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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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Christmas and coins

Christmas and coins

The tradition of Christmas stockings also began with coins. There are countless versions of the story, but this one is delightful, and starts with St. Nicholas. A 4th Century Greek saint, he was also rich as his wealthy parents had died when he was young. He loved giving gifts to those less fortunate, preferably in secret, and heard about a local nobleman who had lost both his wife and his money, and had moved into a peasants’ cottage with his three daughters, all of marriageable age. In those days, a girl needed a dowry to offer the groom’s parents, and...

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Winston Churchill on the new £5 note.

Winston Churchill on the new £5 note.

Winston Churchill appears on the new polymer £5 note, and its surprising and amusing to see people trading them on a well known auction site. Apart from a few very early issues this note is worth £5 and that’s where its value will stay. By contrast if you go back to 1965 a Crown coin, (5 Shillings, or 25p to those who pretend not to be old enough to remember) was issued to commemorate his death. It was issued in large numbers and people ‘Invested’ in them at the time in huge quantities, sometimes hundreds or thousands of coins. The...

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