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Strange money!

Strange money!

  Pictured above are examples of the 'Money Cowrie', a seashell commonly found in the Indian ocean. Shells have been used as money in most continents for thousands of years, with the financial incentive being collect them in large numbers from where they are common. (IE, the Maldives) and ship them to where they were much less common. (IE. West Africa) and trade them at a huge profit. This practice continued well into the 19th century.   For example, one African tribal king's revenue was estimated at 30,000,000 shells, with every adult male being required to pay annually 1000 shells...

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A gallantry medal to a brave man

A gallantry medal to a brave man

, This medal was awarded for Conspicuous gallantry. He (The recipient) bandaged 2 wounded men after extricating them from a dug-out in which they had been buried during a heavy bombardment, and when they were buried again he again rescued them and got them into safety and finally to the dressing station' 'Sapper W Liggins, 1st West Lancashire Field Company. Royal Engineers.' He died later in the war, in 1918. This took place in March 1916 on the western front. His distinguished conduct medal (pictured) is the award for bravery immediately below the Victoria cross. Owning items like this is...

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Victorian 'Cumberland Jack' token

Victorian 'Cumberland Jack' token

The tokens & counters that bear the words "To Hanover" (commonly known as Cumberland Jacks) are usually found with Victoria's portrait on the obverse and a figure riding a horse on the reverse (in the style of St George slaying the dragon). They were produced as satirical counters and used in gaming. The history behind these pieces is that when Victoria was crowned as Queen, she was unable to fulfil the role of King of Hanover under Salic Law, due to the fact that she was a female. Her unpopular Uncle (Ernest Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland) who was the oldest male heir to the throne was sent off to Hanover instead...

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The colour of money.

The colour of money.

 'Coloured' coins are now being produced for collectors, such as the example on the right, a 5 pound coin commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The colours are printed on during the manufacturing process, and while you may not see coloured coins in your loose change yet, it is only a matter of time as Australia and Canada already have circulating issues. However in 1887 the process was much more labour intensive. A skilled craftsman would have created the enameled silver Crown on the left entirely by hand using processes now lost to history, in readiness for...

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Christmas in coins. Part 2.

Christmas in coins. Part 2.

Putting a silver coin or coins in a Christmas pudding is an age old custom and it was said to bring luck to the finder. In the early part of the 20th Century this was typically a silver Sixpence or Threepence. We are now at the time of year when the creative amongst you will be stirring your pudding mix and may be looking for a silver coin with which to grace your creation. The vast majority of us will be picking ours from the supermarket shelves in the coming weeks, and can still create the effect with a pair...

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