1912 GB Penny (Heaton Mint) showing 'ghosting' of the king's head on the reverse

GB & Ireland – Pennies Struck by the Heaton Mint

Introduction In 1911, the National Insurance Act, introduced on July 1st, created created an unusually large demand for bronze and silver coins. The Royal Mint could not meet this demand, so some of its production was sub-contracted to a private mint – The Heaton Mint, Birmingham.  A massive 16,800,000 pennies were minted here in 1912…

How to identify the Irish chickless penny variety ireland coins coinage

O’Brien Coin Guide: How to identify the Irish “Chickless” Penny Variety

The ‘chickless’ variety is probably a die flaw caused by normal ‘wear and tear’ on the dies during the minting process.  This variety has become very popular with collectors over the past decade and some claim to have evidence of “progressive wear across several examples of 1968 pennies” leading to a chickless coin. The most…

1961 Ireland Halfcrown - the differences between the normal and mule reverse

O’Brien Coin Guide: How to identify the Irish 1961 Halfcrown ‘Mule’ variety

The 1961 ‘mule’ halfcrown was struck in error (or, possibly deliberately) from a reverse die from the 1928-37 type.  In 1938 the halfcrown reverse – the side with the horse on it – had been redesigned to improve the striking characteristics of the coin.  A single example of the 1938 trial of the new die…