The pair of Malaya 1953 10 cents and 1954 20 cents pattern coins struck in silver leave numismatic experts a bit puzzled. These coins are extremely rare and much different in quality than any other coin struck during that area. For years, all standard Malaya coinage was struck in nickel. Why were the Malaya 1953 10 cents and 1954 20 cents pattern coins given a special silver treatment? After much of research, the answer was found in the original British Royal Mint reports. Page 7 of The British Royal Mint Report for 1955 notes: “No coins were struck in London for Malaya during 1955, except 4 sets of proof coins in silver, consisting each of four denominations 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents, which were struck for museums in Singapore and Malaya”.
Despite this more than plausible explanation, it is still difficult to confirm that two sets of these coins were struck for a museum in Singapore and two sets for a museum in Malaya. Further, we do not know how these coins were removed from of one of the museums. Only the silver 10 cents and 20 cents denominations have appeared on the market. One pair is purported to have been a part of the legendary collection of King Farouk of Egypt. The pair offered in this auction is in superior condition, preserved with care to show the high-end craftsmanship of the British Royal Mint.
These two silver denominations were previously offered as a pair in Lot 136 of the April 4-5, 1986 Spink - Taisei Singapore auction. They were also presented as individual lots, the 20 cent 1954 Lot 377 and the 10 cent 1953 Lot 379, at the February 20-21, 1992 Spink - Taisei auction.
There is no doubt that these two coins are historical important and exceptional museum presentation quality. The only comparable rarities from Straits Settlements 1/4,1/2,1 cent struck in gold which also owned by king Farouk of Egypt.
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