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

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.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Maps on coins and medals

Putting a map on a coin is a modern thing. It is often used by newer states to present themselves. Here are a few

Louisiana state quarter, Western Australia medallion commemorating Pacific Railway, Falklands liberation 50 p
coin from Azerbaijan Armenia and India
Euro and euro with map of Estonia. 

(I did not know that Azerbaijan had a detached enclave.)
The Canadian medallions mark the 1939 Royal Visit and have the route the Royal couple went on, mainly by rail.

I cannot think of any coin from Britain that has a map on it. Can you? there is a Charles II medallion showing two globes. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The theme this month was political coins including coups revolutions and voting. No picture this month as for some reason the photograph would not load. You will have to use your imagination.

Members brought medallions featuring Eighteenth Century elections and political groups and more modern coins. these included a coin commemorating the recent Turkish coup, some heroes of various independence struggles and newish 50 p relating to voting reforms.

Being political is a good way to get your head on a coin. think of all the presidents, freedom fighters and rulers. I wonder which politicians you would like to see on a coin?

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Some one not a fan of Cromwell

I bought this Commonwealth shilling recently. It has a sun mintmark and the date is 165? I do not mean the final digit is a question mark! It is difficult to read. Any suggestions? I just thought it was worn but if you look at it carefully it has been deliberately damaged on both sides. The legend around the edge is in quite good condition. 

Most Commonwealth coins must have been recalled after the Restoration. This one was deliberately damaged by a Royalist. One shilling would have been a significant amount - perhaps two days’ pay for a craftsman. There are examples of ancient roman coins that deliberately damaged but I have not come across one like this. Damnatio memoriae is the Latin phrase for those coins.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Penny for your thoughts – penny quiz with answers

The letters KN and H stand for King’s Norton and Ralph Heaton Metal Co.  
They were used on Twentieth Century pennies in 1912, 1918 and 1919

No pennies were minted in 2018-19. The last year that no 1p coins were produced was 1972.

Edward VII faces left and George V and George VI face right on pennies.

The change to the inscription of pennies in 1983 was from New Penny to One Penny
Pretty penny means something which is costly.

The main design on reverse of Australian, New Zealand and South African pre decimal pennies is Kangaroo, Tui (a bird) and the Drommedaris which was one of ships that Jan van Riebeeck 

When was first copper penny struck in England was 1797.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Penny for your thoughts – penny quiz
The theme this month is the penny. Here is a short penny quiz. No prizes!

1. What do the letters KN and H stand for on pennies?  
2. What dates were they used on Twentieth Century pennies?
3. No pennies were minted in 2018-19. When was the last year that no 1p coins were produced.
4. Which way do Edward VII, George V and George VI face on pennies?What was the change to the inscription of pennies in 1983?
5. What word comes before the penny when something is costly?
6. Why is there a ship on South African pennies?
7. When was first copper penny struck in England? 

Saturday, 15 June 2019

ONS peace treaties June 2019

The June meeting marked the end of the First World War a hundred years ago. 

Fighting ceased at the Armistice in November 1918 but the First World War did not officially end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June 1919. The government decided there would be a national day of celebration on 19th July 1919.

South Africa Johannesburg 1914-1919 end of First World War medallion. 28th June 1919. South Africa 1939-1945 end of Second World War. South Africa Cape Town Peace restoration after Boer War
Canada 25 cents 2005 veterans
Italy unveiling of Unknown Warrior 1921. Aylesbury War Memorial  Russia 1914-15

Low Countries Peace or War jetton 1608
1608  Dutchman stg & facing, Jehovah in Hebrew above, sword and olive branch as offering/Bundle of arrows, S - C, FORTITVDO BELGICA.
France peace of Isle of Faisons 1659
The Meeting on the Isle of Pheasants on 7 June 1660 was part of the process ending the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59); the Spanish princess Maria Theresa of Spain entered France for her marriage to Louis XIV of France. Pheasant Island lies on the river Bidasoa that is still the border between France and Spain, and the tiny island remains joint territory to this day.
France capture of Besancon by France from Spain
The Siege of Besancon took place between 25 April to 22 May 1674 during the Franco-Dutch War, when French forces invaded Franche-Comté, then under Spanish rule. Under the 1678 Treaties of Nijmegen, the province was annexed by France and Besancon replaced Dole as the regional capital.
Low Countries Liberation of Valenciennes (1656)
The Battle of Valenciennes (16 July 1656) was fought between the Spanish troops commanded by Don Juan José de Austria against the French troops during the Franco-Spanish War. It was the worst of only a few defeats that the French Marshal Vicente de Turenne suffered in his long career campaigning and is regarded as Spain's last great victory of the 17th century.
Spain Barcelona relieved 1706
The Siege of Barcelona took place between 3 and 27 April 1706 during the War of the Spanish Succession when a Franco-Spanish army laid siege to Barcelona in an attempt to recapture the city following its fall to an English-led Allied army the previous year. The siege was abandoned, following the appearance of a large English fleet.  Barcelona and the entire region of Catalonia remained in Allied hands until 1714.
Low Countries 1603 end of Siege of Ostend
The Siege of Ostend was a three-year siege of the city of Ostend during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. A Spanish force under Archduke Albrecht besieged the fortress being held initially by a Dutch force which was reinforced by English troops under Francis Vere who became the town's governor. This resulted in one of the longest and bloodiest sieges in world history: more than 100,000 people were killed, wounded or succumbed to disease during the siege.

Monday, 6 May 2019

A bit late for Easter but we are still in the Easter season. this is a German – Pesttaler. the item is not dated.  

One side has the Crucifixion of Christ scene and the other has an Old Testament image of people looking at a snake on a pole. Pesttaler is a new term to me but presumably means something to do with plague.

Katz 21., Slg. Brettauer 1484. AR 46 mm, 10,70 g.Old cast. Nearly extremely fine

Auction 345  5 July 2014 Schulman Auction

used by kind permission

Junk box find.

I bought this coin on Saturday for 50 pence. It is about the size of an old sixpence. I thought it was Korean at first because it was sat next to a Korean coin in the box. (No, not really scientific reasoning but you never know. 

It took quite a long time to track it down. It looks Oriental but I could not place it. 
It is in fact a 10 fen coin from the Reformed Government of China issued year 29 (1940)
by the Japanese controlled Hua Hsing Bank, Shanghai
The Reformed Government of the Republic of China was a Chinese puppet state created by Japan that existed from 1938 to 1940 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The regime had little authority or popular support, nor did it receive international recognition even from Japan itself, lasting only two years before it was merged with the Provisional Government into the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China under Wang Jingwei. Due to the extensive powers of the Japanese advisors within the government and its own limited powers, the Reformed Government was not much more than an arm of the Japanese military administration.
The coin is neither rare nor expensive according to the catalogue but I have never seen one before. It comes from an interesting yet tragic period in history. I wonder why they are not scarcer. Not many people would have wanted to keep them and I expect they were rejected by Chinese and Japanese authorities. Perhaps it was kept by a foreigner in a handful of coins that he or she did not recognise. Not bad for 50 p!

Saturday, 20 April 2019

The theme is this month's meeting was Ancient Coins. Just about as wide a subject as possible. I choose some ancient coins from Palestine and surrounding areas.

Coins for Easter Eve:

Coin of Alexandria              Coin of Caesarea from time of Augustus

            First revolt                              Coin from Nabataea truck by King Aretas IV

Coin of Judea in name of Nero                 Coin of Judea in name of Domitian

            Coin of Caesarea in name of Britannicus (son of Claudius)    Coin of Ascalon in name of Domitian
Coin of Judea showing temple Aelia Capitolina                       Coin of Judea First Revolt
            Coin of Caesarea in name of Britannicus                                  Coin of Judea time of Herod the Great
Coin of Judea Alexander Jannaeus                                Coin of Judea Bar Kochba revolt

Aelia Capitolina was a Roman colony, built under the emperor Hadrian on the site of Jerusalem, which was in ruins following the siege of 70 AD.

The Bar Kokhba revolt was against the Roman Empire in 132-135 AD.

First Jewish Revolt coinage was issued by the Jews after the Zealots captured Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple from the Romans in 66 AD at the beginning of the First Jewish Revolt. 

Saturday, 6 April 2019

top row two from Georgia and one from Transnistria
second row Czech Republic and two Serbian coins
next row: two Armenian coins and then Croatia
finally two Ukrainian coins.

I put out a local request for people to send in unwanted coins in aid of a charity. here are some interesting coins mainly from eastern Europe. the coin from Transnistria interested me as I could not identify it at first. The hammer and sickle looks Soviet Russian but the 2005 date was post communist era. 
It is an unrecognised state that split off from Moldova after the dissolution of the USSR and mostly consists of a narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the territory of Ukraine
After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July of the same year. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarised zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: registration. It is the only country still using the hammer and sickle on its flag.

Coins from Armenia and Ukraine you do not see every day! Amazing what you can find. 

Saturday, 23 March 2019

A numismatic trip to Tallinn capital of Estonia. 

This is a photograph of the National Bank museum in Tallinn. Well worth a visit if you are in the area and free!  It has good displays about modern Estonian currency. 

Estonia has had many outside influences and has only been independent for a very short period in its history. It was fought over in the Northern Crusades in the Middle Ages. Danes and Germans conquered the area in 1227. From 1418 to 1562 the whole of Estonia formed part of the Livonian Confederation. Estonia became part of the Swedish Empire until 1710/1721, when Sweden ceded it to Russia as a result of the Great Northern War of 1700-1721.  In the aftermath of World War I (1914-1918) and the Russian revolutions of 1917, Estonians declared their independence in February 1918.
The Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920) involved battles with Bolshevist Russia to the east and against the Baltic German forces to the south. The Tartu Peace Treaty in 1920 marked the end of fighting and recognised Estonian independence in perpetuity. In 1940, in the wake of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia.  Nazi Germany occupied Estonia in 1941 and later in World War II the Soviet Union reoccupied it in 1944. Estonia regained independence in 1991 in the course of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.
The kroon was the currency of Estonia for two periods in history: 1928–1940 and 1992–2011. Between 1 January and 14 January 2011, the kroon circulated together with the euro, after which the euro became the sole legal tender in Estonia. The kroon succeeded the mark in 1928 and was in use until the Soviet invasion in 1940 and Estonia's subsequent incorporation into the Soviet Union when it was replaced by the Soviet rouble. After Estonia regained its independence, the kroon was reintroduced in 1992.