Somebody Paid 62,000 Pounds for a Mere Threepence

03 Apr 2020  Fri

On March 25, 2020 a 1945 silver threepence was sold for 62,000 pounds in an online auction by Baldwin’s, almost double its estimated price.

The silver threepence was ostracized in market because it’s extremely small diameter of 16 mm (six-tenths of an inch) and weight of 1.4 grams (five-hundredths of an ounce). A bigger, bulkier, 12-sided nickel-brass threepence had been introduced in 1937 and was being minted every year.

Right from 1937 to 1945 King George VI minted silver threepence, with its peak production of almost 8 million pieces between 1940 and 1941. The issues of 1942-44 were all sent to the British West Indies, however, and the coin’s ultimate issue was seemingly supposed redundant because of public acceptance of the 12-sided nickel-brass coin. All of the 1945 silver threepence were ordered to be melted and their metal was ordered to be used in other mint products.

Only one survivor had come up for auction in April 1970 at Glendining & Co. of London. It was at that time sold for 260 pounds. Its buyer is anonymous and that coin has not resurfaced since. This threepence sold was the second example known to numismatics.

Image Courtesy: Baldwin

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