A Typical Day in the Shop

I thought of taking some pictures to illustrate what I did at work today. It consisted mainly of buying and sorting coins (three times), turning down two lots of cigarette cards (there’s no market for them), helping a burglary victim with an insurance claim and explaining to someone why creasing a bank note heavily makes it unsaleable. As you can probably imagine, I wasn’t able to do much in the way of interesting photography.

We also had the normal calls from people trying to sell us “rare” coins from their change. It’s nice that people are interested in coin collecting again, but it does take time and tact to deal with the enquiries, particularly when they quote ebay as if it’s  holy writ.

£2 coin commemorating the Great Fire of London

Commemorative £2 coin

Ebay, as I may have mentioned before, is a guide to what idiots do when they have ten minutes to waste.

You can currently buy a Kew Gardens commemorative 50p for £149.99 on ebay. Or you can come down to the shop and buy one off us for £80, though we’ve had it several weeks now and it hasn’t sold. Or you can get a sense of proportion and buy a nice historical coin.

For that sort of money you can buy a nice silver denarius of Emperor Commodus (177 – 192), a sixpence of Charles I or a very clean George III sixpence of 1818. So much history…

(I have no link to this shop – I don’t even know the dealer, but it’s a good site for finding examples.)

Or you can buy an eight-year-old 50p piece, which may go out of fashion next year.

After fulminating on the state of coin collecting I polished the counters and cleaned the calculator.

They are all the same size, despite the way they appear in the photographs – something I need to address.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that people are interested in coin collecting again, and that they can find collectable coins in their change once more (like I used to do in the pre-decimal days of my youth). However, I don’t like the way the Royal Mint markets coins these days and I don’t like all the hype surrounding modern coins.


20 thoughts on “A Typical Day in the Shop

  1. beatingthebounds

    I had a big tin of coins I inherited from my Grandma. Sadly most of them got dispersed around the house when the kids were nippers. Some were foreign from when my Grandad was in the army, between the wars, most were just pre-decimal coins going back as far as the same sort of period as the foreign coins, i.e. to the 1930s. I used to like sorting through them. That’s about as close as I’ve come to coin collecting, although I did get quite taken with my colleagues undertaking to put together a full set of the 2012 Olympic 50p coins. She got there eventually.

  2. jfwknifton

    “Ebay is a guide to what idiots do when they have ten minutes to waste.” How cruel!! Ebay is actually a place where kind hearted sellers provide you with good quality undamaged articles at reasonable prices. Which is why I have given it up, except for stuff under ten quid. It’s Amazon every time for me, or the “Naval & Military Press” who do cheap war books which is something I enjoy.

  3. jodierichelle

    Interesting post. People always think that their stuff is worth something. What it is always worth is what someone gives you for it. Then it is no longer yours and you can forget about it.

  4. arlingwoman

    I know very little about coins, though I have admired some Roman ones and early US coins. Some of your examples are really beautiful. As for E-bay, I have never understood it.


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