Featured Liberia Triple Fake - A Franklin Mint Mystery In Plain Sight

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by 7Jags, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Recently I was researching up the matte uncirculated issues of the Franklin Mint from the 1973-1977 period when I came up with one of those bits of information that just begs for further investigation.
    I saw mentioned that after striking a few proof sets for Liberia in the mid-70s with the last being 1979 by recall that they (the FM) got a contract and then struck some currency coins for circulation in Liberia in 1983-1984. Googling seemed to confirm this being the case but nowhere could I find specimens. In the 1984 year they supposedly struck 2 million 1 cent coins, 1 mill. 5 cent coins and 500k 10 cent coins for Liberia, and what was more is that they were struck in supposedly matte or at least satin finish.
    And then I remembered the "Coins of All Nations" in several issues by the FM. Except for some sets that included a few old coins possibly leftover FM coins from earlier years - these are individual national sets often issued with a stamp and usually were made up of coins struck by the Royal Mint, Aussie Mint, Russian mint, etc. as the FM was winding down operations
    Well supposedly some of the 1984 FM coins were included in these Liberia sets in the 1c through 10c denominations (I think the larger coins thru 1 Dollar struck by the Philly mint) - this in a period where the FM had [I thought] shut down currency coins. I could then see on ebay that there were sets that had these coins but the 10c were mainly Philly issued coins that unlike most coins in these sets had been knocked around with handling. A few had 10c coins from 1984 but nowhere could I see on coins of these sets the FM monogram (Jamaica is another exception in that a few sets had quality uncirculated coin in the 20c 25c, and 50c size). So I ordered a set from ebay and looked at the coins carefully; here pictured are the 1c and 5c and see if you can spot the FM monogram:

    tempImagezViXcS.png 42F4AA35-0719-4767-9C65-374607EC294B_1_201_a.jpeg tempImagewUZJ6d.png tempImagevFqkam.png

    Then the more obvious 10c:

    tempImageCbUv9a.png tempImageZjykiE.png

    Sorry for the long-winded post!

    But it ended up that 7 years after the last matte coins that I know of being struck, the FM got a fairly large contract and struck coins for Liberia for circulation in the matte finish and then included them is sets that really no longer had FM coins with three of them represented.
    It is still a mystery as to if they actually circulated or were struck and only released in these sets. I have not seen any with 1983 coins of the same denominations.

    One last thing: I had assumed that in Krause when the (M) or matte designation is used post-1977 for uncirculated or currency coins that these were in fact (U) or prooflike coins with many examples to show. Now here is the evidence that they did strike mattes well after the expected 1977 termination of this type of strike.
    ddddd, jb10000lakes, TuckHard and 9 others like this.
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  3. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    I had hoped people would be a bit more interested. Those FM mintmarks/monograms are very hard to spot on the 1c and 5c coins
  4. TheGame

    TheGame Well-Known Member

    Glad to see you got the set! As I said in the post where I first mentioned these coins, I do believe some were released to circulation, although I doubt the full listed mintages were. I also doubt 1983-dated coins exist.

    Here's my circulated 1984-FM 10 cents:

    TuckHard likes this.
  5. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Wow, that is a good find. I have only seen the coins in the sets. I wonder how that contract came to be in that time and place that was the Franklin Mint in '83 and '84.
  6. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    Interesting thread! So if I am reading correctly, there are:

    - 1983 FM issues
    - 1984 unsigned Philadelphia issues
    - 1984 FM issues

    Is that correct? Are there any archives from the Franklin Mint that can be looked at?
  7. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member


    For Liberia -

    No 1984Philly issues that I know of despite Krause
    As per TheGame: No known 1983 FM issues despite listing in Krause (please let me know if you find any)

    Few 1984FM coins known outside of the Franklin Mint "Coins of the World" cardboard cased sets.

    I wish there were Franklin Mint archives available. If there are any I have not heard of them and nobody else seems to know of any either. FM records are fairly good up through 1980, and then afterward a bit spotty. These were published through 1981 by Krause at the time, and I do not know of any Guidebooks or catalogs since then.

    By 1982 records really started falling apart for reasons we can only guess at, and I have given some commentary on this before.
    Mister T likes this.
  8. Mister T

    Mister T Member

    Above the plants under the sun, under the plants under the ship and under the year by the looks it. Oh wait is the FM under the plants under the ship something else?
    Cheech9712 and Stevearino like this.
  9. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Well, look in the top of the grass to the Left of the palm tree! It took me a long time to find it.
    In hand these are all VERY attractive coins. I would recommend getting one of those Coins of the World sets with the three all from 1984FM. For some reason many of the sets came with other year (like 1970 and 1975) 10c coins....
  10. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Perhaps this allows better visualization, straight below the sun and in the top of the grass: DBD141E2-7A82-43F5-BDA6-169232710CC1_1_201_a.jpeg
  11. jb10000lakes

    jb10000lakes Active Member

    Nothing like a good mystery/quest. I love doing deep dives to get to the roots of things like this. Enjoy the hunt!
    7Jags likes this.
  12. TheGame

    TheGame Well-Known Member

    It's worth adding that I have yet to see a circulated example of the 5 cents. There's a circulated example of a 1 cent shown on uCoin, and I have the circulated 10 cents posted above. If anyone comes across a circulated 5c, I'd love to see it.
    7Jags and Ardatirion like this.
  13. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    I looked that one up and it looks very prooflike (?)....and certainly I am on the lookout as well, not to be competitive, for the 1983FM currency coins if there is such a thing...
  14. TheGame

    TheGame Well-Known Member

    The 'plate' example is the UNC one that looks proof-like, there's a second one that's circulated.
  15. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Ah, that was a bit of a search to find. Thanks.

    If the FM was able to land this contract for Liberia, why were they seemingly unable to deliver, and why did they not at least submit patterns for other countries, like Kings Norton and all?
  16. Ardatirion

    Ardatirion Où est mon poisson

    My bet would be that its related to events in Liberia. After the 1980 coup, the government was completely upended. You see circulation issues drop completely off, especially since the 1983 and 1984 issues apparently were never broadly released. (I wonder if the same is true for the 1987 10 cent?) You also start to see the commemoratives pick up a bit and begin to transition from the more national themed commemoratives (Tolbert's inaugural issues, Inter-Continental Hotel, OAU etc) to international, but still nationally relevant themes. And then when the civil war breaks out in 1989, the NCLTs really take off and are clearly designed solely for foreign sale and funding whoever is in control of Monrovia.
    Mister T likes this.
  17. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Um, excuse these medical additions! Not sure how this got here, these are all over the place and NOT RELATED TO ME!!!!!
    Your exam will be next Saturday, 8:00AM EST Sharp!

    I see the spam to which I refer has been removed. Go Douglas!!
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  18. TheGame

    TheGame Well-Known Member

    I wasn't able to find any evidence of the 87 10c existing either. If they were even minted in the first place, they likely weren't released at the time the civil war started.
  19. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Likewise, no evidence of this one for me either....
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