A Grey Area For Restrikes

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Jaelus, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    If a coin is restruck by a government and distributed as an original, is it really a restrike?

    For example, the 1804 dollar or 1964 silver coinage struck after 1964. Are those actually restrikes?

    Is there just a grey area for restrikes regarding whether or not they are considered original (or pseudo-original)?

    Does it matter if the coin in question was demonetized at the time it was restruck?

    I'm encountering this problem for my sets, where a government controlled entity for Hungary produced restrikes for the collector market, but also sold older original coins. When selling older mint sets, they sometimes substituted - let's call them replacement coins - when originals were not available. These are essentially unmarked "restrikes" made with original dies by a government entity, sold as originals, and the "restrikes" were not otherwise made available outside of these "original" sets. What are they? Restrikes? Originals? Something else entirely?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    Seattlite86 likes this.
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  3. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Sounds like the government is getting over with substituting these coins. I'm happy to hear that they're at least minted by the government, but they're not the actual coin of the time. Anything produced in modern times with old dies, not intended as circulation, fits for me as a specific category that does not fall under type collections. I'd be hesitant to call it a restrike, but I can't think of a better word for it.
  4. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Yeah I feel the same way. I discovered that I inadvertently had at least one of these "replacement" coins in my type set (probably more), from the 1946 government sold mint sets.

    The one I could tell was a replacement was because they accidentally used a reverse die that had only been used on the pattern version of the coin (a slightly different number punch was used on the 6, and there were some minor spacing differences between that and production dies).

    So it's a coin from a 1946 mint set but it was struck around 1965. That's only 19 years later, it's not like a restrike of a classic coin, this is still a modern coin.
    Seattlite86 likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I truly do get what you're saying. And perhaps it oversimplifies things a bit, but what is your real concern - what somebody else calls/defines them, or what you call /define them ?

    To me this is, always has been, and always will be a huge issue for all things in life, not just numismatics - and "this" is referring to definitions. But because we as a group are focused on numismatics it seems to be somewhat prevalent doesn't it ?

    I mean this kind of thing comes up all the time in discussions. One says it's this, another says no it's something else. And there is never, absolutely never, any consensus regardless of the subject at hand.

    So that's what brings me to what I originally asked - what is your real concern ? What somebody else says they are, or what you say they are ?

    And I'm not trying to be flippant, not in any way, I'm as serious as I can be. And I take your question to be an honest one, a serious question as well. But in the end I don't see that's there's ever going to be an honest, definitive answer because the answer will always depend on how one defines things - and as I said, there's never any consensus.
  6. brg5658

    brg5658 Supporter! Supporter

    Well, as for the 1804 silver dollar, that's a different animal all together. There were never any 1804-dated silver dollars struck in 1804, so it can't be a "restrike" of something that never existed. The 1804 dollar is a fantasy coin, even though struck by an official government.

    As for the coins you are talking about - relative moderns that are dated earlier but produced later: they would be of two types:

    1) Coins that can definitively be differentiated from those struck earlier, and
    2) Coins that can not be differentiated from those struck earlier.

    Those of type 1) could potentially be called restrikes or even just varieties, but those of type 2 cannot be known and it is a philosophical/academic point only.

    I guess I'd go farther and just say, does it really matter? For something to be a difference it has to make a difference. If the coins of type 1) are traded and collected the same as those struck in the original year, then differentiating them is sort of an academic exercise. It's sort of like collecting RPMs or die marriages or other microscopic (inconsequential) varieties. If the market largely doesn't care, then it doesn't really matter what you call it.
  7. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Doug, great questions.

    For my modern Hungarian set, I'm only collecting first year examples of each type (which includes many key dates, including the big two keys for modern Hungary). Having one of the earliest examples struck of each type is somehow more authentic in a way that is difficult to explain, but the appeal of collecting first year/run/edition is common in many collections both numismatic and not. Collecting first year examples also makes collecting the set much more challenging, since otherwise a modern uncirculated set is easy to assemble.

    So for me, I feel like I cheated in building the set. Owning a "replacement" coin is less authentic and less challenging. Most of them are not distinguishable from high grade originals, so there isn't much I can do about it unless I want to go for lower grade coins with unquestionable authenticity.

    In thinking about these issues further, several additional questions came to mind. If I like them and want to retain them, where do they fit? They don't really belong in my restrike set; possibly they should be treated as a variety? I am honestly curious how people feel about this sort of thing. Does this type of issue have a name? Where does it fit?
  8. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Yes, but I don't believe the 1804 dollar was purposely created as a fantasy piece, but rather with the intent of it being a reissue (though that was incorrect). Also, restrikes of a type need not have a date in the actual run of the coin - many restrikes use dates that did not have business strikes issued to differentiate them as restrikes. My point is more that the dollars are slabbed as 1804 dollars and not 1804-dated restrikes. The same goes for the 1964 dated coinage. What would happen if there was a way to conclusively identify the real date based on die markers?

    I agree with your assessment of the two types. I collect in the US and so was largely unaware of these "restrikes" until recently. They are not listed in any catalogs of restrikes since they aren't considered restrikes. In talking to advanced modern collectors in Hungary, the market does care about them and doesn't consider them to be originals, though confusingly there also isn't a conclusive way to identify them.
  9. muhfff

    muhfff Well-Known Member

    Maybe "novodel" would be good term to use?
    Novodels in Russia were also made by government. As I have understood sometimes they even re-engraved the dies, if original ones were missing. Usually the novodels are slightly different of originals (sometimes they are even off-metal). And they even made novodels of patterns.
  10. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    I agree completely. But not only that, they later went on to make restrikes of those fantasy coins !

    Given that, what does one call any of them ? Personally, by my definitions - none of them even qualify to be called coins ! They're really nothing more than silver rounds - very expensive silver rounds !
  11. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    And Jaelus, I get what you're saying - and why. And it's because I get it that I asked the questions I did.

    The way I see it is this - it's your sets, you are the one who defined what those sets were from the get go. So you are the only one who can define what coins fit in those sets and what ones don't. And you do that by defining what the coins are, or are not - with your own definitions. And what anybody else thinks, well it simply doesn't matter - you're the only one that counts.

    If it was me, the coins you question are absolutely restrikes and that leaves them out. But like I said, it aint me - it's you buddy. So call 'em as ya see 'em ;)
    Jaelus likes this.
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