British History

Could you be hiding a small fortune in the attic?

I am sure we have all dreamt of stumbling across a dusty old stamp collection or long forgotten silver coin secretly worth a small fortune hiding somewhere in the house.

Unfortunately I am yet to stumble across my fortune in the attic, but this dream recently came true for a grandmother from Hull when she found a 1644 Oxford Crown in her late grandfather’s coin collection.

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The reverse of the Silver-plated Charles I Oxford Replica coin, depicts Charles I on horseback with the City of Oxford in the background.

While clearing out her attic she found a shoebox of coins she had inherited from her grandfather decades ago. She initially offered the collection to her children, who rejected what they saw as ‘worthless junk’.

She then considered binning her collection of relics, before making the decision to have the coins valued along with a number of other family heirlooms.

That’s when she discovered that amongst her collection was the incredibly rare 1644 Charles I Oxford Silver Crown. This coin was struck for just one year and is considered by many numismatic experts to be one of the most beautiful British coins ever produced.

Struck in 1644, this crown was minted while the country was in the midst of a Civil War. The coin features a portrait of King Charles I on horseback placed against a fantastic rendition of the City of Oxford which was his headquarters during the English Civil War.

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King Charles I. Monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland from March 1625 until his execution in January 1649.

It is no wonder that this coin is so highly valued. It is incredibly rare, the design is one of the most intricate ever struck on a British coin and it marks one of the most significant moments in our nation’s history – the English Civil War.

The historic coin is expected to reach in excess of £100,000 at auction and the owner plans to use the money to help her granddaughter, currently expecting her first child, to fund a house deposit.

I think it’s time for me to have another dig around in the attic!

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If you’re interested…

For those not planning on bidding in the auction for this exceptionally rare coin, we have a limited stock of just 36 Silver-plated replicas available of the beautiful 1644 Oxford Crown. Click here to find out more >>>

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Globalisation – the coin that launched it all…

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The 1739 ‘Spanish Silver Trade Dollar’.

While I was watching “Civilisations” on the Beeb last week they mentioned how the introduction of the Trade Dollar was the first step in globalisation – this got me thinking, so I made a cup of tea and looked into the history of the Trade Dollar and it truly is a fascinating tale.

Way back in the 16th Century, the first trading currency came to be because of the popularity of the silver Spanish dollar (better known as pieces of eight – yes those!) in China and they created the “Dragon Dollar” or “Silver Dragon” which were not only used in China, but also became the preferred currency for trade with their neighbours.

In the 19th Century, the Chinese were defeated in the First Opium War and forced to open their ports to foreign trade. The British merchants from The East India Company were now able to take advantage of the silk, porcelain spice and tea trade in the Orient.

The Rise of the British Trade Dollar

Now, with so many routes to trade it made sense for each country’s traders to mint their own coins, from their own supplies of silver. BUT these new silver trade coins all had to be minted to the same specification as the famous Spanish Dollar weighing in at approximately 27g and minted in 0.900 silver. The trade dollar was truly born and trading was made easier for the world – hence the movement of goods (and people) became more prevalent and “globalisation” started.

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The 1895 British Trade Dollar.

Our British Trade Dollar was first minted from 1895 and designed by George William De Saulles – a British coin with an eastern feel, it was exclusively for use in the Far East. For the first time on a coin, it showed a helmet-wearing Britannia holding a trident and the British shield with a merchant ship in the background.

Although The East India Company had been trading since the early 1600s, the introduction of the British Trade Dollar secured them as the single most powerful economic force of its time – tea, silks, spices and so much more travelling across the world on their ships not only for Britain, but also the rest of the Empire and Commonwealth. Without the original version of this coin we would be waiting for a cup of tea for a very long time!

A 21st Century spin on a 19th Century coin

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The 2018 East India Company 1oz Silver Proof Trade Dollar.

This year, The East India Company is launching a coin that has been faithfully inspired by the original British Trade Dollar – The East India Company 2018 Trade Dollar 1oz Silver Proof Coin features Britannia surrounded by an oriental pattern. The obverse for the first time, displays the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by an arabesque cartouche.

A Faithful nod in these modern times to the coin that started it all.

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If you’re interested:

EIC 2018 Trade Dollar Silver Proof Coin Obverse Reverse Blog 300x200 - Globalisation - the coin that launched it all...

The 2018 East India Company 1oz Silver Proof Trade Dollar, limited to just 2,500 worldwide.

You can own the 2018 East India Company 1oz Silver Proof Trade Dollar, but you’ll have to be quick as just 2,500 have been issued worldwide! Click here to secure yours now >> 

Brand New British Isles 50p marks the Queen’s 65th Coronation Anniversary

This year, Her Majesty the Queen celebrates her Sapphire Coronation Anniversary – 65 years since she was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1953.

As the world’s longest reigning living monarch, she will be the first monarch in British history to celebrate a Sapphire Coronation, an historic achievement to be recognised as part of her record-breaking reign.

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Elizabeth ascended the throne at the age of 25, upon the death of her father, King George VI in 1952. After a year’s mourning period, she was crowned Queen in a coronation ceremony steeped with tradition. Millions tuned in to listen to the ceremony on the radio and, for the first time ever, the proceedings were able to be watched on live television.

In celebration of the Sapphire Coronation, a limited set of special commemorative 50p coins have just been officially approved by Buckingham Palace.

Fittingly, the first coin is engraved with the words of the Coronation Oath,

 

The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.

 

The other four 50p coins each feature a different element of the Coronation: The St Edwards Crown, The Orb, The Gold State Coach and The Imperial State Crown.

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The UK’s most collectable coins…

 

The 50p coin has rapidly become the UK’s most collectable coin, spurred on by the release of the Olympic 50p coins, the Platinum Wedding Anniversary and more recently, the incredible demand for the Beatrix Potter 50p coins.

Most importantly, each of the five coins in the Sapphire Coronation 50p Coin Set have been authorised by the Isle of Man Treasury, have full legal status AND a very limited number will enter circulation in the Isle of Man.

British Isles 50p coins like this rarely turn up in UK change, which is bound to make these some of the most sought-after circulating coins around.

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The coins are all available now from The Westminster Collection, struck to a range of specifications, from Brilliant Uncirculated through Silver Proof, right up to a stunning 22 Carat Gold piece.

 


 

Due to its very limited nature, we will contact you directly to discuss owning the Gold Proof 50p.

Please complete the form below:

 


If you’re interested…

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The 50p Set to mark the Queen’s 65th Coronation anniversary is available to purchase in Superior Brilliant Uncirculated collector’s quality.

Order the Complete set here.