Murder, battles and building an empire – The coins of Alexander the Great

“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Undefeated in battle, Alexander the Great is one of history’s most successful military leaders. Succeeding his father as king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon at the tender age of 20, by the time he had […]

Shipwreck Sovereigns – The coins that spent a century at the bottom of the sea

The Sovereign is one of the most storied coins in the world, including coins that shouldn’t exist, some that offended Kings and Queens and even one that contained a poisonous substance… But have you heard about the one that spent over 100 years on the seabed? The Shipwreck Sovereign In Victorian times, the Sovereign was […]

“Save our Sixpence”

With the 50th anniversary of Decimal Day fast approaching, it has brought a lot of the pre-decimal coins back into the spotlight. When Britain went decimal on 15 February 1971, coins like the florin, shilling and half-crown became obsolete, but one coin endured into the next decade… The Sixpence. Worth 2.5p, it remained in circulation […]

First Silver US Dollar sells for over $1m – and that looks a bargain

The famous 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is widely acknowledged as being the first ever silver dollar coin. An example has just sold at auction for over $1m – one million times the coin’s face value. How does a coin with a scrap value of just $12 for its silver content become for millionaires only? […]

Making a mark – The hidden symbols on coins

Every coin’s design tells a story, but sometimes if you look a little closer, you’ll see an additional feature in the form of a “mark”. But what are mint marks and privy marks? And what do they tell us about a coin? What’s in a mark? Marking a coin is not a new phenomenon. It […]

Dissecting a Design: The best named coin you can find?

There is one coin that every serious American Numismatist owns. It’s the Morgan Dollar. Struck over 100 years ago, the Morgan Dollar represents the history of “old” America – of cowboys, outlaws and the frontier. Most serious collectors will have a Morgan Dollar in their collection, but very few will have the extremely rare – […]

The most expensive coin ever sold is about to go up for auction in Las Vegas.

The “Amon Carter” Flowing Hair Silver Dollar last sold in 2013 for $10m, but how does a coin get the same price tag as a small island, especially when the scrap value of the coin is a measly $12 for its silver content? It ticks all of the boxes for what to look for when […]

Why my grandfather loved these rare and unusual coins…

My grandfather was a keen collector and loved showing me his coins, but one piece always sticks in my memory. When he first showed me the outside of the case, I thought I was about to see some very old glasses or a perhaps some remarkably intricate fishing flies. There was no mistaking that, whatever […]

Can you spot the difference between these Sovereigns?

An awful lot of Sovereigns have been issued during Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s reign – over 50 different individual years and that’s before you consider all the various finishes from bullion to Proof. There have been many significant Sovereigns during her record-breaking reign that could lay claim to being the most important QEII Sovereign, […]

When grief took over UK coinage

Every coin tells a story. Some have designs loaded with symbolism, such as a sword signalling a country’s strength, wreaths made up of the region or country’s main agricultural crops of the time or an olive branch acting as a symbol of peace. But only once has a monarch’s grief been represented on UK coins. […]