It’s a tradition that dates back to the time of the Bible. During the Last Supper, Jesus famously washed the feet of his disciples as a sign of his humility, and it was this religious event that inspired an Easter tradition which takes place to this day.
Since the thirteenth century, members of the Royal Family have followed Jesus’ example, giving gifts to the poor and washing their feet on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. By the eighteenth century, the act of washing feet was discontinued and the accompanying gifts were replaced by a money allowance, known as Maundy money.
And it was this change that created one of the most interesting of all the historic Royal Mint releases.
The first Maundy money ceremony took place in the reign of Charles II, when the King gave people undated hammered coins in 1662. The tradition has continued for over 350 years and today’s recipients of Royal Maundy are elderly men and women, chosen because of the Christian service they have given to the Church and the community.
At the ceremony, the monarch hands each recipient two small leather string purses. A red purse contains ordinary coins, while a white one contains the extremely special silver Maundy coins, amounting to the same number of pence as the years of the sovereign’s age.
Its deeply historical roots are what makes Maundy Money a rare highlight in any classic coin collection. But because of their extremely limited mintage and the fact they have never been issued into general circulation, they now stand as a one of the most highly sought after Easter gifts in the world!
If you’re interested…
We have just 20 Victorian Maundy Silver coins currently available for collectors. But with such low numbers available you’ll need to act now if you want to secure this classic Easter coin for your collection. Click here to secure yours now >>>
The East India Company is living proof of Sir Walter Raleigh’s (1614) prophetic words: “whosoever commands the sea, commands the trade, whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world and consequently the world itself,” as they rapidly became a trading force to be reckoned with.
And coins were one of the key ways the company managed trade across the globe.
At its peak the EIC was single-handedly responsible for half the world’s trade, including cotton, silk, spices, opium and tea.
Remarkably, the East India Company is still trading today. And they have just authorised a set of limited edition Gold coins paying tribute to the most important coins in their history.
Here is the story behind the coins…
Portcullis Money – 1601 (Throughout the Empire)
Ordered by Queen Elizabeth I to facilitate increased commerce on behalf of the British Crown and to compete against the widely used Spanish Real. These were the first coins issued for the British Empire outside of England’s normal coinage.
The Cartwheel Penny – 1797 (Australia)
The Cartwheel Penny was the first British coin to be exported to Australian Colonies. It was introduced to help curb Britain’s chronic coin shortage which was impacting economic growth. Specially designed to prevent counterfeiting, and the thick rim and inscription led to the pennies being informally named ‘The Cartwheel Penny’.
The Elephant and Castle Guinea – 1663 (Throughout the Empire)
The guinea is regarded as the most successful trade coin, exponentially increasing British and local trade wherever it was introduced. This Guinea was the first British machine-struck coin, and adopted its name from where the gold was mined from.
The Company Rupee – 1833 (India)
The Rupee is one of the world’s oldest systems of money. It was adopted by the East India Company upon its arrival in the East, and soon became one of the company’s most important coins and means for trade. In 1833 reforms to the Indian weights and measures led to coinage in India changing from the Sicca to the standard ‘Company Rupee’.
The Rix Dollar – 1821 (Sri Lanka)
Great Britain sought to develop Ceylon’s (Sri Lanka’s) economy and increase trade to and from Europe. As a part of this aim The Rix Dollar was struck specifically for use in Ceylon. Designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, who is also responsible for the now iconic rendition of St. George slaying the Dragon which features on British Sovereigns.
The British Trade Dollar – 1839 (The Orient)
To facilitate the trade of their most lucrative commodities, namely tea and opium a trading post in Canton, China was established. During the Trade Wars Great Britain found itself having to rely more and more on its own silver coinage, and this paved the way for one of the most distinctive silver British coins in numismatic history to be struck: the British Trade Dollar.
Hog Money – 1609 (Bermuda)
In order to develop Bermuda’s prosperous economy King James I granted permission to mint coins, which resulted in the issuing of Hog Money, inspired by the wild hogs previously introduced to the island, it’s the first English coin to be minted specifically for use in North America.
The St Helena Halfpenny – 1821 (St Helena)
In 1815 St Helena’s economy benefited from the arrival of the former French Emperor, Napoleon, during his second exile, as the famous prisoner brought with him an entourage of British troops, effectively doubling the islands population and prosperity. As the economy swelled, St Helena’s first local coins were introduced.
The Nova Scotia Penny – 1823 (Canada)
Prior to the Canadian Confederation in 1867 many provinces issued their own coinage. However in 1823, without seeking official approval from the Home Office, the province of Nova Scotia ordered the issuing of coins. The coins, issued in denominations of one pennies and halfpennies, contributed to the expansion of local commerce in Nova Scotia.
The 2019 Empire Collection
For this exceptional 2019 issue collectors will be taken on a journey to the far flung corners of the world. Retracing the steps of the East India Company, to discover some of the most significant coins which have helped build an empire stretching across three centuries from 1600 to the Victorian Era.
Finished to an exceptionally high standard, the 2019 collection truly represents the global resonance of The East India Company and these significant coins. There is no doubt the 2019 Empire Collection is going to become a future collector priority.
If you are interested…
Out of a Worldwide edition limit of just 100 we have a small stock of the 2019 Empire Collection available. If you are interested in owning a set – please complete the form below and we will contact you directly.
Do you believe in luck? Have you ever owned an item you consider lucky, such as a piece of clothing or perhaps a coin?
Money in general has been considered a source of luck for hundreds of years, such as the lucky penny or the action of throwing money into a fountain to bring fortune. Now let me tell you about a very special ‘lucky’ coin.
The Lucky Angel Coin is one of the most impressive and desirable of all European gold coins, not only due to its beautiful design, but because it is thought to bring such great luck.
- The angel depicted on the obverse represents the Spirit of France and is shown writing the French Constitution.
- A rooster appears next to the angel as a symbol of vigilance.
- Behind the angel stands the fasces – previously carried by Roman magistrates as a representation of power.
- On top of this is the Cap of Liberty.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Legend has it that an earlier version of this coin accompanied Napoleon in his rise to power in France and on each heroic campaign, until he arrogantly flung his coin into the river… on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, in which he was defeated and ended his rule as the French Emperor!
This coin was then re-created during the French Revolution and Augustin Dupré was commissioned by King Louis XVI to design it. He was a firm believer in the power of guardian angels and incorporated this theme into his design.
Years later he fell out of favour with the king and was condemned to death. Dupré claimed that the Angel coin saved him from the guillotine because he had it in his pocket. He said a quick prayer as he knelt beneath the deadly blade and rubbed his coin for good luck. Suddenly a bolt of lightning struck nearby, causing a panic and halting his execution! Before it could be rescheduled, Dupré was granted a pardon, his life saved.
From that moment on it became known as the ‘Angel Coin’ and many stories were told of the wonders of the coin.
Fishermen never went to sea without it, WWI French pilots never flew without it.
Even pilots from Britain and the United States carried the French coins into battle with them. US pilots continued to put their faith in the coin’s protective powers during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
In fact, the legend of these coins carried such weight that Hermann Goering, the engineer of Hitler’s evil vision, ordered his soldiers to round them up and had them buried in a location that has never been discovered.
The legend continues.
To this day, many pilots, rescue and police heroes proclaim the Angel’s power of luck and protection.
Some blame the coin’s remarkable good fortune on coincidence, others luck, and others a reward for faith. Who knows what these coins actually do, but their legend in itself is enough to want to own one!
If you’re interested…
You have the unique chance to own the world’s luckiest coin… will you be lucky enough to secure one? Click here to find out more