Thursday, May 16, 2013

British Trade Dollar Year 1897 (Getting Scarce)

British Trade Dollar year 1897 is the third year issue.
It has a large mintage of 21,286,427.
Please click here for full mintage table for BTD

There are 3 varieties of British Trade Dollar in 1897.
Exact amount for each varieties is unknown. As the 21 million quoted is a combined total mintage.

Variety One is 1897(B)
British trade dollar with a Bombay Mint Mark.
This is the commonest type.  Despite the big mintage of 21 million, 1897 British Trade dollar is a scarcer date.
This coin has good details of at least AU.
B mint mark can be seen at the prong.
However the unequal luster raised suspicion of this coin has been mildly dipped before.
The reverse also has uneven luster

Variety Two is 1897 no mintmark
This 1897 coin has no mint mark at the trident prong.
It is minted by Calcutta Mint.
This is the scarcer type to find in the market.
The prong area is flat. Without B mint mark.
There is no C mintmark as well for year 1895,1897 and 1898 coins although they are from calcutta mint
C mint mark only seen on coin struck on 1900,1901 and 1902.

Variety Three is 1897 overdate on 1896 coins
This overdate variety is one of the very rare type.
The "7" can be seen overstruck on a deleted "6" on the 1897 at the bottom of the Britannia.
In older days, is is costly and time consuming to reproduce a new die for coin manufacturing.

One of easiest way to produce a change in year on the coin, is using the old die for the previous year i.e.1896 and retooled the "6" into "7" which is the current year. This type of coin is called Overdate coins.

The overdate is seen at the 1897. 6 shadow is behind the 7

The existence of overdate for 1897/96 is not difficult to see, as the mintage jumped from 6 million for 1896 BTD to becomes 21 millions BTD in 1897. Hence there is a need for more die available for the increase in production.

The existence of overdates is also one of the interesting aspects of collecting British Trade Dollars.
These overdates has no known populations on its own, but it is generally very rare and difficult to find.

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