Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The theme this month was mythical beasts on coins. The meeting coincided with the anniversary of introduction of decimal coins to Britain and the arrival of Storm Desmond.
The phrase mythical beasts suggests dragons and other heraldic animals. It is quite a difficult topic for coins. I only managed a dragon on a Chinese coin, a similar beast on a Thai modern coin and I am not sure what on another coin from Thailand. I could have added the dragon who was slayed by Saint George. This has been a favourite on coins and appears on colonial tokens.
Interestingly members brought 50 p coins with Mrs Tiggywinkle and Paddington Bear. I do not think they count as mythical beasts!

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Transport was the theme of this month's meeting. Members brought coins and medallions relating to ships. there were no trains or planes. I suppose there are not many planes because they have only been around for just over a hundred years. Ships appear quite frequently- especially from countries with a maritime history such as Greece and Portugal.

What coins would you add?

Saturday, 21 December 2019

An Extremely Fine Collecting Christmas and a Happy Numismatic New Year
from Oxford Numismatic Society 
The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown


KINGS OF THE PONTOS, Mithradates VI, Tetradrachm, Pergamum, 85/4, diademed head right, rev. stag grazing left, star and crescent to left, monogram and Δ to right, all within ivy-wreath. Mithradates VI (135–63 BC) was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia from about 12063 BC. Mithridates is remembered as one of the Roman Republics most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the prominent generals from the late Roman Republic in the Mithridatic Wars: Lot 794 Date of Auction: 13th March 2018    Sold for £1,800

LORRAINE, Charles II, Gros, minted at Sierck, helmet over shield, rev. sword between holly leaves.  Lot 1244 Date of Auction: 21st March 2013   Sold for £270
Charles II (11 September 1365 25 January 1431), called the Bold (French: le Hardi) was the Duke of Lorraine from 1390 to his death and Constable of France from 1418 to 1425.
In heraldry, holly is used to symbolize truth. Holly, especially the variety found in Europe, is commonly referenced at Christmastime, and is often referred to by the name Christ's thorn. Since medieval times the plant has carried a Christian symbolism, as expressed in this popular Christmas carol "The Holly and the Ivy", in which the holly represents Jesus and the ivy represents His mother, the Virgin Mary .In Greek mythology ivy was sacred to Osiris and also associated with Dionysus. In Roman mythology Ivy was connected to Bacchus, the god of wine as it grew over his home land. Bacchus is often portrayed wearing an ivy crown, perhaps because this was once thought to prevent intoxication. (It does not)
Images and text used by kind permission of Dix Noonan Webb Ltd   https://www.dnw.co.uk/

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Four recent purchases straight from the oddments box. The man with the crown is probably Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The coin with lion and castle is medieval Spanish. the others are possibly early lead farm tokens. Not bad for £3.00 

The theme of the this month was Children on Coins,
Young Rulers and Children’s Stories

Members brought items with portraits of young rulers and plenty of modern 50 p with childhood characters on them

Below are images (courtesy of the Royal Dutch Mint) of the coin designed by a child who won a competition to mark the last guilder. It is a lion.

If sterling had been abandoned in favour of the euro what design would we have chosen? Answers on a postcard please.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

The theme this month was war and remembrance, tomorrow being Remembrance Sunday.

I will start with two South African medallions. the left one is from Johannesburg and is inscribed 1914-19 Peace with Honour. This is an interesting phrase, rarely used to refer to the First World War although it was used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.

The second marks peace in 1945

Next we have some more modern coins. Two from Canada showing the national memorial on a dollar coin and veteran and serving soldier on a 25 cents. The other coin is a penny from the Isle of Man. This shows the Santon War Memorial.

Lastly we have three coins from Danzig. all dated 1932
The Free City of Danzig was a semi-autonomous city-state that existed between 1920 and 1939, consisting of the Baltic Sea port of Danzig and nearly 200 towns and villages in the surrounding areas. It was created on 15 November 1920 in accordance with the terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles after the end of World War I. In July 1923 it was announced that a new and independent currency (the gulden) was being established with the approval of the League of Nations finance committee to replace the German mark. A first series of coins was issued in 1923, followed by a second in 1932. Coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 pfennige and ​12, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 gulden. Danzig was annexed by Nazi Germany on 1 September 1939, the day the invasion of Poland had begun

Notes and coins of 5 and 10 gulden were withdrawn that day and could be exchanged for reichsmarks until 15 October. Coins of 5 and 10 pfennig and ​12 and 1 gulden remained in circulation until 25 June 1940 and were redeemed until 25 July. (information from Wikipedia

Floating Trophy medal
Just an interesting side light. When I was sorting out items for the meeting I noticed something familiar about the Johannesburg medallion. the style of the figures looks similar to this medallion. I struggled to identify this. It is clearly South African but through help from numismatic colleagues overseas found it was issued for or by the
Witwatersrand Native Labour Association Ltd. They recruited native workers to work in the mines of South Africa. The WNLA Ltd presented a floating trophy for various athletic events. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Why join a coin club?

Numismatic societies exist to encourage our hobby and learn from each other. 

We meet on a Saturday lunchtime at a pub in Kidlington. Each month has a theme and members can items that reflect that theme. It may be a subject or an event or a place. The idea is to include as many collecting experiences and backgrounds as possible. We very occasionally have a speaker but most meetings are informal discussions over food and drink. Members’ interests are varied and include most aspects of numismatics. We often display new purchases and swap stories about how coins used to be cheap. We pass around items to identify and usually someone knows what they are.