Sunday, 20 August 2017

19th August   Summer coins – coins from hot countries

Recently despite being August and in theory the middle of Summer the weather has had a touch of Autumn. Nights get chillier and some days it is windy and wet. We have probably had our Summer!

Warm weather makes me want to collect coins from hot countries. I did some research to find the hottest countries on earth. No great surprises, India, Africa the Middle East, but also Mexico and America. No trace of England there! If you look at the current currency of those countries they are all interesting and well designed. I expect some were minted at the Royal Mint.

Yes I do think of coins from hot countries on a hot day. That usually for me means India. Coins from the subcontinent are quite reasonably priced and easy to get. Modern coins from Tunisia, Sudan, Saudi, and Somalia are probably not collected but in their way fascinating.
On a cold day I might think of cooler places but that is another story. 

Illustrated here are coins of Somalia, Egypt, Morocco and South Arabia.
then an Islamic coin possibly a Mamluk coin from Aleppo. The coin is a brockage. the Indian coin is from Jaunpur sultanate 1458-79 tanka. 

Other members displayed coins from the Caribbean and Middle East. 

a member brought this crown sized Persian coin. Any ideas what it is? 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Some Ecclesiastical Coins

For our July meeting we looked at coins from Prince Bishops, Electors and even a 20th Century token from Birmingham. That token was issued for a bazaar in 1929. it lasted three days so that is
 a lot of bric-a-brac and white elephant!

Germany Archdiocese of Bremen under Frederick II of Denmark 1642. Occupied by Danish troops during the Thirty Years War

1.    Austria Salzburg Cardinal Archbishop Matthew 1520s. Salzburg issued coins from 10th to 18th Century, they were always of a high standard. Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg (1469 – 30 March 1540) was a statesman of the Holy Roman Empire, a Cardinal and Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg from 1519 to his death.
In the course of the Reformation Lang's adherence to the older faith, together with his pride and arrogance, made him very unpopular in his Salzburg diocese. As early as in 1523 he was involved in a serious struggle with his subjects in the City of Salzburg, and in 1525, during the German Peasants' War, he had again to fight hard to hold his own. Cardinal Lang was one of the chief ministers of Charles V. He has been compared with Cardinal Wolsey.

2.    Germany Salz Land Minz 1692. 2 oval shields with the arms of Salzburg left, and of the Archbishop right, hat above, value in a circle below.

3.    Belgium Liege John Theo of Bavaria 1752 Johann Theodor of Bavaria (3 September 1703 – 27 January 1763) was a cardinalPrince-Bishop of RegensburgPrince-Bishop of Freising, and Prince-Bishop of Liège. Another long running series of coins

4.    Birmingham Cathedral 1928. Sixpence issued for a fund raising bazaar to finance restoration.

5.    Germany Trier 1694.  The Archbishop-Elector also had great significance as one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire.

6.    France Lyon 1250. Inscription PRIMA SEDE GALLIARV “The first bishop’s see in France”

7.    Switzerland Chur Bishop Ulrich VII von Federspiel.  1692-1725

Saturday, 17 June 2017


The British Commonwealth -

Many people start collecting the coins of their own country and then either go back in time or travel the world (speaking collectively). In the 1960s and 1970s it was easy to get some commonwealth coins imply from the coins in your pocket. A South African penny, Australian sixpence or New Zealand half crown. They were same size as British coins. You could put together quite a collection. Nowadays things have changed. You occasionally find Gibraltar pounds or Channel Islands money in your pocket. I once got an Ascension Island 50 p.

I suppose most people would just pass these on in their change as quickly as possible but the budding coin collector or even the more experienced one will put them aside.

The theme for our meeting today was coins of the Commonwealth. Members brought year sets from Canada, India, New Zealand and Falklands. Single coins were well represented. There were some fascinating early issues which were cut or countermarked Spanish dollars. I knew these were used in the Caribbean but had no idea they were also used in Gibraltar and Prince Edward Island.

Why did colonies have their own coins and not just use British issues? The answer is it was illegal to export British currency for many years. Local merchants sent goods to England and agents here would sell them and send manufactured goods to the colonies. Capital stayed in Britain. It was not until recently that colonies and commonwealth states had their own currency. Sometimes it was based on sterling or a local currency such as rupee or dollar.


Monday, 12 June 2017

ONS programme 2017/2018

19th August   Summer coins – coins from hot countries
9th September   The Elephant.

 21 October    The coin collector’s bookshelf.      and the AGM

11th November          1917 War and revolution 

2nd December           speaker?

13  January   Winter coins   

10 February  Ships, planes, and trains. 

11  March      Islands, peninsulas and enclaves in the Mediterranean.
14  April         Commerce and trade in empire – Rome or Britain

15  May          Politics: revolution and independence
12 June         Women on coins.

 14 July        France

 August        Indo-China and the East Indies

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Places you want to visit.

The theme for May's meeting was "random countries you always have wanted to visit- money no object!" 

I start with a medallion commemorating the US Bicentenary in 1976. Now over 40 years ago! Hardly seems possible. the medallion cot me £3.00 and is great fun, but who is forgiving whom? And what do we (or you) have to forgive? 

Perhaps in 200 hundred years there will be a Brexit commemorative similarly inscribed about forgiveness. Or perhaps not. 

These are random items. A silver medal from Natal in South Africa given to schoolchildren for Edward VII's coronation in 1902. Next a token from Isle of Man, then a coin from Palestine and a medallion from India for Queen Victoria. 

the next line includes a 50 p from Gibraltar, a coin of Borneo and Malaya and a Cypriot coin. 

the bottom line has a transport token from York, a Canadian token, a Russian copper and finally an Australian Coin Club medallion. They must have had a good first year!

Apologies some of the photos are wrong way up. 

Coins are great fun and they are a cheap way of "travelling" abroad. 

What links my choices? They are places I would like to go, apart from York where I have been. They all apart from Russia have a connection with Britain.  

Monday, 17 April 2017

A handful of coins

bought for £24.00 on Easter Saturday April 2017, but what are they?

The large copper coin is a 1761 coin from the reign of Adolf Frederick. It is not in bad condition. the interesting thing (to me) is it is overstruck on an earlier copper coin. If you look at the reverse at about 4 o'clock there are three dots or lines and at 8 o'clock the faint image of the host coin between the arrow and 1 OR. Next task to identify the host coin!

Having looked at it again the obverse (with AF) looks double struck. Two of the three crowns are in two places.

The others are all Indian. The larger one is Kushan and the two smaller coins are probably South Indian. The copper coin far right middle line seems to be one of those "octopus man" chola? coins. Next job try to narrow these down. I have a few books on Indian coins and there is plenty on the web to help.

Indian coins have always fascinated me as they are relatively cheap but full of interest. 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

This month's meeting was on the theme of mintmarks. Here are some coins that were displayed. 

Top Row; Spanish copper coins all Segovia Mint

The first two on the left was found at Worm’s Head, Gower, and North Wales in 1830s. Spanish coins were used a ballast in ships, at least one of which was wrecked off the Welsh coast. Shame they did not use gold coins for ballast!

Second Row: Copper 8 maravedis 1618 Madrid Mint mark. This coin has been revalued at 16 maravedis and back to 8 maravedis, 4 maravedis 1620 B for Barcelona

Third Row 1789 2 sous Cayenne Colony A mint for Paris, Isles du Vent (Guadeloupe) H mint for La Rochelle and  Two 1815 Decimes both BB Strasbourg mint. One coin has L for Louis and the other N for Napoleon. The two coins mark the siege of Strasbourg. Bought for £2.50 each in 2002. Quite a bargain.

Second tray : all London Mint Roman coins.

You used to be able to buy these for a few pounds. A member commented that she never seen so many London mints coins in the same place!