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    Description

    St. Vincent & St. Lucia 4 Escalins ND (1797) VG8 NGC, KM4.1, Prid-3 (this coin). St. Vincent "SV" stamp countermarked thrice (per authority of Act of December 8, 1797) on a cut half segment of a Charles III Spanish Colonial 8 Reales, also countermarked with a single annulet to pass for 4 Escalins in St Lucia. Base coin Very Good, countermarks Fine or thereabouts, 9.164 grams. Bob Lyall (SNC April 1984, p. 76) put forward convincing arguments identifying the annulet stamp sometimes found on cut lightweight halves of 8 Reales as a St. Lucia mark identifying it as such and setting its value at 4 Escalins (thus 1/3 of a Spanish Colonial 8 Reales, then worth 12 escalins). The cataloguer of this specimen at the Roehrs auction (see below) opined that the "SV" stamp was applied after the annulet stamp. That seems unlikely, since the St. Vincent act of 1798 stated precisely that that stamping operation would only be made on sufficiently heavy segments of more than 7 pennyweights (10.886 grams, more than 1.5 grams over the weight of the present coin) and that this specimen would have presented the annulet mark of St. Lucia which precisely identified as a lightweight segment. Two more logical explanations remain: if one agrees with the aforementioned sequence proposed in the catalog of the Roehrs collection, then the "SV" stamp on this coin is a contemporary forgery applied to pass a 4 Escalins St. Lucia piece as a 6 Escalins. If not (meaning that the annulet stamp was applied after the "SV" ones, then the St. Lucia annulet mark was applied to identify a lightweight St. Vincent half dollar, either showing genuine "SV" stamps and then clipped to a lower weight, or on a contemporary forgery of the St. Vincent cut half dollar. The present cataloguer leans toward the latter possibility. In any case, an extremely rare and well pedigreed specimen, a fresh reminder that the West Indies cut and countermarked issues remain one of the most challenging and therefore fascinating series in modern Numismatics.

    Ex. Roehrs collection (DNW 9/2010, lot 286 for £980).


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 486

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