The much-loved Beatle wasn’t just a talented musician with a great love for music – he also had a passion for stamp collecting…
John Lennon discovered his interest in philately as a child after his older cousin handed him down a partially filled book of stamps.
The young musician began adding to the album, filling it with stamps taken from letters sent from both the United States and New Zealand.
In 2005 Lennon’s collection was exhibited at The Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington. Despite containing over 500 stamps, Smithsonian curator Wilson Hulme reported that there were sadly no rarities within the collection.
However, the famous Beatles’ ‘lost’ album offers a unique insight into Lennon’s childhood – the title page features a reprinted stamp emblazoned with Queen Victoria and King George VI, on which Lennon doodled a mustache and beard.
If you want to see the album for yourself, you’ll have to take a trip to New York, as it goes on display at the World Stamp Show later this year in May. The show takes place each year at the Javits Convention Centre in New York and brings together stamp collectors, dealers and exhibitors from across the world.
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Discover the journey of the crown coin and how it became the UK’s flagship £5 commemorative coin…
For more information about the history of the crown coin click here.
On 21st April, 2016, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 90th birthday – the first British monarch ever to do so.
In honour of the occasion a new coin has been issued – featuring a specially commissioned one-year-only birthday portrait.
The coin has been officially approved by Her Majesty the Queen, and proudly displays the royal cypher atop a large “90”. The central design is flanked by the Royal Standard and Union Flags on either side.
But it is the new effigy that will fuel collector demand. Replacing the familiar standard portrait for one year only, renowned sculptor Luigi Badia was tasked with creating a special 90th Birthday engraving of the Queen.
As you’ll appreciate, that is not a simple process, with an extremely rigorous approval procedure. To give you some idea, the Palace requested three separate revisions until they felt the effigy was perfect.
That’s why special portraits such as this are few and far between and are so popular with collectors.
Luigi, from New York, explains the concept behind the design:
“I was extremely honored to be commissioned to sculpt a brand new portrait to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. I was inspired to use the St Edward’s crown as it captures her sense of duty from when she first wore it during her Coronation in 1953, a sense of duty that she has had through-out her life and reign”
The design process…
Careful consideration has to be put into the shape and size of the coin. Luigi painstakingly hand-engraved the design – with the added complication of retaining the typesetting within the circular shape.
The finalised ‘plaster’ engraving is then ready to be reduced down into a die (shown opposite) – which is hardened and used to mint the commemorative coins collectors can own.
Struck to a variety of specifications…
The new coin is to be struck in a range of different specifications, from a face value version right up to a staggering 10oz gold edition – which has already sold out.
And the other coins are likely to prove just as popular – with a highly collectable proof coin, a pure silver coin, and a 1/4oz gold coin amongst those available, there is something to suit everyone.
These coins really do make a fitting tribute to Her Majesty, and the stunning 90th birthday portrait marks them out as truly prestigious commemoratives to forever remember this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
If you want to mark the occasion you can add a Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Proof £5 Coin to your collection today.