Tag Archives: coins

Brimming with Bonhomie

I’m absolutely full of it today. I enjoyed writing about the sweethearts yesterday, the boss is going away on a trip, and, when I returned home tonight, my anticoagulant results were in.

They were spot on target and I don’t have a retest until early December. This is a better way to live – free from the tyranny of medical tests – though it does mean that I tend to bleed a little too freely when I nick a finger tip in the kitchen.

I must improve my knife skills. Or make Julia do more of the cooking.

Last night we had a very enjoyable talk at the Numismatic Society.

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They weren’t big on portraits in the early days of coinage, but the production method didn’t really lend itself to quality work. This is  Edward I from a Canterbury Mint penny of 1272-1307. It could, however,  be any one of a number of Kings, or even Shrek

I grant you, Coins in the later Medieval Countryside is not a title calculated to cause rapturous outbursts of enthusiasm, even amongst the members of the Numismatic Society. There were a number of familiar faces missing, but as they are normally the ones who sit at the back and mutter it actually improved the evening.

The talk was mainly about the archaeology of the coins from Rendlesham in Suffolk, which seems to have been an active high-status estate in Anglo-Saxon and early Mediaeval times. It is close to Sutton Hoo, which is a lot more famous and, let’s face it, a lot more interesting.

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Long cross penny of Edward I – Lincoln Mint 1270

The project at Rendlesham has consisted, as far as the coins go, in using metal detectors in a scientific manner to search surrounding fields, and graph the types and frequency of coins, to give an idea of they way money was used. They have found over a thousand coins during the project and one of the questions coming out of the research is whether other sites could produce as many coins if they were worked in a similar intensive way.

Another equally important question, for me at least, was why did they never tell you there were jobs like this when I was at school? A job playing with coins, writing books and giving talks to numismatic societies – what more could you want?

Anyway, it’s time for me to go and practice my knife skills – roast veg with cumin served with steak and kidney pies and fruit crumble. As long as I don’t cut either of my typing fingers I should be OK.

Sorry about the photos – they are from an old post and could have been presented better. Unfortunately WP has been acting up again and I can’t work on them tonight.

Coins and the holes where coins used to be…

I’ve been looking back through a few old posts and have noticed that I seem to be running to a pattern. I moan, I rant, I explain why things are chaotic and I discuss the shortcomings of other road users. For variety I sometimes describe how my wife bullies, browbeats or outwits me.

Once in a while I complain about my aches and pains, disparage the medical profession and denigrate editors.

I also have problems with technology. Considering that I have problems with such basic things as sleeping and the use of apostrophes, it’s hardly surprising that technology beats me. I say “beats me”… It doesn’t actually beat me; I have three sledge hammers in the tool shed so in purely physical terms I have the upper hand. I suppose what I mean is that technology confuses me into a state of near surrender, but if the machines ever get too cocky I have the ultimate sanction.

This is actually the start of a post I wrote two days ago. It wasn’t good enough, so I sidelined it, made the sandwiches, played Scrabble against the computer, lost again, and went to sleep.

Tonight I wrote the first few paragraphs of a much better post, and lost it. I’m not actually sure where it went. Here, we return to my earlier thoughts and review my comments on technology. The day when I hammer my computer flat is rapidly approaching.

I have therefore “improved” the previous attempt by throwing half of it away and grafting a few moans on to the end.

Today I spent much of my time in the shop entering cards for coin year sets onto eBay. If you consider coins dull, and I do, then the empty cards for making up year sets are, I promise you, duller.

I have had the results from my last chest X-Ray and it was OK,  I do have a chest. This is handy as it gives me somewhere to keep my lungs, which, in turn, allows me to breathe, an activity considered essential for good health. It also stops your shirt getting messy. Imagine the laundry situation if your lungs were externally mounted.

Unfortunately I failed my last blood test. I do have blood, and it seems to be going round OK, but it seems that I need to talk to a doctor about it. I can do this on the phone but, there was a six day waiting list for a telephone consultation slot. I take it that there is nothing urgent about whatever problem their expensive testing machinery has come up with.

And that is why I find it reasonably easy to criticise doctors.

I now have a new date with the specialist and am hoping that in four weeks I may have a diagnosis. I bet they are going to tell me I have arthritis. I know this because it is following exactly the same path as my last outbreak. The difference is that it took just over a week to sort it out last time and it will have taken about eleven this time.

I have added a few coins to the end, as a relief from the hundreds of empty holes staring from the other pictures like hundreds of dead eye sockets. There’s a Battle of Hastings 50p, a Magna Carta £2 and moon landing £5 from Guernsey,

The £5, which is from 10 years ago shows early use of colour, which later became the garishly awful later use of colour. It doesn’t look the thin end of a wedge does it?.

Still flagging…

Sorry, I started the day on Wednesday with a McDonald’s breakfast, had a pub lunch and ended up with a steak in the evening. In the gaps we collected two different prescriptions from two pharmacies, visited the jeweller saw family, shopped, went home to change and saw family again in the world’s least efficient restaurant.

By the time we got home at eleven I was stuffed full and ready for bed, so sorry there was no post.

It’s very difficult to view Wednesday as a day off when you have this sort of social life to cram in.

It’s always nice seeing family though, and it was good to see the great nephew has a mini rugby ball. He’s not showing much talent for the game, but he’s only 18 months old so there’s time yet. I’ve reached 61 without showing much talent for the game. Or for any game.

I really need to get some work done but when I’m not out gallivanting I’m sleeping fitfully, which makes me slow-witted and grumpy.

The end picture is a rather nice enamelled double florin coin brooch. It’s a very interesting coin. I particularly like the bit about it still being legal tender because they forgot to demonetise it when we went decimal. You can, theoretically, spend it as a 20p coin, though the silver value is more like £4.

!887 Victorian double florin

!887 Victorian double florin

 

Next day I wrote this post, fell asleep at the keyboard and forgot to publish.These summer nights are playing havoc with my sleep.

Yesterday was reasonably busy, but today really took off. The owner was away this morning and in three hours we packed the parcels, served six customers and bought two lots of coins in. Both of them contained lots low value coins, though one also contained an 18th century Norwich token and the other had a respectable looking George III sixpence and a Victorian half farthing in it.

I’ve been writing up an interesting piece for eBay. It’s something and nothing but it’s also personally associated with a 20th Century icon.

All will be revealed tomorrow…

Crossing Off Another Day

I have packed parcels, as usual. I have drunk coffee, despite my preference for tea (because I am offered coffee and am too lazy to make my own drinks). And I have eaten my sandwiches.
It has not been a day of high excitement or great drama. We have been using the internet as a displacement activity, and to inform ourselves so we now know that Doctor Ferdinand Porsche was chauffeur to Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his National Service. This reminds me that although I know the names of the Archduke and the assassin, the name of the 1914 chauffeur seems to be absent from the records.
I also now know that Nickola Tesla was a Serbian, liked pigeons, liked walking and didn’t like paying his bills.
I then moved on to eBay, selling gold-plated coins with pictures stuck on the back.
They are not quality coins, but if you buy them from us they are reasonably priced. Buy them from the manufacturer and they will cost you a lot more.
I’m seriously thinking of  applying for a job copywriting for the manufacturers, using words like sumptuous and avoiding words like value for money. Today I managed to get the word “skullduggery” in, so sumptuous should be easy.
That’s why I’m going to be nice about the makers of crap coins. Well, maybe not nice, but possibly neutral. If they find the blog I don’t want to put them off by being honest about the expensive tawdry garbage they market so aggressively.
I finished off the day with coins which have been made into jewellery. The best bit is this 1676 Half Crown.
Half crown of Charles II

Half crown of Charles II

It’s not the prettiest coin, it’s been made into a brooch, and someone has started to make a hole at the top, but it has seen some history in its life.

When it was minted Charles had only been back on the throne 16 years and Cromwell’s head was still on a spike above Westminster Hall. It probably circulated during some of the wars with Holland, Monmouth’s Rebellion and the South Sea Bubble. It might have been handled by Prince Rupert, Sir Isaac Newton or Sir Henry Morgan.

You never know, it might even have still been in circulation when America declared its independence.

That’s a lot of history for one small coin.

Coins, coins, coins, coins, coins…

I’ve been putting commemorative coins on eBay today. It’s quite relaxing, and efficient, if you can get into the right rhythm. Unfortunately, it seems to be an unwritten rule that as soon as I get into the swing of things someone has to ring me up to ask a question.

We are currently running at one third queries about gold, one third useful sales leads and one third stupid questions. This isn’t too bad as ratios go, as there have been times when it’s been 90% stupid questions.

The advantage of world unrest and an idiot in Downing Street is that fear is rising and the pound is falling. This means gold is going up (up about £20 an ounce in the last week). It’s steady rather than meteoric but it does mean people want to sell, whilst others are thinking of buying.

Edward VII Sovereign (Obverse)

Edward VII Sovereign (Obverse)

Since my haircut, which will be unveiled once I can find a suitably studious background for a selfie, I have a certain resemblance to Edward VII. The resemblance is that I’m fat, bald and bearded. He was fat, bald and bearded and the wastrel son of Queen Victoria.

For a finale I will leave you with a few photos of today’s coins. They aren’t as interesting as sovereigns, or as expensive, and most of all, they won’t be any use for buying groceries when we have a zombie meltdown.

 

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Some Interesting Coins

Despite what I say, there are some interesting coins. Some, like the one in the Featured Image, are interesting because of the picture they have on them. Penguins are a guaranteed winner. I mean, who can resist a Penguin?

Here are a few others that I put on recently.  They aren’t quite as interesting as Penguins, but they are considerably better than some of the coins you see around.

 

 

We bought a couple of collections today, including one that had some interesting old coins.

This was one of them.

 

It’s a 2 sols of Louis XVI. It appears to be dated 1793, though it’s a bit worn so you have to look closely. It was quite a big year for Louis, on account of him being executed by guillotine in January 1793.  The sol, or sou, was made up of 12 deniers and 20 sols made a livre (pound).

You may notice that this uses the letters L S and D and 12, 20 and 240 – very much along the lines of the UK’s pre-decimal coinage.

The French adopted the decimal system in 1795, being the third country in the world to do so after Russia (1704) and the USA (1787).

This was another that cropped up.

 

It’s a 20 Baiocchi of the Papal States, dated 1860. Pope Pius IX is the man on the front. I recall him and the Papal States and Garibaldi from my school history. Unfortunately I don’t recall it well enough to write more about it. I’m going to have to do some reading.

One More Quick Post

I had a day off today and spent much of it trying to write. It didn’t go too well, though it could have been worse. That, could well be the motto for my life – good, but could have been better.

I also checked on the internet to see what sold in the shop, and found that one of the coins I’d listed yesterday had sold. It often seems to be the way. In fact most of today’s orders were for the cheap and cheerful end of our stock. That’s the end at which I operate.

Now, having watched the day slip away, I find it is time to take Number Two Son to work. I will return with only 40 minutes to post, so am getting it done now.  And that, I’m afraid, is why it was hardly worth your while clicking the button to visit. Sorry about that.

The final picture is my breakfast from Tuesday – overnight oats. You put oats, milk, yoghurt and fruit into a tupperware and leave it in the fridge overnight. It’s just a posh name for cold porridge. However, it does save time in the morning as I take it to work, and as I always arrive at work early I use some of that time for eating breakfast instead of starting work. On Fridays I will eat cold porridge in the garden with Julia.

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Overnight Oats

Note how I’ve included the keyboard in the picture to indicate that I’m a high-powered, high-fibre thrusting executive.

Photography can be so deceptive…