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The Franklin Mint Sets.

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Valued Member

Australia
60 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  03:12 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add polarboy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have noticed some proof year sets mostly from Caribbean countries produced by the Franklin mint.
As far as I was aware the Franklin mint was where old ladies brought overtly expensive plates featuring pictures of cats in Victorian dress. So are these coin sets genuine and feature actual proof coins minted at the time of the currency in use in these countries?
Valued Member
Netherlands
74 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  04:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Eligius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, these are actual authentic coins issued under authority of the government. They are listed in coin catalogs eg Krause and the smaller, non silver and non proof versions actually circulated in some countries.
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
1944 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  08:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yep, mostly 1970s and places like the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. Franklin Mint also did the first few years of Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands.

As the price of silver shot up in 1979ish, they got out of silver coins and went straight into all the chintzy stuff (The cats in Victorian dress - crack me up .

They were huge here in NZ as well, until 1988 when a story appeared in our consumer magazine which complained about their rip off items and the mistakes being made.

Seems now all the stuff you describe is made by the Bradford Exchange, except its tackier than ever (Thomas Kinkaid 3d Christmas trees etc).
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
11/18/2020 12:05 pm
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
1944 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  08:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just could not stop laughing and had to look....



This painting seems right, not sure if it was plated.

.

This is from a site offering such plate cheaply and probably a Chinese knock off of a Franklin Mint original. The cat looks Victorian style but appears to be wearing a kimono(!) and a Georgian fright wig ().

The artist is Louis Wain I think a well known 1890s - 1910s postcard artist who drew cats.

I know its not coin related, but our betting pussycats could be hiding some halfcrowns on their person.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
11/18/2020 12:06 pm
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United States
53416 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  09:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wonderful, thanks for those.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
20002 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  09:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just what is needed on a coin forum.
just carl
Pillar of the Community
Canada
3930 Posts
 Posted 11/18/2020  11:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Franklin Mint coins were of excellent quality. I have quite a few in my collection.

You should read the story of the rise and fall of the Franklin Mint if you have a few minutes. It is quite interesting.

The packaging was not always so good, and if you took them out of the sealed plastic and put them in the plush boxes, they were often ruined 40 years later.
Edited by oriole
11/18/2020 11:07 am
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
1944 Posts
 Posted 11/19/2020  12:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Further research shows, that far from being funny, the concept of cats dressed up in Victorian attire has a cruel past.

In the Victorian era, taxidermy was a huge craze and kitten stuffing was a huge fad, the 1871 British Census mentions a community of people who were stuffing and dressing up dead cats and kittens for sale in the markets.

It seems that crudely made taxidermy sculptures of all animals was a big fad with Walter Potter becoming famous for his tableaus of birds, rats and cats in human situations. An artcile about his 1890 Kittens wedding tableaux is below linked, but he also did the Cock Robin sculpture which had 98 types of British bird from 1861 and an 1866 deisplay show a den of rats invaded by a group of police rats!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Potter

It seemed that in Victorian slums there was no end of a supply of dead street cats and kittens and this cruel trade remained popular until around 1900 when people became more caring of stray cats and of course when the British RSPCA was formed in 1890.

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article...ange-history

Whimsical and cruel, an article on the "kittens wedding" from 1890ish with pictures. Most Victorian cat taxidermy was much worse and fortunately few of these cruel tableaux have survived, tacky plates showing crinoline and bustle skirt wearing cats thrive though!
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
11/19/2020 12:29 pm
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United States
5010 Posts
 Posted 11/19/2020  2:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
As far as I was aware the Franklin mint was where old ladies brought overtly expensive plates featuring pictures of cats in Victorian dress.

This description may fit where the FM wound up, but it definitely isn't accurate for when it began in the early/mid-60s into the mid- to late-70s.

The FM produced many great coin sets for other countries and many dozens of medal series for (primarily) US consumption (they also had offices/affiliations outside of the US to address non-US markets).

The quality of execution of their medals was outstanding and continues to measure up even to the present day.

The company took on a different focus when it was sold and never again produced the medals that had originally forged its reputation.

Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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Australia
1685 Posts
 Posted 11/20/2020  4:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It is an interesting story and I think the coins were probably maligned/undervalued for a while but there are certainly some rarities there now - mintages in the 1970s were high but I think 1984 was the last year they produced coins (for a small number of countries) and those sets are now very hard to get your hands on.
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United Kingdom
7902 Posts
 Posted 11/20/2020  5:19 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Princetane - I visited Potter's Museum of Curiosities back in 1978 before the collection was split up. It was a popular tourist attraction in its day,

I think the Franklin Mint started the craze for unnecessary high-value non-circulating 'legal tender' coins that has been continued by the Pobjoy Mint and the Perth Mint. But the quality of Franklin Mint issues was outstanding - this is my 1977 proof Barbados $10, still sealed in its original packaging:

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United States
4157 Posts
 Posted 11/21/2020  12:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have a strange relationship with the Franklin mint.

As a teenager, I bought some of the issues they produced for Panama and new Caribbean nations. I still have a few of them.

As an adult living outside of Philadelphia and working in the Wilmington, Delaware area, I used to drive past their headquarters on U.S. Route 1 on my way to work every day (long after I was buying anything they produced).


Valued Member
United States
336 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2020  2:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PlumCrazy814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
FM on US Rt. 1 was a cool place to visit in the early '70's. They had a members lounge where they showcased some of their productions. If I remember correctly, all the soda you wanted for free too.

Members got an annual membership card which granted "special" access:



A few more examples of their production output:







I think they produced some really beautiful coins.



Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
1944 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2020  11:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not forgetting my own Franklin Mint delights besides my extensive collection of period clostume feline crockery.


That 10 Kina is 44 grams (1.5 oz) of sterling silver and the 41 gram 5 Kina is half silver


Even the Cupronickel is very nice and polished.

These were high quality items and yet most are still cheap - not much over melt now.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
11/27/2020 11:06 pm
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United States
94086 Posts
Valued Member
United States
336 Posts
 Posted 11/28/2020  09:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PlumCrazy814 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Beautiful set Princetane
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