniversary homegirl that the United Nations declared November 10th as “Malala Day”. I’m leaving my home on September 12th to travel near London, and that was the place of your recovery that took place last year. I’m requesting the person who wins this auction to please pay immediately as I’m not going to be here to ship the item after the 11th of September. “0” bidders are NOT welcome, and those that are blocked are not welcome either. Respect my terms. Please visit this auction more than once you “Toning Freaks” and “Nons” to show your support to Malala as the “hit counter” at the bottom of the page will increase every time you or anybody you tell revisits this auction. This auction I encourage bidders to bid it to the moon!
So anyways, I hope your recovery has been well, and It’s almost time for “Malala Day” again. We should have had this day probably from the beginning of time. But it’s easy to be one of my friends Hindsight Harry or Hindsight Henry. Both of these names are in my phone of my friends that always say “could have should have would have”, and I do the same thing at times. It’s really f&$kin sad that your life had almost been taken away from your family, and all of us throughout the world who never knew you. Even though I didn’t know anything about you, I heard there was an attempt on your life, I teared up, two different times, and read more about you. I read about how your father was a great influence in shaping your values, and how you wanted to be a Dr.
It pissed me off so much what those people did to you that I wanted to do the same thing to them as they had done to you in my mind, and that wouldn’t be right. Nor am I like them at all. If I was I would be like them “Latifah” HomeGirl which in Arabic means “delicate” and “very kind”. I can’t believe how selfish people can/could be when they can’t have their way. But you, a brave young soul/girl that is a fraction of their age combated unfairness with her unselfish convictions, and did it with wisdom. Non Violent Educational Awareness. You know there were a couple of other sages that professed the same principles as you Malala. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. come to mind. “Mahatma” which means “great soul” is a title which he bestowed on you as well. How do I know this? I was sitting with him while he was spinning cotton on his Charkha at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad in my imagination, he told me to tell you that his soul shines on you, and he still lives through you in the conscience world.
I CAN believe how you stood up to inequality as wisdom sometimes isn’t measured in age. Yet should be measured by “The Content of His/Her Character” like Dr. King once said before he was assassinated. You stood up to those bullies who are bullies for no reason, and here cometh the long overdue change for ya’ll. Don’t worry about them, and I know you don’t/never did. They are a bunch of “haters” that drink “HATERADE” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hope you become whatever your educational heart desires, what a great stance you have taken for the women of your country, and humanity in general. Maybe the government of Syria could learn to be strong and not oppress the weak like Hammurabi stated in his code. You touched my soul homegirl. I’m gonna put my money where my mouth is homegirl. I’m gonna donate 100% of the proceeds of this coin/auction to EQUALITY NOW in New York. I can’t get the funds to you directly, but in spirit i’ll get the money to a place that believes in the following:
“Equality Now works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure. Issues of concern to Equality Now include: rape, domestic violence, reproductive rights, trafficking, female genital mutilation, political participation and gender discrimination.”
Malala. Keep spreading that positiveness with the one thing as you have from the beginning: awareness/education
Someday Malala I’m gonna do something as brave/great as you, i’m gonna strive to do it, and thanks for inspiring me. I’ll never forget you, and neither will this world. Good thing you didn’t end up a martyr like Martin, like Mohandas, the world needs more Malalas here today, and going forward. You be that Dr. you wanna be homegirl, and Dr. King is smiling at you as well Malala. My imagination played chess with him yesterday, he checkmated me in 23 moves, and he told me that he is proud of you Malala. Thanks for inspiring all of us, I’m starting to tear up again, and I gotta go.
What I could never grasp was how a single 1938 MS 65 Rupee sold for $3000 at Steven Album’s auction. At that point I suspected the market had peaked. But then again that’s how a market functions, fluctuates, and there were literally two guys pumping the hell out of that date. Could it be the puppet, and his master? “Anything is possible.” His favorite saying I mean someone’s saying. Anyways. In addition to : 1911, 1921, and 1922 in not such high grades. They were common in certain grades, but not so common in gem grades at the time.
To show what a good sport I was I unblocked two guys that had tried to manipulate the market in the first place. Why? Because the market couldn’t climb any further, and I knew the price action made no sense to them. But they bought very lightly, and sold common coins when they could for big money by really screwing anyone they could. The “chumcho” was buying 1918 India Gold Sovereigns from one guy, and had to have taken a bath if he held the for a long period. His money supply as a trader was waning, it does take large bankroll to trade coins most of the time, and the market was slowly declining.
With people losing interest, and prices slumping. We were about to enter the third part of the David Fore sale. Everybody was waiting for business strikes, and needless to say the line up was quite disappointing. Most of my purchases were made in the first sale as I thought Original PROOF coins offered great potential for the future. Patterns I stayed away from because they have a very limited market, that’s what my data said, and they have lost some value as well but you never know with thin markets. Restrikes have gotten absolutely buried, and one collector told me there were thousands of them back in 2012. He was right as I sold most my restrikes in the fall of 2012.
Once the Fore auctions were over it seemed that the prices were ready to stabilize. But too much supply had entered the marketplace, and there would be a slew of coins on eBay from one seller which probably spooked many buyers from absorbing more coins. Many may have said to themselves : Why are there 2 William RS 1/2 Rupee’s for sale in two weeks? It really was crazy what was available in a two week period, but that’s how a collectables market functions. The supply is as random as the price swings. Nobody really knows what will show up at any given time, and what will happen.
Nowadays I still buy and sell coins. Indian coins are not as active as they once were for a number of reasons. The BSE or Indian Stock Market has been rising from many years of depressed levels, and new political hope. Hence many speculators lost interest or dumped coin holdings. It’s absolutely evident in the Republic India Proof set market where prices took a major hit. Next came a slow erosion of Victoria and George 5th Rupees. George 5th may have taken the worst beating, and sure someone could do an analysis. But then again that’s how a market functions, and what goes up must come down.
As a speculator there are less opportunities or value in British India as I see it today than before. It’s less liquid for certain, unless something is really rare. I still find value from time to time but have added very little in comparison to my holdings as compared in the past. On a side note, Randy Weir did sell his 1911 India Proof set. I saw it in his case at the beginning of the Chicago ANA, and mid way through. It was gone, and it was sold-
*This information was cited from a number of sources:
Vikram Deshmukh, Major Fred Pridmore: The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations, Dick H. Leavens (Rupee Circulation in India, The American Economic Review, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Mar., 1941) pages 87-90), Stephen A. Corvin, Yashoda Singh, Krause Publications, NGC, PCGS, silver-investor.com, Wikipedia, and Google.
08/14/2016 3:47 PM EST*
I had written this a little over four years ago from the date/time stamp above. Since then technology has changed, now I can make this post more picture friendly, and display it in a way that is a bit easier to read as well. Some corrections to the post have been made, I added some thoughts here and there as well. Most of what was originally written when this was posted remains intact and I will continue to update the posting as well. I also no longer have a financial position within this coin either, thanks for reading my coin conjecture, enjoy, and please feel free to leave comments.
.I N D I A.
There are many stories surrounding the 1939 India One Rupee coin, and nobody knows what to believe including myself. Some stories have been made up with a mixture of slight truths, and half-truths. I have gathered facts, fallacies, supporting data, and my own arguments to provide a clearer picture of what probably is closer to the truth for this dated coin. I believed many of these “facts/stories” at some point in time because it’s all I could find. But slowly these so called “facts” didn’t make sense to me.
Nobody (including myself) took the time to do a comprehensive work for this specific date, and the same false/innocent ignorant stories have been circulating for many years. Maybe some have known these facts, but never shared their thoughts with anyone but a few. Maybe free range chickens prefer a 401k plan, dental plan, full hour lunch break, and a health benefit plan before they become a Burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Who knows? A majority of the following data has been available since 1975 which Pridmore scattered like a puzzle in his works for an individual to draw his/her own conclusions.
Here are some fallacies I want to dispel immediately, but read on to get a clearer picture-
Fallacy: The 1938 One Rupee dated coins were minted in 1938-
Argument: How is this possible if the finished Type II (Large Head or Low Relief) Obverse dies were not delivered to India from Great Britain until late 1939?
Fact: The 1938 One Rupee dated coins were struck in 1940, and a small quantity of them may have been struck at the end of 1939.
Fallacy: The 1939 One Rupee dated coins were minted in 1939 throughout the entire year-
Argument: How is this possible if the 1938 One Rupee dated coins were the first to be struck in late 1939 or starting January 1940?
Fact: The Rupee coin was approved for standard circulation beginning January 1940 by the British Government. The 1938 One Rupee dated coins were the first to be struck in 1940, and the 1939 One Rupee dated coins were struck thereafter.
Fallacy: India’s silver shortage of 1939 (September prices spiked by 15%) was the cause of the recall or withdrawal of the 1939 One Rupee dated coin(s).
Argument: How is this possible if the 1939 One Rupee dated coins were minted in 1940 or after the 1938 One Rupee dated coins, and again the 1938 One Rupee dated coins were minted before the 1939 One Rupee dated coins in 1940 sometime?
Fallacy: There were 2.2 – 2.5 million 1939 One Rupee dated coins struck for circulation-
Argument: If the above is true then where are all the coins today? Hoarded?
Fact: The mintage was a “planned” or “proposed” mintage by the Bombay Mint which was common practice for many years.
Fallacy: The British government went to people’s homes to collect the 1939 One Rupee dated coins in ~1939~
Argument: Again. How is this possible if these coins were minted sometime in 1940?
Fact: 1938 One Rupee dated coins were not “officially” released for standard circulation until January 1940.
The British Government stopped minting the 1922 One Rupee dated coin in 1923 according to the mint records, and never authorized another One Rupee coin for circulation until 16-17 years later as an order issued by the British Government. Meaning that the British Government had not resumed production until January 1940 or late 1939 when the 1938 One Rupee dated coins were minted/released. The only reason new coinage resumed in 1939 was because of the increase in commerce in India from World War II.
The majority of the 1938 One Rupee dated issue was minted in the year 1940, and “a small quantity 1938 dated coins were minted in the end of 1939” as noted by Major Fred Pridmore. It was not possible to strike the 1938 One Rupee dated coin with the Type II obverse any sooner than late 1939 at the earliest date. I believe the 1938 One Rupee dated coin mintage was issued in its entirety, but not true for the 1939 One Rupee dated coins. Consider some of the following data which may be above as well:
*Type I = First Head or High Relief obverse*
Type I obverse dies were only used for Specimen/Proof/Restrike/Presentation issues for the 1938/1939 One Rupee dated coin(s), and these dies were never used for the circulation Rupee strikes. These dies were sent to India in July 1939 by mistake, and had poor striking capabilities.
*Type II = Second Head or Low Relief obverse*
Only Type II Obverse dies were used for the 1938/1939 One Rupee dated circulation coin(s), work commenced for the new dies in August 1939, and The Type II obverse dies were not delivered to India until late 1939 from England because they had to be reworked. Possibly some of the 1938 One Rupee mintage was struck after these dies were delivered late in 1939 to be released January 1940.
Earlier I mentioned “planned” or “proposed” mintages. Let’s look at the following mintages:
1906 Bombay One Anna 200,000
1938 Calcutta 1/2 Pice 11,161,000
1911 Bombay One Rupee 4,300,000
1911 Calcutta One Rupee 5,143,000
The 1906 One Anna and 1938 1/2 Pice were never minted for circulation, and may be found in proof/restrike/pattern issues only. Meaning the mintage was “planned” or “proposed”. Why wasn’t the 1938 1/2 Pice or 1906 One Anna struck for circulation? Answer: Maybe we should ask the chickens on the free range? We do know that everyone that was alive in 1911 that had first-hand knowledge about the 1911 One Rupee dated coin is dead. Anyways, it’s purported that 700,000 pieces were released; the remaining coins sitting in treasuries were melted, and withdrawn.
The Bombay Mint and Calcutta Mint started producing the 1911 One Rupee dated coins in July, and the coins were delivered to both Calcutta and Bombay banks in the meantime for distribution before December 12th 1911 for “official” public release. My point is that in a period of 5 months the mints minted at least 700,000 pieces, the rate minted per month we don’t know, and this was work by two mints working in conjunction with one and other.
Both mints started production 5 months ahead of the official public circulation/release. Now this implies that 1911 One Rupee dated coins were going to be minted well into 1912, and the mintages were known well in advance. Hence the above mintages would be “planned” or “proposed” for both 1911 B and 1911 C coin equalling roughly 9.4 million. January 23rd 1912 the 1911 One Rupee dated coins were officially withdrawn from circulation as ordered by the British Government because of a merchant mutiny against the newly minted coins, and those rumors were spread by the merchants themselves.
However, that’s another story for another time, and 1911 One Rupee dated coins are somewhat readily available in present day. People probably did save these coins as souvenirs because this was the first year of a new design, supposedly controversial, and they may of started hoarding what was being withdrawn. It’s easier to want something more when someone wants to take it away from you. “Proposed” or “planned” mintages were common practice in the past, and for many years to come. Could this have changed in any year? Absolutely!
The British government had not minted a circulation One Rupee coin for almost 17 years, and the 1938 One Rupee dated coin was the first of many in the series. I believe the entire mintage was minted for the 1938 One Rupee dated coin, and the Bombay Mint transitioned into the 1939 One Rupee dated coin briefly. This 1938 One Rupee dated coin was also a “first year type issue”, and there was probably some novelty associated with keeping one or two coins as a memento.
Many of these coins landed into the hands of hoarders, jewelers/bazaars, Choksi(s) (assayer of gold and silver), neighboring countries, use your imagination please I’m using mine, and some of them never made it back to the Reserve Bank of India. A majority of the 1938 One Rupee dated coins were probably melted/withdrawn from circulation before the official news announcement was made at the end of 1940 reducing the fineness for the One Rupee silver coinage to .500
Remember what the people in 1911 did? : They hoarded the Rupee coin, and they probably did the same thing with the 1938 One Rupee dated coin. Which does sort of explain why so many of them are available today, and even the window of opportunity to hoard the 1938 One Rupee dated coin was much greater than the 1911 One Rupee dated coins. The Reserve Bank of India planned to go “off” the .917 silver fineness standard, and shifted to a “Quaternary Alloy” (.500 silver fineness) with the 1940 1/4 Rupee dated coin as its first step.
British India Quaternary Alloy Composition:
50% Silver, 40% Copper, 5% Nickel, and 5% Zinc
Here are the “official” or “planned” silver fineness reduction dates :
March 11th 1940 1/4 Rupee fineness reduction
July 24th 1940 1/2 Rupee fineness reduction
December 20th 1940 One Rupee fineness reduction
Citizens of India preferred a hard asset as opposed to paper money hence the hoarding of silver for many years. People had little faith in “paper”, and it was just paper in the minds of the standard citizen. The average Desi wanted tangible silver in hand, and the government acted in late June of 1940 to combat hoarding as written by Dickson H. Leavens: “A rule was made by the British Government under the Defense of India act making it an offense for any person to acquire coins in excess of his personal or business requirements and providing that in cases of doubt the judgment of the Reserve Bank or it’s duly appointed agents as to what constitutes the reasonable requirements of one individual should be conclusive.”
Soon followed an ordinance passed in July 1940 to “issue and put into circulation 1-rupee notes. The law provided that these should be treated by the Reserve Bank in its account exactly as if they were One Rupee coins. Between the dates of March 31st 1940 (close of the financial year) and July 26th 1940 the Reserve bank’s statement showed an increase of 90,000,000 Rupee coin. But more than likely these were One Rupee notes dated 1940” as Dick H. Leavens noted in his work titled “Rupee Circulation in India.” Also these 1940 One Rupee paper currency notes were probably injected into circulation well before the “official” ordinance was passed in July as listed above. I don’t believe the actual 1940 One Rupee coinage mintage is accurately reflected in Krause because of the currency issue is part of the mintage which skews the data.
At some point in time during the month of July 1940 the entire 1938 One Rupee dated coin mintage was completed, and the Bombay mint started striking the 1939 One Rupee coins. This was a very short lived striking in July that was abruptly halted possibly by the order sent by the Royal Mint to reduce the fineness for the Half Rupee on July 24th 1940, and the injection of One Rupee paper currency notes dated 1940 to fight the practice of hoarding.
Keep in mind there was the official rule issued at the end of June 1940 by the British Government for all three denominations. In the past during World War I : Indians never forgot what happen in 1918 when there was a threat of a massive silver shortage, and the United States sold/shipped India (the British Government) 200,000,000+ ounces of silver at approximately $1/per oz. mandated by federal law known as : The Pittman Act
The United States sold this silver to India because its citizens were trading in paper currency to The Reserve Bank of India for hard assets (specifically silver). The silver on hand was not enough to quell the demand, The Reverse Bank of India would have run out of silver in a few months’ time because of demand, and I believe this demand was primarily driven by fear = World War I.
Nowadays USA collectors that cannot fulfill holes within their Silver Dollar collections can blame previous citizens of India or the British Indian Government for the 270,000,000+ Silver Dollars that disappeared from circulation via the Pittman Act. Be thankful it was only 270,000,000, and not the ceiling of 350,000,000 set by Senator Key Pittman of Nevada.
The collectors of USA coinage were affected by the practice of hoarding and so were the collectors of Indian currency. One denomination that is highly sought after by collectors of Indian currency is the denomination 2 Rupees and 8 Annas. The banknote was only issued for two years : 1917 and 1918
I don’t know if currency was issued in fiscal years as coinage, but many of these notes were probably exchanged for physical silver by panicked citizens that had inflationary fears from World War I. Redeeming two of these banknotes would yield someone 5 physical silver Rupee coins. If the scenario did happen as illustrated it may be one of the reasons that makes this banknote not so easy to find nowadays. Widespread panic to hoard silver.
Damn Brits, and Damn Hindustani Hoarding Indians. What? I try to be politically correct. Sometimes. Statement(s) not intended to hurt anybody’s feelings, and I want that to be clear. I don’t play that $hit-
The Bombay Mint had probably minted a very small quantity of 1939 One Rupee dated coins that were more than likely mixed in with the 1938 One Rupee dated coins entering circulation. I believe that the 1938 One Rupee dated coins were finished being minted sometime in July of 1940, the mint started srtiking the 1939 One Rupee dated coins, the paper currency injection came to fruition, the “official” order came to reduce the fineness for the Half Rupee to .500 silver, and the One Rupee coin was to be officially reduced to .500 silver as we know today.
Man Alive there is a lot of stuff going in July 1940 at the Bombay Mint! At the same time I think the decision came to stop the .917 fineness for the One Rupee 1939 dated coins abruptly well before the official date of December 20th 1940, and the Bombay Mint suspended minting the 1939 One Rupee dated coins altogether.
We are at a crucial transitory period going from .917 silver fineness to .500 silver fineness. We know that one 1939 Security Edge One Rupee dated coin survived from the supposed specimen mintage of 5 coins as noted by Pridmore, and these were “trial” pieces struck by the Bombay Mint in the “new” Quaternary Alloy. The Bombay Mint may have been tinkering with the idea of producing the 1939 One Rupee dated coin for standard circulation with a security edge, and then abandoned the idea. If the planned mintage was 150,000,000+ for the 1940 One Rupee dated coin then the Bombay Mint had to get off its laurels to mint it’s proposed mintage.
The Bombay Mint was seven months into the year 1940, and making One Rupee coins dated 1939 in the new alloy with the security edge would further delay the arduous task of producing the planned mintage of 150,000,000+ 1940 One Rupee dated coins. Part of the mintage includes One Rupee notes as well, and they would still have had many coins to strike even with the paper currency injection. Maybe this is why they never struck the 1939 One Rupee Security Edge Rupee coin for circulation, and only prototypes were struck.
By the way the 1940 One Rupee dated coin was the most massive planned mintages for a One Rupee coin since 1920. The Bombay mint liked to work with planned mintages as referenced above, and in order for the mint to produce 150,000,000+ One Rupee coins dated 1940 would arguably take some time to say the least to produce, and this mintage includes paper money that was printed as noted. They would have a good 12-13 months for production, and some of these coins needed to be ready before the official order was released on December 20th 1940 for fineness reduction.
Whatever 1938 and 1939 One Rupee dated coins had been minted were probably withdrawn from circulation over time up until the withdrawal order dated December 20th 1940, and thereafter as well. But we know now in hindsight that The British Indian Government could melt down 1,000 .917 silver fineness Rupee coins, produce 1,834 .500 silver fineness Rupee coins, and maintain the same value. Wait? How does that work, and how is it worth the same value? Maybe we should ask the same questions to the Federal Reserve within the United States or most of the World Central Banks for that matter.
I speculate the 1939 One Rupee dated coin was struck for one or two days at most. I can never prove unless I have concrete mint records or I use Marty McFly’s DeLorean from the movie Back to the Future to go back in time. But, if more 1939’s were struck then I ask : Where are they? Are they hoarded? Still? How can you hoard something that can’t be hoarded? They did circulate, and circulated for many years until slowly the coins migrated to the Reserve Bank of India’s treasuries where they were withdrawn from circulation with all the other .917 silver fineness coins.
It was easy to identify what was .917, and what was not. Most examples we see of the 1939 One Rupee coin are the “Reeded Edge” coin which is generally found in XF/AU (American standard grading) or poorer quality. Anything with a Reeded Edge was .917, and anything with a Security Edge was .500 There was a 1939 Security Edge One Rupee dated coin that surfaced in VF condition, and it had survived years of wear before somebody pulled it from circulation many years ago.
The sole reason the coin may have survived many years of the .917 silver melts may have been because of the “Security Edge” itself. Those coins that had the security edge were easier to identify to keep them circulating through the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary system, and whatever didn’t have a Security Edge was melted/recoined.
I have seen a few examples myself of the 1939 One Rupee dated coins, most of the coins from my experience were XF, AU/Almost Uncirculated (including cleaned examples), and UNC condition. I always wondered why the reverse was noticeably shinier than the obverse on some examples or why the reverse exhibited a semi proof like finish.
Why didn’t the obverse compliment the reverse? This does not mean that all 1939 dated coins will exhibit these qualities in AU grades, and I have seen business strikes as well without the shiny reverse. But, i’ve seen a few examples in hand that have noticeably tight polished lines or “die lines” on the reverse, they were very fine and fairly vertically uniform, and not so raised. Is this a characteristic of a newly prepared die? I believe so, and this coin has a semi reflective proof like surface as evidenced by the reverse.
My belief and 100% concrete evidence will vary very greatly. I have no proof except the coin in hand, and a few others that I have seen with my own eyes. But, if we do see these characteristics on AU or better 1939 One Rupee dated coins it could point to a very limited striking. Maybe even less than I propose below.
The 1939 reverse die was poorly engraved or poorly prepared to provide full strikes suggesting a number of possibilities, but the die(s) still had to be polished/prepared producing a better proof like surface on the reverse than the obverse during the first few hundred strikes. Some of the cleaned examples will show these qualities because the reverse die may have been prepared with more care than the obverse die, and the obverse die may have been the exact same die from the 1938 One Rupee dated coins.
There is less “smoothness” on the reverse with the high points closer together, almost proportionate height, and tighter detail. These characteristics would somewhat shield the smooth surfaces from taking “one on the chin”. But keep in mind that the smooth obverse fields on these coins are always prone to contact marks, scratches, and nicks.
The reverse could sustain much more wear because of the intricacy of the design and the high points were curved/rounded. The obverse was frozen for four dated years : 1938, 1939, 1940, and 1941. Many collectors will recognize for the previous dates that the obverse for this One Rupee coin series is always struck with more detail than the reverse with the exception of 1941 being a reworked reverse.
The reverse is an interested subject for this coin/series as well. From my observations I’ve noticed a tiny raised diamond test mark on the reverse of the 1939 One Rupee located between the “N” and “D” within the word “I N D I A.” The Bombay Mint used marks that were incused into the die to test the hardness of the die from 1936, and onward(s) sporadically. They also used them on some restrikes in different positions, and places.
I found the diamond mark on the 1939 dated One Rupee coins in three different positions: one dead in the center between the “N” and “D”, one nearing the “D” close to the top, and the last one like the last one but further away from the “D”. Confused by that last bit of the sentence? I was, and then I read it again. These test marks suggest that there were at least three working reverse dies from only what I have seen or experienced.
Sooner or later the test mark would disappear as more blanks passed through the die unless it was “freshly” prepared. It’s hard to locate the mark with the naked eye unless the pictures are really big, and even then it could be difficult to locate. I have personally seen the “diamond” in the identical position on two coins with semi proof like reverse finishes, and two additional coins (fresh reverses) with a “diamond” nearing the same position. If somebody could determine the rate at which the diamond would disappear from the die it would shed some additional light on the actual mintage. But, we would still need to determine somehow how many working dies were being used to get an even clearer picture.
The diamond test mark would be near this position as noted with the asterisk without the aesthetic interruptions:
.I N*D I A.
The diamond test mark would look something like this sized about a third of a grain of iodized salt and can be seen in the photo above.
British India Coins of India were always struck in the following manner: The reverse die was stationary, and the obverse die which was the moving part come down on the planchette with many metric tonnes of pressure. From my experience the reverse is generally more defined than the obverse for the British India series. But that will not be true always, and especially for the 1938, 1939, 1940 One Rupee dated coins.
The same design obverse dies that were used for 1938 One Rupee dated coins were used for 1939 One Rupee dated coins as well. I’ve found some 1938 One Rupee dated coins with a sharp diamond test mark located somewhere between the first “R” in the word “EMPEROR”, and the back of King George’s head nearing the center of his hair.
The obverse diamond mark can be in a number of positions within the “fields” or smooth surface of the coin, but are generally located within the area as described above. The 1939 One Rupee dated coins I have seen have had this test mark on every coin, in three positions, and they are all “mushy”. I don’t see any evidence on this pictured coin pointing to any polishing or re-polishing of the obverse die. I’m suggesting that it would have been very easy to leave the 1938 obverse die in its place, replace 1938 One Rupee reverse die with the 1939 One Rupee reverse die, and resume production without a hitch. More than likely the same obverse dies that struck the 1938 One Rupee dated coins were used to strike the 1939 One Rupee dated coins as well.
Shouldn’t we see both diamond test marks having the same “newness” if the obverse/reverse were both newly prepared dies on a 1939 One Rupee dated specimen? Furthermore, you will find a majority of the 1939 One Rupee dated coins with a slight tilt die axis on the reverse about 5-7 degrees to the left as shown. Also, I have seen some 1938 One Rupee dated coins as well with this almost identical die axis. Check to see if any of your 1938 One Rupee dated coins have a die axis. Is this die axis a pure coincidence or was “a” die or multiple dies switched out in the same position during the end of the 1938 One Rupee dated coin striking which probably transitioned into the 1939 One Rupee dated coin(s) striking?
I speculate that the actual number of coins struck for the 1939 One Rupee dated coin was between 7,500-10,000 coins, and the survival rate is 1%-2%
What do I believe survived?
~200 coins or less~
~only 1 time 9 will 3 tell 9~
Here is what’s graded by NGC so far up until 4/23/2012:
XF45 AU50 AU55 AU58 MS61 MS62 MS63
1 1 1 2 1 1 1
Here is what’s graded by PCGS so far up until 4/23/2012:
In the last three years I have seen the population reports with numerical value/grades increase from NGC by 2 coins. There is an MS 64 graded by PCGS recently, and three coins graded by ANACS. There are around 16 coins in Third Party Graded holders to my knowledge. This coin is a tough coin to get in general, and in the last 6 years there have been only 5 coins that were in AU+/UNC condition from 2006-2012 purveyed mainly by one auction house.
Most of the UNC examples we have seen have been sold via auction in the last few years. I believe some Englishmen may have saved some examples as novelty, and those are the better examples we see nowadays. Not many but a few UNC examples made it to the USA coin market over the last few decades from across the pond.
I know of at least three that have been in slabs: MS 61, MS 62, and MS 63 at NGC which have been in the population report for the last 5+ years. My point is that in the past six years I know of only 7-8 examples that are UNC coins. A few auction houses in India have sold an additional six examples which were in poor condition over the past 2-3 years.
If one compare’s the poor quality examples sold in India to those examples sold abroad. The examples sold abroad were selling at incredible bargain prices because of the superior quality. There are only 14 public records for this coin in the last 6 years from the date these words were written in late April 2012.
I don’t have firsthand knowledge of any private transactions (other than my own) from the past, and that could very well skew my data. This coin has not shown up very often in auction from my past experience, and that will slowly change I suspect going forward. Maybe a hoard may be found? Maybe December 21st 2012 this hoard will show up courtesy the Mayan Calendar. But, then again I have a financial interest in this coin, assumed the risk of buying this coin, and a hoard would spell disaster for me/those that have taken on this risk.
I don’t believe there are “thousands” of 1939 One Rupee dated coins as claimed by an auction house many years ago in India. If there are thousands of these out there in the market-place, then why have we only seen 4-5 UNC examples publicly trade in the past 6 years? It sure as hell isn’t because the price is low or there is no demand for the coin. The auction houses in India have been selling poor quality examples for many years now. Maybe that’s all that has been available in the market-place and consumers have been sporadically buying them when available.
But that will change in due time since the collector/investor/hobbyist will demand better quality going forward for India coinage. This is a natural progression for a market that is growing, and maturing at the same time. The next few years may show us how many 1939 One Rupee dated coins are out there in the marketplace. Everybody wants to make money: selling one of these coins could make you money, depending on when you made your purchase, and if you want to sell.
The question is who is going to show us the demand curve first, and sell? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Meanwhile happy hunting a :
I N*D I A
*additional thoughts to consider from my responses
“Thanks for reading the story, and many others contributed as well.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed the reading. The story is very open to think many possibilities through, there are many facts, and I leave much up to the reader. Thanks for the feedback.”
“Thanks for the feedback, and i’m glad you find the info useful. I have never seen a 1939 Proof, and I don’t know if it exists or not. You may want to check around on the web for an image. Thanks. Sincerely, Sanjay”
“1940 One Rupee notes were issued in quantity of 90,000,000, and counted as silver coin. The total mintage for the 1940 One Rupee coin is 150,000,000 according to Krause. In actuality it’s 60,000,000 coins or less. 1941’s mintage may be even less than listed as well, and from experience 1940 and 1941 are almost impossible to find in Gem BU grades.
1943 is equally tough or tougher, and the 1943 mintage is completely erroneous as well.
1944 was the height of World War II, and the mints probably stopped minted 1943 dated which were more than likely struck in 1944. This was common practice as the fiscal year overlaps into the next year. Hence minting into the next year, what I describe for 1939 is that it may have started, and stopped almost immediately. Why I don’t believe it was fully struck is because it has the identical mintage to the 1911 1/2 Rupee, but one will find those in either complete crap grade or Gem BU. Someone pulled a few of those out of the mint, and knew the scarcity. People were well aware of scarcity, and I don’t really think anyone had time to pull a few pieces of the 1939 Rupee. The decisions must have been made so quick, and I think they just stopped after a very short stint of minting. Whatever was mixed in with the 1938 bags or rolls is what got distributed, and that was just by chance.
The 1911 1/2 Rupee mintage I believe was struck fully, stored, more than 1939, and not distributed. The 1939 Rupee mintage struck in it’s entirety?
I am not a buyer-
Someone specifically at the mint pulled out over 15 BU/GEM examples of that date. You have a better shot at finding a bu/gem example than an AU example. Can the same be said for the 1939 Rupee date? No. Ask the collectors or view the population reports. Both can confirm the above speculative info. The thought of debasing the silver Rupee was done months before it was to be actually done, and it was a last minute decision I believe. There wasn’t anything to melt, and whatever escaped from the mint was probably mixed in with the 1938 Rupee bags or rolls.
I am still convinced the mint kept the same obverse working die from 1938 dated Rupee, and replaced only the reverse. The 1939 dated Rupee reverse is off by a few degrees to the left almost identically as the 1938 dated Rupee reverse. They were in a hurry. In addition there is no “test diamond mark” behind George’s head which is usually indicative of a new die. Those diamonds were used to measure die wear. But. I have never seen a full diamond behind the head of George on a 1939 dated Rupee.
What’s very fascinating to me is that the “Reverse” has a fully visible test strike as I have described in the article-
The decision to come off the .917 silver standard for the Rupee was a rash decision, and wasn’t supposed to happen until later in the year for the Rupee. The mints had already made a decision as mentioned in the full article. The mint struck the Security Edge 1939 Rupee, and completely abandoned the 1939 .500 silver debased striking. Why? Because they were probably well into the year to start striking 1940 dated coins. This is what I believe. In addition to what I believe, they could not get the Security Edge application correct. The British Government had to fly people out a few times to properly calibrate the edge, and that was after this striking I think. They still didn’t get it right.
Anyways, collectors will find 1942,1944, 1945, and 1938 Rupees by the boatloads. 1938 was hoarded for sure, and the debased issues were struck in gargantuan quantities. Try to find 1940, 1941, and 1943 in Gem Bu condition. Good Luck. I’m still looking. But collectors are brainwashed by 1938 for some reason that it is “scarce”.
During the debasement The Pittman Act money was due as well after the war. Someone can research when the Pittman Act repayment was actually due, and I’m fairly certain it was in the 1940’s. The Indian British Government starting debasing silver with the 1939 Rupee issue as the 1939 Security Edge Trial indicates. That issue was .500 silver, and not the fineness of .917 as the original issue 1939 Dated issue.
They had to return $270,000,000 to the good ole USA via The Pittman Act that they borrowed 20+ years ago-
Where should they take the money out from? The British Treasuries? Nope-
Debase the Rupee, and send the silver back to the UK. There was political unrest, and the British Government knew their time was up sooner or later, and they started operation : Debase
Inject half the silver in the form of coin, and flood the People with the “frozen” year 1940 One Rupee Paper notes which were not even close to par in lieu of the hard asset of silver in terms of value.
But they pulled it off-
From 1940 to 1946 can one imagine how much silver was sent to England via the Reserve Bank?
and then India gets it’s Independence shortly thereafter-
think they cared about silver?
“Thanks for sharing the information with us, and your thoughts. I always suspected that the 1936 India denominations were “frozen” strikes or years. There are so many of them available in great quantities, there were no circulating coins dated 1937, and as you pointed out that most of these coins were not struck until after the order was noted. Similarly Pridmore does mention that a small quantity of 1938 coins were struck in late 1939. 1835 very well was frozen I suspect but only up until mid 1837 when William passed, and 1840 Divided Legend was struck in mass quantity probably up until 1862. 1840 Continuous Rupees I’m not so certain about as they are more difficult to find than Divided. I am starting to believe they stopped making them in 1850-51 or so when the Divideds were first struck. Makes sense to me, thanks, and regards-”