Newly Reported Variety Dahomey 1971 100 Francs Silver? See If You Can Tell

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by 7Jags, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    I recently won at auction a coin that is not common, but not rare either. It is very attractive, but more importantly is of a type that I only 54E08D89-2F55-4B96-AB88-C40F04A93429_1_201_a.jpeg D2F7EA2D-ED93-4BD7-A220-06235FFEBC0D_1_201_a.jpeg 01ADA171-FC3E-4156-BE24-C3A9577097EA_1_201_a.jpeg speculated to exist. I will post it here and see if alert readers can pick out what makes this specific coin different. The top obverse is the newly "discovered" one.

    I suspect there are a few more out there, but much more scarce than the type at bottom (which itself is supposedly a slightly scarcer type).
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  3. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

    The placement of the Hallmark? Also, is that damage or something else under the F of FRANCS? (On the top photo).
    I have a feeling it's something other than the Hallmark as that was too obvious. :)
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  4. NPCoin

    NPCoin Resident Imbecile

    You are partially right! Now take a very close look at the actual hallmarks. There are three varieties for this coin. The third one has the hallmark above the denomination like the one here. The special variety the OP has obtained is different in more than just the hallmark location.

  5. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    the 999.9 is in a different spot ? actually (1,000) KM#1.3 mintage of all 3 varieties is 4,650. Relatively scare. Nice find.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  6. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

    The palm tree on the crest looks different. My eyes are getting tired. I give up for now. Goodnight. :)
  7. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    OK, I am at fault because of poor photo & will try to post a better one later today:

    the difference is to the left of CFA on obverse top coin and is the counterstamp "1 AR".
    The supposed significance is that it was struck in Arrezo (sp?) Italy. Not sure who struck the others, and they look a lot like the silver proof coins struck for Haiti and Albania.
    I had that information somewhere and lost it.

    The 1 AR stamp is only on sporadic coins, and more common in order on the 1000, 500, and scarcest on the 200 with none seen until last week on the 100. IMO, this is least common on this smallest denomination.
    thomas mozzillo likes this.
  8. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    You are not giving me credit for the 999.9 and 1,000 placement ? Those are 3 differences also.
    7Jags likes this.
  9. NPCoin

    NPCoin Resident Imbecile

    I used the term "hallmark" for ease of reference after the first post and as not to "give away" the difference so soon. But hallmark and counterstamp would both be incorrect usages (that is, unless the mint actually countermarked their inventory themselves prior to distribution, which I'll explain later, in which case it would be a counterstamped mint mark). A counterstamp indicates a mark created after the minting of the coin. A hallmark is akin to a trademark, that is to say, an identifier and assurance of the one producing the item.

    It may seem a petty thing to point out the difference, but it could prove quite important in understanding why this difference is there. Now, the 1000 and 999.9 within the oval would properly be referred to as the fineness. The 1 AR is actually a mint mark. This mint mark was used by the Gori & Zucchi Mint (a private mint located in Arezzo, Italy).

    Now, there are actually five varieties of this coin if you want to include the placement of the "1 AR" mint mark as a variety, as well as the 999.9 fineness mark as in this specimen (note that this could possibly be a counterfeit?):

    Now, for a mintage of only 4650 coins, one would have to wonder why so many different varieties. Well, during this time, the mint was contracted to produce precious metal NCLT coins for a wide number of countries. And, although each release mintages were generally small, when added together it became quite the task.

    So, the Gori & Zucchi Mint would subcontract to other mints. One of these contracted mints was the Staaliche Munze in Karlsruhe, Germany. Gori & Zucchi would provide the blanks and dies for these mints and they were simply to produce the pieces. CoinWeek had an in-depth article in March 23, 2015 about the Korean gold and silver commemoratives of 1970 (link).

    Within the article, it did make mention that the gold coins minted in Germany were not of the same fineness as the ones being shipped from Gori & Zucchi. I believe the placement of the 1 AR mint mark was a measure to identify those coins that were produced in house as opposed to those that were subcontracted elsewhere.

    It is very possible that the mint mark had been countestamped (which would make sense) as a measure to identify the coins actually produced by Gori & Zucchi to their clients. Once the current stock had been depleted (which may have only been a handful of trial strikes), new dies (with the 999.9 fineness mark) may have been produced and not distributed to subcontractors. Obviously, the difference in the design would require trial and error to find just the right placement for the fullest strike.

    Of course, this is all speculation without any official statement or documentation to the contrary. But, we see a very large number of Gori & ZucchiI silver and gold coins that have placement varieties and mint mark placement in 1970/71.

    Another possibility exists as well. I used the term trial strikes in reference to the 1 AR mint mark (counterstamps). It is a possibility that the 1 AR may actually identify all of the trial strikes that were released out to the wild.

    But, we will never know without word from the horse's mouth.
    brg5658 likes this.
  10. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    NP - excellent! That is as good as I have heard & think I'll print it off.
    And you too Spirityoda!!!

    Here is the promised closeup. Also, I put in pictures of the small gold 2500 CFA (I like this one), but not sure where it was struck??? For whatever reason I can't get the obverse image to download....

    3CE1BFD8-B706-44A5-BC6D-5C6742D982D3_1_201_a.jpeg 2B9F933D-F7FA-4EB0-BF9E-58619AD7B705_1_201_a.jpeg
  11. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

  12. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    The 1 AR on the 100 francs does look stamped in, but I could be wrong.
  13. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    1970 Anguilla Proof 4 Dollars with "1 AR" counterstamp (or what you'd like to label it). This seems to quite rare, and I have not seen another of this either although listed on the site on the internet:

  14. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

    I noticed that and asked if it was damage because I was unable to read the mark. And, I want my prize for noticing it. lol :)
  15. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I notice that in my 2019 Krause world coin catalog KM#18.2 says that there are 2 hallmarks at 4 o' clock, but in their picture it only shows 1 hallmark the 1,000 it is an obvious wrong photo. It gave a value for PF65- $100
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  16. 7Jags

    7Jags Well-Known Member

    Ah, yes. I see and should have read the Anguilla listing more carefully. BTW, some of these counter stamps or countermarks are very lightly impressed and hard to make out - the Anguilla one is not, at least on my coin.

    Here are some awards for contribution:

    ;););) - NPCoin
    :cat::cat: - Spirtyoda
    :doctor: - Thomas Mozzillo
    spirityoda likes this.
  17. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

  18. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

    @7Jags Thank you for your generosity in awarding me the prize. I'll cherish it the rest of my life. :D
    7Jags likes this.
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