An interesting modern error coin was recently found by a detectorist. I was unaware of the "Dritanniar sixpence."
A Victorian silver coin uncovered by a detectorist turned out to be something of "a rarity" when the eagle-eyed finder spotted a spelling error on it.
The sixpence, dated 1878 and found in a Cambridgeshire field, bore the word "Dritanniar" instead of "Britanniar".
The erroneous "D" would have been an "embarrassment" for the engraver who stamped the coins, experts said.
The batch was sent to Cyprus and apparently returned later to be melted down, but some of the coins survived.
David Stuckey found the Victorian sixpence earlier this month and posted photographs of it on his Facebook page.
"It turns out the Victorian silver sixpence... is an extremely rare one," he said.
It came to the attention of numismatist and coin dealer Martin Platt, from Truro, Cornwall, who knew of the history of the coins from a book called A New History of the Royal Mint - a 1992 work collated by specialist Christopher Challis.
The coins, minted in 1878, were sent to Cyprus to settle arrears in salaries left behind by the departing Ottomans and to pay Indian troops who had been transferred from Africa to serve in Cyprus during the early stages of administration, Mr Platt said.
Britain had occupied Cyprus in 1878, although it remained nominally under Ottoman sovereignty. The island was annexed by Britain in 1914, after more than 300 years of Ottoman rule.
In the book, Challis wrote: "The discovery caused embarrassment and complaint, and blame fell on the resident engraver Thomas Minton, who had conveniently died before the error came to light."
When Cyprus introduced its own currency the following year, the coins were returned to the UK to be melted down, but some did get into circulation.
To read the complete article, see:
Cambridgeshire misspelt Victorian silver sixpence a rarity, say experts
Wayne Homren, Editor
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