Tag Archives: 50p

Some Good Customers

We have had some good customers in the last couple of days.

One came back with his grandfather to spend his Christmas money and spent quite a lot on filling the gaps in his 50p collection. Generally 50p coins aren’t expensive, even if you are buying uncirculated coins from us. The Kew Garden one is the most expensive you generally see in circulation, though the Blue Peter and Swimming Olympic Error coin do cost more.

However, please note  that the Kew Garden coin has to be the 2009 one, the 2019 issue is slightly different and is less expensive, having been issued as part of a commemorative set. The Blue Peter coin, dated 2009, is the winner of a competition and is the rare one. The design was re-used for the Olympic Athletics coin in 2011, which is much commoner. Finally, the error coin – buy one in the original packaging – a loose one could be a fake.

Peter Rabbit. Good in a book or a pie, but not so good on a coin

Some lucky people, who started collecting at the right time found Kew Garden coins in their change, and some bought the Blue Peter ones before anyone knew that it was going to be a rarity. I believe that we sold them for £3 each when we had our original stock from the Royal Mint. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

We had another young collector in today, but he collects old coins and spent his money on a single coin – a florin of Edward VII. They are notable coins because they have a distinctive portrait of Britannia, engraved by an engraver called de Saulles. I’m trying to recruit him for the Numismatic Society, because our demographic profile is such that we only have a couple of members under 60. and we need to keep recruiting.

Finally, a lady called to see if we had ant coins of Henry VIII. Her daughter is reading a series of historical novels set in Tudor times and thought this might be a way to kindle an interest in history. We did have some coins of Henry VIII and I’m pleased to report that we now have one less.

I don’t think I have any relevant photos so will see what I can find.

Stephen Hawking 50p

Sunday Night Already

Where’s it all gone?

A certain amount of it was lost to sleep because I worked into the early hours setting up a plan for submissions. If you go to bed three hours late, you may as well get up three hours late on Sunday morning. Or, I suppose, you could just leave the planning for the morning. I’ve never worked out the best way to do it.

Late night is better for concentration, as there is nobody about to ask me to do other things, but it’s not so good for being alert and getting up next morning.

In the early hours I feel more like a writer. In the morning I feel more like an accountant.

From sleep we burst into action with laundry and shopping, then home for brunch. I did some writing and some work on my talk (it’s only four months away!) then watched TV, had a roast dinner cooked by Julia, who also made crumble. Number Two son served it. Looks like the Old Man has been left to wash up.

Watched some cricket. Then back to the writing.

When I say writing I also mean on-line Scrabble, reading comments on WordPress, playing Othello and trying to read a few WordPress posts, though I’m still very bad at this. Sorry to everyone I’ve been neglecting. Playing Scrabble hasn’t really increased my facility with anagrams, which I’ve never been good with, but it has enlarged my repertoire of games and increased my capacity for wasting time. To be fair, it has also increased my vocabulary of two letter words, but that’s not terribly useful.

I’m going to have to get a grip of my time.

Even if I merely stop discussing my talent for wasting time I’d save several hours a week.

1994 22 carat gold 50p

1994 22 carat gold 50p

The coin I’ve pictured today is a 22 carat gold 50p piece – one of only 2,500 made in gold. It is a rare coin compared to the normal cupro-nickel one, but the collectors are also rare. It weighs 26.32 grams, which is the same as about three and a quarter sovereigns. The cheapest currently on eBay is £1,099.

People with £1,099 don’t visit the shop every day, and don’t often want a modern coin like this.

Catching Up on Friday

Time to go back to Friday.

The first notable phone call was a lady with three “rare” 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p pieces – the variety with half a whisker. There were 9.6 million 2016 Peter Rabbit coins issued, and they all have ten and a half whiskers. The supposed rarity of the coin is not about actually rarity but about poor reporting standards, internet rumours and the rapacious greed and ignorance of a few internet sellers.

It should have been obvious that rare coins don’t crop up in multiples in your change, but people don’t always work that one out. To be honest, it’s dreaming of the elusive rarity which keeps many antiques dealers going.

However, I had to tell the lady they weren’t worth more than 50p each, and she told me this was a shame as she was hoping to buy a wedding dress for her granddaughter. Sometimes I’m less happy with my job than others.

Then we had the man, who to be fair, was an enthusiast. He rang up with a list of rarities, including 30-year-old British banknotes, US dollar bills (which turned out to be from this century) and Australian pennies. It took two ten minute phone calls to persuade him that we had plenty of British bank notes, that modern dollars in circulated condition are worth a dollar and that we have very few customers for Australian pennies (which we sell in bulk lots on eBay).

Finally we had a call from an embarrassed mother. Her son, having collected 50p coins, had tasked her with ringing round to get the best price for them. She was already sure in her own mind that they were worth 50p each and was very apologetic. So I invited her down with her son to view our stock, praising the virtues of coin collecting as a hobby, telling her we had reference books in stock and offering free tea and coffee.

Well, if you’re going to have to sit there taking calls you may as well show some enthusiasm.