Where to start?
The day was dull, though we did have a few customers, which makes a pleasant change. It was a stuffy day in the back room, and it was a relief to get out and breathe some fresh air at the end of the day.
We sold a few starter coins to a lad who came in with his grandparents. Then we sold a decent coin to a collector of Roman coins. Someone else spent a couple of pounds on a 50p piece and then someone rang to ask if we sold coins of James I, adding that they might be a bit too old for a local coin shop. “Condescending” was one of the words I used after the call ended.
That’s James I of England and James VI of Scotland. He deserted the dreary wastes of Scotland as soon as his cousin Elizabeth died in 1603, criticised smoking, hunted witches and eventually died in 1625.
The Roman coin we sold in the morning was a Hadrian denarius. Hadrian was emperor between 117 and 138 and ordered the building of the famous wall.
So yes, we do sell coins of James I, and no, it isn’t too early for us. We actually have earlier coins too.
To be fair, he did come to visit in the afternoon and bought one.
I’m constantly amazed at what constitutes “old” in the mind of some people. It’s all relative, I suppose. We’ve had people ring up about “old coins” that were actually decimal coins from the 1970s. One bloke actually started swearing at me when I told him that his 30-year-old football medallions weren’t really old in coin terms. We frequently find that “old coins” feature the portrait of George VI or George V. People just don’t realise that before we went decimal we had pockets full of coins dating back to Queen Victoria. As a young collector in those days you could get back as far as the 1860s with a bit of work and some luck.
Young people these dys have only ever seen the Queen on coins. One actually asked if we thought her coins would be rare as they were withdrawn. Withdrawn, we asked? Seems he thought the Royal Mint was going to take all the Elizabeth II coins out of circulation and replaced them with coins of Charles III. He couldn’t quite grasp the fact that her coins will still be circulating in a hundred years.
Banknotes of Charles III aren’t expected until the middle of next year. There will be an eventual withdrawal of Elizabeth II banknotes as the replacement rate is higher with notes, as they wear out quicker than coins. Stamps are already on sale, but retailers have been instructed to use up stocks of Queen Elizabeth before selling the Charles III ones. So far I haven’t had a letter with one on.
The header picture is a frog Julia found in the MENCAP pond when cleaning it out. They also had newts, but they were blurred.
We have plenty of stamps to be going on with.