Tag Archives: £2 coin

Day 7

Not much to pack this morning but the owner’s promotional efforts yesterday produced a couple more sales. Two extra sales on a day that only produced four sales is 50%, so it was worth doing. We actually had three sales in the afternoon, so the day didn’t finish too badly. In terms of footfall, which is why we have a shop instead of working from an industrial unit, we had four people who came to sell, two who came to buy and two who came to irritate us.

On the phone we had several useful calls and one from a man when we had three people in the shop (and only two serving). He had a 1995 £2 coin, which, he said, is made of solid gold. That was one of the single-metal £2 coins we used to have. They weren’t really made for circulation so people aren’t familiar with the, They commemorate things like the Bill of Rights (1689) (or Claim of Right (1689) for those of you in Scotland, the Commonwealth games and the end of WW2.

It was this WW2 commemorative coin that the enquirer had. He knew it was gold because it was yellow, shiny and, when he scratched it , it was still yellow and shiny in the scratch. Unfortunately, as my colleague explained, these things are true of the base metal variety, which is made of nickel-brass and is therefore yellow and shiny all the way through. The caller wouldn’t take his advice and my colleague, being a nice man, kept answering questions even though we had more pressing matters in hand. The gold version should have a box and paperwork with it. The Royal Mint is currently out of stock but values a gold one at £1,180.

So to sum up – the ordinary nickel-brass one is valued at a maximum of £10 by Numista, the collecting site. There were over 6,000,000 minted. The gold one came in a box, with papers, there were just £1,000 minted and, as a rule, you are unlikely to be given one by someone you know in the pub.

However, he wouldn’t be told and insisted that his was gold (because it looks just like the gold one on the internet), before asking how to test it and whether we would test it, and, as we wouldn’t, who would test it. I don’t mind people asking for advice, because we are specialists and we are happy to share what we know, and it’s nice when people go away happy and better informed. It’s also good when people just go away. Hanging on the phone arguing and citing the idiotnet as their source, that’s not so good.

Eventually my colleague told him to try the gold-buying stall in the market. They always send their idiots to us, so it seemed only fair to repay the compliment.

Other stuff did happen, but this is a ten minute slice of the day that sticks in my mind.

Freddie Mercury – Stamp Collector

A couple of days ago I was entering Philatelic Numismatic Covers (PNCs) on our eBay site. They are generally dull, boring, difficult to pack and hard to enthuse about. They are the bastard offshoot of the combined imaginations of the low-lives who make a living from selling brightly packaged, expensive and tawdry stamps and coins. In this case they have come together to produce a coin/stamp combo, which, to my mind, offers little to a collector of either.

It’s an interesting keepsake, but that’s all. Unfortunately they are marketed aggressively and often sold for what I consider unreasonably high prices.

If either of my children came home and told me that that he had taken up employment with one of the marketing companies responsible for these abominations I’m not sure what I’d do. I’d certainly hide the fact from my neighbours and claim they were an estate agent, people trafficker, or even a politician,  rather than admit the horrible truth.

Anyway, there I was, with a heap of dispiriting detritus on my desk, trying to put a brave face on it, when I noticed  a familiar name on one of the covers – Bulsara.

As you may know, I am a great accumulator of useless trivia.

One thing I know is that the family name of Freddie Mercury was Bulsara.

It took me a few minutes but I was able to tie the evidence together.

There’s a picture on Freddie Mercury’s Wikipedia page showing the blue plaque on his childhood London home, with the caption “English Heritage blue plaque at 22 Gladstone Avenue, Feltham, London”

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I rest my case…

So this is indeed a PNC addressed to a Mr Bulsara at the home address of the Bulsara/Mercury family.

How good is that?

I managed to piece together some other information – Stanley Gibbons, the famous stamp dealer, have something about B. R. Bulsara, father of Freddie Mercury, and his stamp collecting. Young Freddie, it seems, had a stamp collection in his youth.

Eventually his father sold his collection, and Freddie’s collection, to raise funds for the Mercury Phoenix Trust.

I even found out that Freddie Mercury’s sister lived in Sherwood, and he used to visit her. I’ve lived in Sherwood over 30 years and I never knew that.

So there you go, it’s not the greatest piece of rock memorabilia, and Freddie Mercury may never have seen it, but it did lead me into some interesting new areas and help me add to my accumulation of trivia. I can’t help wondering what would have happened if he’d lived long enough to start collecting stamps again, once the lure of sex and drugs and Rock and Roll faded and he started looking for something more fulfilling in his later years.

It’s here on eBay if you want to look. The appalling title is by the owner of the shop who has, in my personal opinion, the wrong idea about titles. He just loves to cram the title bar with what he considers important words. The concepts of less being more, syntax and elegance of language have little place in his life. However, the concept of him paying my wages does have quite a large place in my life so I write what I’m told.

In other words, don’t blame me for the bloody awful title.

You can, however, blame me for everything else, including the inclusion of the Queen song titles. I have no shame when it comes to trying to make things sound interesting, and trying to make silk purses out of a pig’s ear.

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1986 Commonwealth Games Commemorative £2 coin