The hunt for special error coins and varieties continues as we add new items and check them off our bucket list. One of those elusive varieties was found recently, the upset 10 cent piece of 1966. Minted in London for the changeover to decimal currency the first year of issue this Australian 10c variety shows itself off on various degrees of rotation.
Whilst 10,940,000 1966 10c were Minted in Canberra at the Royal Australian Mint, another 30 million were minted at the Royal Mint in London. It was here that just one die was incorrectly seated in the press whilst striking the 10c pieces and that die rotated during the production run causing all manner of rotated or upset coins. In saying this though, these coins are quite hard to find.
Pick up an Australian coin and hold the reverse (or tails side) straight upright between your thumb and forefinger. Spin the coin around and you should see an upright Queen (or King). If the portrait is rotated then you have an upset.
These 2 examples (shown above) of uncirculated upset 1966 10c give us insight into what likely happened. They are clearly from the same set of dies exhibiting the same die polish lines but the rotations are differing degrees. This can be referred to as time on the clock – figure 1 5 o’clock and figure 2 9:30 (o’clock). One would expect there to in fact be the entire rotating clock face of coins to find.
Examining the 2 coins imaged we have determined which die was rotating by comparing how the edge milling matches with elements in the design. Because the edge milling lines up differently on the obverse of both coins we can deduce that this was the die that was rotating.
Other examples have been found with a stunning coin graded PCGS MS64 rotated 180 degrees or 6 o’clock that was recently sold by a leading coin dealer. Noodlers interested in varieties have found circulated coins rotated 70 degrees, 80 degrees, 310 degrees and 345 degrees.
So here’s to all the coin noodlers out there, something to add to your list of cool things to look out for!