Friday, 17 September 2021

the theme this month is tokens

(sorry the image is on its side) 

British Guiana 1838 1 stiver

TRADE & NAVIGATION Commerce seated left on a bale, holding caduceus and palm branch.  R. ·PURE COPPER PREFERABLE TO PAPER around, in centre. Pridmore recorded this as having been issued by a Mr Balgarnie, a Scots dry goods merchant in Water Street, Georgetown. Except for the date, the obverse design is similar to English tokens of 1812-1814 with the reverse value ONE PENNY TOKEN, which has been replaced by ONE STIVER. The reverse inscription was apparently selected as a sarcastic allusion to the local government irredeemable 'Joe' notes which had, by 1838, almost succeeded in driving out of circulation all metallic money.


Ireland William Hodgins of Tipperary for use in Australia 1858

A round copper token. The token features the name and business of the company that commissioned its production, William Hodgins, Banker in Cloughjordan Ireland together with a bouquet of rose, thistle and shamrock tied at the base by a ribbon bearing the motto ERIN GO BRACH and the date 1858.


Australia Copper One Penny Token, minted by Heaton & Sons, Birmingham. Issued by E. De Carle & Co, Grocers & Spirit Merchant, Melbourne, in 1855. De Carle arrived in Australia in 1849. Over the following fourteen years he was involved in a wide range of business ventures in Melbourne, taking advantage of the explosive growth caused by the gold rush. He later moved to New Zealand, where he died. De Carle's three different tokens, which featured his business as 'Grocers and Spirit Merchants,' 'Auctioneers and Land Agents' and 'Auctioneers, etc.,' indicated the range of his business activities and speculation. He was also involved in the urbanisation of Footscray and a section of Brunswick. De Carle operated his businesses with a number of partners, in a network of business dealings.


Sweden 1802 bank token


The Parliamentary National Debt Office Token used as currency


Isle of Man King William School tuck shop token

The College issued tokens for use in the school tuck shop. Their period of use was from 1937-1952, and they were issued by housemasters weekly as part of pocket money which could be used in the school tuck shop. It is not known how many were minted or the manufacturer, there were approximately 200 boys at this time, so it must have been a considerable number. Its official name was "tuck shop money", although it was known by the boys as "phoney dough". The main reason for their introduction was to prevent boys spending their money at places other than the school tuck shop. The idea was that any profits should be routed back for the boys' benefit. The money was used to purchase items such as radios and a sound projector for Saturday evening films.


USA Not one cent civil war token


New York civil war token issued by Gustavus Lindenmueller a German living in New York who ran a large saloon and entertainment centre. He got in trouble for trading on Sundays. He issued these tokens in New York during the civil war.

“These little coins filled the wants of the trades-people, and were accepted as a means of exchange for the value, which usually was one cent. They undoubtedly were a source of great relief and convenience, but their irresponsible character soon attracted the attention of the Federal authorities. It is said that the Third Avenue Railroad of New York requested Lindenmueller to redeem a large number of his tokens, which they had accepted in the course of business, but this he laughingly refused to do.”


Isle of Man Onchan internment token Brass Triskeles  R. ONCHAN INTERNMENT CAMP  

During World War II, Onchan internment camp was the first camp to be established in the Douglas area. It was made up of 60 houses on a headland north of Douglas. It opened in June 1940 to house “enemy aliens,” Jews who were able to escape Nazi Germany or Austria, but were a concern to a British government fearful of enemy spies in its midst on the eve of war with Germany. Onchan camp held mainly German and Austrian internees until 1942 when Italians were admitted. Like Hutchinson, or P Camp, also on the Isle of Man, Onchan, despite overcrowding, had a multitude of cultural events including a “university” offering lectures in a variety of disciplines taught by the internees. The tokens were issued in 1941.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

 To celebrate the England football team getting to the Euro Final here are a few football coins. 

the middle one is an interesting design by Neil Wolfson, a sports journalist who 
chose an image which he felt would encapsulate the sport. it is one of the rarer commemorative 50 pence coins. I have previously suggested the Royal Mint brings out a penalty knock out coin. Let us hope there an England Winners 50 pence coin.  

Saturday, 26 June 2021


The theme of today's meeting was collecting world coins. How many nations can you identify? 

Saturday, 15 May 2021

The theme of this month's meeting was colonial coins from other countries not Great Britain. 

here are some from Belgian Congo Portuguese India and Dutch East Indies.  

photos courtesy Charles Riley 

These are coins from the French world. 

I find these well designed and attractive. They give a flavour of distant and exotic lands.

we could also have had Danish West Indies, Greenland and German East and West Africa.

Happy collecting 


Friday, 16 April 2021


The theme of this month's meeting is "Bad day at the Mint". We will be thinking about coins that have been badly struck or designed. 

I have a soft spot for these two coins. the upper coin in both photos is a Roman Provincial coin from Antioch. the portrait is about a third off the flan. 

The Byzantine coin is mishappen and not a great design. It maybe made from part of a flan or a very poor flan. There is something appealing in the simplicity of the figure. 

Thursday, 1 April 2021


Decimals finally get the point!


Britain is set to give up decimalisation and return to pounds shillings and pence. The fifty year long experiment has been a success but it is now time for change in Brits’ pockets. 


The old denominations will be reintroduced gradually over 1st April which will now be called A Day. If all goes well we may return to Libra solidus and denarius. Instead of coins being marked “new pence” will now be “new old pence”


Authorities are also thinking of reintroducing those handy denominations that were so popular such as the third and quarter farthing, 1 ½ pence and Cartwheel twopence. If goes well they will re-introduce the noble and angel


It is to be hoped that other countries will return to pre decimal currency. The USA may adopt the same system and perhaps our European friends will keep the euro but have twelve schillings and 240 pfennigs/centimes. 


Have a good day.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

 The theme for March was anniversaries and celebrations.  There are plenty of modern commemoratives to collect but when did they start? the Romans marked anniversary games and announced political and military successes. In modern times commemoratives usually referred to royal events. 

This is an image of a personal medallion from Sweden commemorating the life of Christina Specht 1792 to 1721 daughter of merchant Gert Specht and married to naval pharmacist Johan Julius Salberg 40 mm silvered white metal. I bought it for about £5 about 15 years ago. I only identified it last week, a day before our meeting. I had thought it German but with a google search I came across a copy in copper and got the inscription translated with a friend's help.