The Quality of Coins…

We had an unusual start to the day.

On Saturday we have a lie in.  It’s the one day of the week when we aren’t pressed for time so we sleep in until 8.00. It’s only an hour but it breaks up the week, and prepares us for Sunday. I was in that stage of waking where you know the alarm is about to go off, but you don’t actually want to open your eyes and confirm it. It’s a comfortable place to be and I quite enjoy it.

Then Julia’s mobile went off.

It was work.

According to my alarm it was 7.58.

The Council had organised a special event for employees in one of their departments (and family members) after they won a national award. They had realised, somewhere between opening at 6.00 and ringing us, that they would need extra staff, hence the phone call.

Julia has a particular tone of voice she uses when she wants to express disapproval without actually saying she disapproves. I have heard it more than once. The crackling voice on the other end of the phone become gradually more apologetic.

Fortunately the rest of the day was better. We had customers in for most of the day and managed to get a few things on eBay too. It’s strange to think that six hours of work can be condensed into a couple of lines.

I’ll load some pictures now as they are a slightly more interesting way of  showing how industrious I’ve been.

For starters, I’ll start with a marketing master class. If you are thinking of marketing a coin by using a well-known entertainer, make it a rule to check if he’s likely to be at liberty to help with the promotional work. Rolf Harris was not a good choice to promote the Australian silver Kangaroo coin. Eddie refuses to put them on eBay but I have no problem with them. The coin didn’t actually commit any crime and besides that, it gives me a chance to say “Can you see what it is yet?” (American readers may need to refer to the link to see what I’m talking about, just replace the name with Bill Cosby).

The next selection are from the well known nation of Tristan da Cunha. It’s so proud of itself it even uses the abbreviation TDC instead of its name. I doubt if any of the coins ever see the place, though according to this link they do provide a source of revenue for the island. They seem to be jumping on the Great War bandwagon, and though the designs aren’t bad on the reverses, the badly done bust of the Queen is almost criminal.

Contrast that with the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy used on our current coins, and the coins of many other nations, and the TDC one looks even worse. You can see the IRB effigy on this poppy-shaped coin from Jersey. You can also get them with red colouration applied. I will say no more.

It’s not what I thought I’d be dealing with when I went to work in a coin shop.

19 thoughts on “The Quality of Coins…

    1. quercuscommunity

      What a complicated question. I’m not sure about the Jersey ones but the story with the British £5 is that it is impossible to spend and most banks won’t accept them.

      As with most of these coins they cost a considerable premium when buying from The Royal Mint so you won’t see many being circulated at face value.

      A lot of this rests on the fact that even if something is “legal tender” nobody is forced to take it unless you are using it to settle a court-enforced debt.

      This was new to me.

  1. arlingwoman

    That IS a rather bad portrayal of the queen. The second one looks more like. As for predators, I guess they’re everywhere, eh? Yeesh, I can’t imagine having used one to advertise!

  2. Donnalee

    Would it be rude to ask why the poppy-shaped ones aren’t poppy-shaped…? It’s not like there aren’t countless ones for sale every year, or photos on the internet.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Not rude at all – it’s a question I’d never considered before.

      They are poppy-shaped, in that it’s the shape of the poppy we use for November 11th in the UK. The Scots use one with four petals, which is supposed to be more accurate but really still looks nothing like a poppy you see in the fields.

      I’ve never really thought about the accuracy of the representation before as I think of them in terms of fund-raising rather than botanical accuracy.

      1. Donnalee

        I just looked it up–the one featured is Royal British Legion poppy-shaped, and in my mind it had been differently-shaped, maybe because I lived up near the border so maybe we got different ones sneaking over or something–somewhere in my past I have seen tons of much-bunchier-looking fabnc poppies, and it may well be ones in the US sold for similar purpose. In memory I can see the face of a thin elderly disabled man who sold them, but not where we were!

      2. quercuscommunity

        The American Legion do one that seems more fabric and bunched up. The Canadians do a flocked plastic one. They both seem to have dangerous pins on the back. 🙂

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