The Barmaid’s Ruin. How a coin led to the fall of barmaids…

In 1887 for her Golden Jubilee, Queen Victoria authorised a new portrait for circulating coinage, as well as a new denomination. This saw the introduction of the Double Florin, which later led to the loss of Barmaid’s jobs and only circulated for 3 years. Featuring a brand-new portrait of the Queen that became colloquially known […]

The coin at the centre of a royal family feud

The late 1930s was a tumultuous time for the Royal Family. Edward VIII announced his abdication on 11 December 1936 to the shock of the world and the outrage of the Royal Family. Edward’s successor – his brother and our Queen’s father, George VI was furious at the abdication and made it his mission to […]

“Shinplasters” and a changing world…

I want to take you back 150 years ago today and on a hop across the pond to what is now Canada. But Canada wasn’t Canada until 1967 and there were no Canadian coins until 1870. When the UK transferred most of its remaining land in North America to Canada in the summer of 1870, […]

Royal Jubilees – the pinnacle of collecting events

Royal Jubilees are big business. Whether it’s with street parties or commemorative coins, the nation (and beyond) always marks them in quite some style. Thanks to Her Majesty’s record-breaking reign, we have been treated to a larger number of Jubilees than one might expect, with each one more remarkable than the last. Her next Jubilee […]

Walls of gold – The lucky near-£1m find

We’ve all spent a lot of time looking at our walls during the Coronavirus lockdowns, but probably never considered that there could be a fortune hiding in them… Maybe we should have though as a collection of gold coins dug out of the walls of a remote French mansion just fetched almost £900,000 at auction. […]

The 4 words on all American coins that violate the First Amendment?

“In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States. It first appeared on an American coin in 1864 and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a law in 1955 that required “In God We Trust” to appear on all American currency. But some groups in the US are objecting to its use, suggesting it […]

The British Government’s plot to assassinate Queen Victoria?

Have you heard about the “Jubilee Plot”? It was a supposed plan to assassinate Queen Victoria during her Golden Jubilee celebration at Westminster Abbey on 20 June 1887. The perpetrators were allegedly radical Irish nationalists, but all was not what it seemed… 19th century “Black Ops”? It was reported in various newspapers at the time […]

The coin that was saved from the melting pot and sold for $18.9m

The 1933 Double Eagle was all set to be America’s last gold coin struck for circulation, but it was never issued because President Franklin Roosevelt took the United States off the gold standard. 445,500 were actually minted in 1933, but none were ever officially circulated, and all but two of them were meant to have […]

Dissecting a Design: The coin of the Gods – the Alexander the Great Silver Drachm

Undefeated in battle, Alexander the Great is one of history’s most successful military leaders. By the age of 30 he had built an empire stretching from Greece to north-west India. His coinage was key to the expansion of his empire and the design of the Silver Drachm holds fascinating reflections of his mythological beliefs and claims. […]