Victorian Large Cent Mintages

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rjd65
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Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by rjd65 » Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:22 pm

This is a question for anyone with significant large cent experience that may have suspicions about subject. This is purely a survey to gauge other collector's beliefs.

Q. Based on your experience, is/are there any particular year(s) where you feel or believe the documented mintage is likely erroneous. If so, what is that year and do you believe the actual figure is higher or lower than published? You do not need to state your reasons for that belief unless you desire to.

Thanks, RD

Bill in Burl
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by Bill in Burl » Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:57 pm

I think that the 1858's are under-mintage and that there were closer to a million. I think that the 1859/8's are much scarcer than thought.
Bill in Burl

rjd65
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by rjd65 » Sat Dec 17, 2022 8:00 pm

Thanks for your input Bill. I'm seeking another somewhat related opinion. Of the 51 million (give or take) Victorian large cents minted how many do you think survived the melting pot? Does 3% seem reasonable, leaving 1.5 million extant or could it be less? An answer probably requires some speculation unless records were kept by the Finance Department and available today on how many large cents overall were removed from circulation. We could then assume the quantity of each year removed is proportional to their relative original mintages. Rich

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Gerryinthe6ix
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by Gerryinthe6ix » Mon Jan 02, 2023 7:09 am

I would imagine the first two (1858 and 1859) were hoarded and that later years are now much scarcer than originally thought. I usually judge relative scarcity by the population reports. Actual numbers aside, proportionally, they're a pretty good indicator of what's out there.

rjd65
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by rjd65 » Mon Jan 09, 2023 11:49 pm

Thanks for your thoughts Gerry. That is a distinct possibility but may not have been enough to negate other actions. My research, still in the early stages, has not confirmed hoarding. In fact, empirical data so far is significantly under-reporting the documented mintages, leading me to the possible conclusion that PoC cents were disproportionality removed from circulation. Records do indicate that the precise 1891 SD mintage used recycled/melted PoC cents. FYI, preliminary data does indicate that more than 421,000 1858 cents were minted - you may recall that this was the figure listed in many catalogues and coin albums for decades. However, the data does not support the currently published figure of 1,540,000 unless it also includes the 1859/8. Preliminary data indicates that between 1.1 - 1.5 million 1858 and 1859/8 cents were likely minted. Unfortunately I cannot refine or narrow that further but for now the split appears to be 55/45 in favour of 1858. So, IMHO, somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 1858s were likely minted which somewhat confirms Bill's thoughts. This may change slightly pending additional data gathered over the next year or so, but for now the evidence supports this assertion. Cheers, RD

Bill in Burl
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by Bill in Burl » Wed Jan 11, 2023 6:43 pm

The additional research and information has already been gleaned. Just read Rob Turners first 2 books on the Provincial Large Cents and read it thoroughly. Then go to his 3rd book that covers the 1891's. For anyone that collects large cents, his first 4 books (incl the 90's & 92's) are a MUST for any serious collector. They will also end any speculation on mintage figures. Study how and where he came up with his information, as well as gathering info and examples from 3 of the biggest large cent collectors in North America, relative to total gross date numbers on hand.
Bill in Burl

rjd65
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by rjd65 » Wed Jan 11, 2023 11:12 pm

Hi Bill, I've followed Rob's research closely and read all his books and studies except for the 1858 book. Starting about 2 yrs ago I commenced die studies on the C4 obverse years. I re-investigated the 1892 C4 and have found additional details about certain dies that is not included in his original study plus a very likely additional obverse die. Collaterally, I found an additional C3a die with an epic die crack pattern which was also not depicted in his original work. I've advised him of this new information. If the Mint die use/consumption information is accurate there are still two 1892 obverse dies yet to be discovered. My sample of 18924 C4 is now 310, many more than Rob viewed - his C4 sample size was too small and unsurprisingly some of the dies are not as rare as depicted in his study. For instance out of 310 random C4 viewed, 25 were AB-A2 (or 8%) - quite a bit higher than the 3.6% in the 2012 study. 42 were AA-A5 or about 14% much higher than the 5.36% in the study. Others are rarer or corroborated reasonably well. Two of the AA die group dies are actually AB die group dies which clears up a lot of the confusion wrt to the AB-A99s in his sample. The AA-A2 is actually and AB die group die. 7 of my 9 examples prove it. Unfortunately the lone example he viewed was obtained after study sampling was complete and perhaps didn't depict the markers clearly enough. He assumed it must be rare and gave it a die use of 0%. Including the 6 on-line examples I've seen, 15 out of 310 are this legacy AA-A2 die or about 5%. There is a saying; if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck well.... Anyway, I go where the evidence leads me. None of this could have been done without his 'Die and Diadems' work of course. Using this work preliminary dies studies for 1895-1901 were conducted, I now have sound data on relative die group use for each year with some die groups thought not to have been used for a particular year in fact being used or being used more than his data initially depicted. My sample size for each year is/was very adequate too. One thing I learned from doing these studies is not all dies should be treated equally. Some were utilized to the extreme with well over 100,000 cents minted from a marriage. Others marriages not so much - one of the dies likely failed early. Therefore any proration done using obverse die type (C2, C3A, C4) must take into account die effectiveness. Using a modified die proration technique and taking into account die effectiveness I came up with the following the mintage split for 1892: C2- 100-104k, C3a 522-550k, C4 550-574k. The empirical evidence I have gather thus far corroborates a mintage figure of 1.2 million and the probable split. Of 173 x 1892 I have seen on-line the C2/C3a/C4/Indeterminant split is 16/71/68/19. Of the 19 indeterminants, 7 were definitely not C3a. Of those 7, lets assume they were all C4. Then our split is 16/71/75/12. I have high confidence in my data and methodology but I'll keep accumulating data so I have the evidence to back up any assertions. Of course one has to assume the data is truthful and I have no control over other's possible skepticism and acceptance. I can only present the evidence.
Anyway Bill, of these 3 largest one cent collection I'd be interested to know how they were assembled and what the year quantity splits are. Just because a collection is large does not mean it is random. I have a fairly sizeable cent collection but it nowhere near reflects relative mintages because I know how it was assembled.
Later, Rich

Bill in Burl
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by Bill in Burl » Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:09 am

I believe that we have conversed previously on roughly the same subject and my opinion has not changed. Rob did not write and research his studies from afar or using "what-ifs". There were a small number of us that used our own pops or even loans of hundreds of coins for some of the works to supply to him. Most of what we had collected and hoarded came from the early 80's thru to the early 90's, some entirely random and some date or Obv specific. These time periods may have been before you got the impulse to complete any study and may be warping your figures. I believe Robs calculations and estimates far further than yours. It's great that you want to concentrate on the Obv 4's as I don't know anyone else that has.

You can not take any die longevity as anything more than a guestimate and die marriages even more so. Dies don't start with D/C's, as they develop over time with the constant slamming/banging and Rev dies were chewed up much faster than the Obv because of the intricate leaf pattern. And many Obv or Rev dies were used in multiple years with minor mint corrections. Also, a pressure fluctuating difference of a ton or so in the presses radically changes die wear and longevity. Suffice to say, that a nice friendly cadre of serious Vicky Large Cent collectors stayed together off-line during the early to later CCRS site times. We helped each other with projects, data, population counts, etc and we are/were all the better for it. If you want to contradict or disagree with Rob's 6 books, then write a couple of your own, but you'll get no help from me or others involved.
Bill in Burl

rjd65
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Re: Victorian Large Cent Mintages

Post by rjd65 » Fri Jan 13, 2023 2:06 am

Bill, I’m having some difficulty understanding why you harbour such concerns or skepticism. There are numerous examples in history where an apparent ‘truth’ has been eventually disproved. Based on observations, Copernicus was the first person to hypothesize in his work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium that the sun is the centre of the solar system and not earth. To say his work offended some is an understatement. Let me say though that I in no way am attempting to disparage Rob Turner’s work. His work is what allows us to understand the evolution of the cent as we progressed through the Victorian era. In his work he states; “It is my sincere hope that other researchers follow suit and catalog the remaining Victorian years using the numbering system proposed in this book” . So I decided to start with a simple variety, the C4, but realized I needed to re-visit his 1892 C4 analysis after discovering some interesting findings during my 1895 study. In his study, 89 x 1892 C4 were studied (56 were random). If we assume 560,000 C4 were minted, then according to the Binomial Theorem (which Rob rightfully discusses in his studies as well) the probability of non-detection of a particular cent minted from a unique die that minted only 10,000 cents (an extremely small quantity) is 10%. If the quantity observed increases to 400 the probability decreases to 0.07%. That is why I stated his sample size was too small, yet large enough to likely capture 90% of the dies. Even he must have recognized that. It should be no surprise that after viewing 310 x random C4 cents, I was able to find another C4 die. The discovery of an unknown C3a die was by chance since I was not actively studying 1892 C3a cents. (C3a mintage is very likely only slightly lower than C4 and Rob’s empirical data backs this up too. His total sample size of 190 contained all obverse varieties some of which were your cents Bill). I must stand by the data and the results I have obtained thus far, which obviously needs to be unbiasedly peer reviewed at some point when I publish the C4 Study results on-line encompassing 1892 – 1901 cents at some future point. In the meantime, I will continue compiling C4 data and will not require the assistance of other collectors. The reason for this is simple. Baby boomer collectors are dying or downsizing their lives and their collections are being auctioned off. This phenomenon is accelerating and provides an ideal opportunity to conduct empirical random sampling with the large number of cents being made available. I anticipate conducting this sampling for about 2 yrs in order to attain a statistically large enough sample size. You will be happy to hear that even though I am approaching the mid point of this study, I have determined that the mintages of a majority of the years are likely accurate. However, there are a few that very much concern me, one of which is 1858. The others are 1886 and 1900H. As Dr. Haxby postulated; “mintages should be considered approximate”. He also suspected obverse cross-over use. One of the motivations for doing the C4 die studies is to prove this. However, so far I haven’t been able to do so (for C4). It seems no obverse die with a break was carried over into the next mintage year between 1892C4 and 1901. There is always the possibility that the last obverse die used in a mintage year was un-cracked and was carried over, but other markers ( scrapes, artifacts etc) would have to be utilized to prove this. Not an easy undertaking.
I have to disagree with your statement about die longevity as it is a crucial aspect in the relative quantities of cents minted by each die and any proration calculations that might be undertaken. Yes, dies likely started their life crack free. And yes, pressure fluctuations can very much dictate a die’s life span. But I disagree with your claim that reverse dies were chewed up more quickly. Generally, this was not the case. For the Royal Mint Dominion Cents die consumption data that is available (not to mention the die studies I have conducted) generally many more obverse dies were consumed than reverse dies. For some years like 1886, 1900 (no H) and 1901 it was the opposite – perhaps they reversed which die was the striker die in these years. In some instances, obverse and reverses die use was virtually identical – many dies being married for life. Perhaps when one died the other was temporarily retired - but this is speculation. The preliminary 1898H die study I conducted depicts this. So far, 20 obverse dies and 18 reverse dies have been discovered, but there were a few multiple marriages where some reverse dies were each married to 2 obverse dies and some obverse dies were each married to 2 reverse dies. It was a fascinating year to study especially since as far as I know there is no documented official data on die use by the Birmingham Mint available.
Anyway, I hope you will be more open to the idea that things evolve with time. My primary goal is to build upon what others have done before, not contradict them. Someone will one day build upon what I have done perhaps. If errors or omissions in past research have been discovered, I would think and hope the coin community would be receptive to that new information. Regardless, I will always be directed to where the evidence and facts take me.
Cheers, RD

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