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The greatest mistake is to imagine that we never err.

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

Did you know that there are many different types of errors to be found on the coins of the Knights of Malta?

As these are generally the result of human error or a mechanical problem, I will only be referring to milled coins (coins minted using a press)

In this first post I will talk about the errors made during the making of the dies used to mint the coins, then in a future post I will talk about the errors made during the setup of the presses and in a later post still, I will talk about the errors made during the minting process.

(a) The Celator Errors (die maker errors)

These are normally discovered soon after the start of the mint-run, and depending on the severity of the error, the mint-run could be stopped, and the die replaced and recut or if the error is minor the mint-run may be continued.

The following four which I have found, are of this type of error. In the first three errors, the population is low, so the mint run must have been stopped.

In the last one, the mint-run was continued. Photos of these are attached.

1. Vilhena 1723 12 Tarì reverse V28. This coin listed in RS on page 142 #83 PU (Probably Unique). It has the legend with HOS(Hospital) twice. The second HOS should have been HIE or HIER (Jerusalem). I have listed this coin as GATT 23-12T-01dcX28 with a population of 2/2 (two in museums/ two in private Collections) (Note the ‘dc’ after the 01 refers to another error, a 'die clash'. All coins seen of this variety have this die clash.) Die clashes will be part of the post on errors made during the minting process.

2. Vilhena 1724 4 Zecchini reverse V24. This coin was discovered recently and was posted on this FB group on the 5th December last year. The error, a spelling mistake was probably discovered quickly as this is the only coin seen. The reverse has HIEEVE instead of HIERV (Jerusalem)

3. De Rohan 1796 2 Scudi reverse R46. I purchased this coin on eBay just before I published my book and I listed it as a Scudo minted on a larger 2 Scudi blank in my book. After further investigation I realised that it was not a minting error where the wrong blank was used, but a Celator error where a J that was used as a number 1 instead of a 2. The die was recut and a 2 was cut over the J. Again, as there is only one known, this error must have been found quickly. Listed in my book incorrectly as a Scudo it is now a GATT 27-2S-62R46 with a population of 0/1.

4. De Rohan 1786 Carlino obverse R30. This is the most common Celator error seen. This obverse die is seen with two different reverse dies which would indicate that minting was allowed to continue. The error is the spelling of F.MMANVEL instead of F. EMMANVEL. (v often used instead of a u). The two varieties are GATT 27-10G-30X22 and GATT 27 -10G-30X23. The current population of these two varieties are 7/26 and 4/12 respectively.

John Gatt

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