Wednesday, 22 December 2021




An Extremely Fine Christmas

And a very rare New Year


Oxford Numismatic Society 2021

                 Philip and Mary Shilling, 1554   Image used by kind permission of © Dix Noonan Webb



Sunday, 19 December 2021

Season's Greetings 

The Edinburgh Castle Museum, Thomas Middlebrook, Edinburgh Castle pub in Camden,  free museum, flag, with the season’s greetings, etc, rev. Balaclava bugle above motto of 17th Lancers, 32mmThomas George Middlebrook, innholder, Old King’s Arms, Southwark, 1874-9, and the Edinburgh Castle, 1879-1906; at the latter he housed a collection of military relics from about 1887, which was sold by Debenham Storr in January 1908. 


Monday, 15 November 2021

 The theme this month was remembrance. here is a medalet from Tsarist Russia for service in 1914-15 and a comemorstive 10 rouble marking the anniversary of the Second World War

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date, the obverse design is similar to English tokens of 1812-1814 with the reverse value ONE PENNY TOKEN, which has been replaced by ONE STIVER.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.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

The theme for this month is -  Decimalisation


15 February is the fiftieth anniversary of Decimal Day in Britain when the new currency system was formally introduced. The great British public preferred counting from one to twelve rather stopping at ten. The number twelve divided by two or four.

The process of introducing the new coins had started some years before. It led to nostalgia about the loss of well-loved coins such as the penny, florin and halfcrown, along with nicknames and years of history. There was always a feeling amongst certain generation that coins had a value that modern coins do not. This included getting sixpence or threepence pocket money, handling bright shiny pennies or been given a halfcrown by a well off uncle. If you had a florin in pocket you had a lot of money. The modern new pence did not look much and there only multiples of pence not shillings.

Decimalisation itself brought inflation and this led to the reduction in size of coins and further disappearance of favourites. “New pee” did not sound right and many people thought the designs were bland.


Many coin collectors bewailed the loss of history but there was a short lived “check your change” enthusiasm for rare dates on pre decimal coins. In the 1960s and 1970s it was possible to find coins from the reigns of George V and Edward VII and even from the reign of Victoria. The Royal Mint issued older coins into circulation.

Shops had posters with conversion charts and “ready reckoner” booklets were available to buy. These were sometimes ignored. I was once due three old pence change and given a new penny. Fortunately I got over it… eventually.

A substantial publicity campaign took place in the weeks before Decimal Day, including a song by the singer and entertainer, Max Bygraves called "Decimalisation". 

The BBC broadcast a series of five minute programmes, titled "Decimal Five", to which The Scaffold contributed some specially written tunes. 

Things did improve with introduction of innovative designs such as the twenty pence and the twelve sided pound coin, the shield design of Matthew Dent in 2008 and the wide range of commemorative 50p and two pound coins.


In 1824, Parliament rejected proposals to decimalise sterling, which were prompted by the introduction of the French franc three decades earlier.

Silver florin, first issued on 1849.

double florin introduced in 1887, was struck only between 1887 and 1890.

The Royal Commission on Decimal Coinage reported in 1920 that the only feasible scheme was to divide the pound into 1,000 mills (the pound and mill system, first proposed in 1824

In 1960, the Government to set up the Committee of the Inquiry on Decimal Currency in 1961, which reported in 1963. 

Decimal Currency Act of May 1969.

In October 1969, the 50p coin was introduced.

The old halfpenny was withdrawn from circulation on 31 July 1969, and the half-crown followed on 31 December

Banks were closed from 3:30 pm on Wednesday 10 February 1971 to 10:00 am on Monday 15 February to enable all outstanding cheques and credits in the clearing system to be processed and customers' account balances to be converted from £sd to decimal. In many banks, the conversion was done manually, as few bank branches were then computerised. February had been chosen for Decimal Day because it was the quietest time of the year for the banks, shops and transport organisations.

On 31 August 1971, the 1d and 3d were officially withdrawn from circulation, ending the transition period to decimal currency.

The decimal halfpenny  which had been introduced in 1971, remained in circulation until 1984,

The 50p piece was reduced in size in 1997, following the reduction in size of the 5p in 1990 and the 10p in 1992 (the large versions of all the three have been demonetised). The 1p and 2p underwent a compositional change from bronze to plated steel in 1992. However, both coins remain valid back to 1971, the only circulating coins on Decimal Day that are still valid.

In 1982, the word "new" in "new penny" or "new pence" was removed from the inscriptions on coins, and was replaced by the number of pence in the denomination (for example, "ten pence" or "fifty pence"). This coincided with the introduction of a new 20p coin, which from the outset bore simply the legend "twenty pence". The £1 coin was introduced in 1983, and a £2 coin in 1997.



Sunday, 17 January 2021


Collecting tokens

Perhaps tokens will outlast coins. We live in an increasingly cashless society. I rarely use cash now as virtually all payments are contactless. It does not seem that long ago that shops would not take cheques for payments under a certain amount. In some places you had to get a cheque verified first before it would be accepted. Credit cards were for the rich and for large amounts.  The there was “your flexible friend”. I wonder what happened to him.

The idea of a token in the senses of a voucher that has a fixed value and can only be spent or used for one thing is still popular. This includes machine tokens, car park tokens and vouchers for food. One thing cash is used for is beggars although I have heard of then sometimes taking card payment. ( I am serious and I do not belittle people who are genuinely desperate). Perhaps tokens could be issued to give to people in need that could only be spent necessaries.

When I lived in the West Midlands the collectors I knew all collected local tokens. I could never see the attraction in pub and trade tokens. Looking back I think I get it. Tokens give an insight into life, usually on a local level. They are usually connected with need as cash is the prerogative of the wealthy.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

 today marks the start of Epiphany when the visit of the magi is remembered 

Image © Dix Noonan Webb.


Lot 314  Date of Auction: 13th September 2017 - Sold for £220 


Coins and Historical Medals from the Collection formed by the late Revd. Charles Campbell DANZIGNew Year, 1635, a cast silver-gilt medal by S. Dadler, Jesus holding orb, surrounded by clouds, iesvs sein wort, etc, legend in two lines, revein reiner glavb, etc, the Three Wise Men bearing gifts attend Jesus, 54mm, 39.02g (Maue 107; Wiecek 97; Gumowski 24). Light graffiti in reverse field, otherwise good fine, very rare £200-300



Sebastian Dadler was born March 6, 1586 in Strasbourg  and died July 6, 1657 in Hamburg 

He was a native of Strasbourg; appointed goldsmith to the court of Augsburg. Worked at various times at Nuremburg, Hamburg and Dresden.

From 1634 Sebastian Dadler lived and worked in Gdansk/Danzig , which at that time belonged to the Kingdom of Poland. Here he married Margarethe Neumann for the second time in 1647.