Sunday, 18 February 2018

The theme of February's meeting was transport, trains, boats and planes. 

There are plenty of ships on coins, from ancient times to date. 

Here are some medallions featuring railways.

top from left: 1925 Centenary of Stockton and Darlington railway by Gilbert Bayes. This large medallion shows the dignity of labour and contrasts with the National Strike medallion of the same period. middle medallion featuring the short lived Aylesbury Railway 1839  by Stothard. Quite a rare piece. right: Grand Junction Railway 1837

middle row another Grand junction medallion and Lyon-Geneve commemorative

bottom row: 1839 to 1914 Dutch railways commemorative.  Swedish medallion in silver comemorating Nils Ericson and right Liverpool and Manchester Railroad. Interesting that it uses word "railroad" not railway.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Do numismatists hibernate? 

A very belated Happy New Year.  January always seems to be a slow month on the coin front. Not much going on. Not many auctions until the Spring. Do numismatists hibernate I wonder? The only interesting items O have seen recently are copies and fakes. I was shown a Roman Republican Denarius recently which the owner could not identify. What he meant was both sides had been identified but not together.

I am no expert on anything and certainly not Roman Republican denarii but this coin did not look, feel or weight right. There was a perfectly straight line on the edge. The colour was wrong and some parts of the design were “out of focus”. It was in perfect condition and not a mark on it. Perhaps I was wrong but the coin did not seem right to me.

If there is not much on the market there is always time to dust off some books and read up on a subject again. If you can’t buy you can read about it. In coins as in much of life you can never know too much.

Have a good year and climb back under the duvet.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Coins - small change 

I saw a good spread of coins today at my favourite dealer. I bought five out of ten or so Nineteenth Century Italian coins. Some of them neither I nor the dealer had ever seen before. They included coins from the Kingdom of Italy set up by Napoleon, Lombardy/Venetia controlled by Austria and Tuscany. An interesting set of coins in reasonable condition. None worth a fortune.

Why were they all low denominations? They were one, five or ten cent coins so what happens to the larger coins? I was offered a large collection last week of over a hundred and fifty coins. Not one large denomination coin at all .

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The last meeting of the year was a talk by Shailendra Bhandare from the Ashmolean Museum        entitled 'Introduction to Islamic coins from the Indian Subcontinent'. It was very interesting and well presented. a fascinating introduction to this series. 

The coin illustrated here is a 1 Lats coin from Latvia. This is one of their excellent series of festive designs.  

There are many coins to chose from with a Christmas theme to suit all pockets. Latvian coins are some of my favourites. see the latest edition of Coin News magazine for more. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The theme of the day was War and Revolution.

This week has marked the centenary of the Russian Revolution and the end of the Battle of Passchendaele. This week is Remembrancetide. 

these are a tray of coins from 1917.

the following tray is an assortment of items from centuries of warfare.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The theme for Saturday's meeting is the collector's bookshelf. For my 12th birthday I was given a copy of Spink's Catalogue of English Coins. It was complete revelation of the diversity and scope of the series.

Since then I have built up a mini library of books. this is photograph of just a part. It gives an impression of the many different series of coins, tokens and medallions available to the collector.

One of the best pieces of advice is "buy the coin, buy the book!". there is always something more to learn.

What books got you interested? what books are essential?