Coins

The life and reign of Queen Victoria told through her coins…

One of the things I find most interesting when collecting historic coins is the insight they give into the time they were struck and of the monarch who issued them.

A particular reign that has always fascinated collectors is that of Queen Victoria. During Victoria’s long reign only three major obverse portraits adorned her coins and they come together to chart the life and reign of one of Britain’s most popular monarchs.

The Young Head

The first effigy to feature on Queen Victoria’s coinage is known as the ‘Young Head’ portrait. This early portrait shows Victoria at the tender age of just 18, when she acceded to the throne.

The public in the early 19th century would not have been aware that the youthful Victoria depicted on their coins would soon become the leader of the largest Empire the world had ever seen and would reign longer than any British monarch before her.

The ‘Young Head’ portrait was extremely popular with the general public and remained on Victoria’s coins with only minor alterations for the majority of her reign.

Queen Victoria Half Crown set product image 1 - The life and reign of Queen Victoria told through her coins…

Young Head – This design graced most of Queen Victoria’s coinage right up to 1887.

The Jubilee Head

After 60 years however, it was decided that a new portrait was necessary to reflect Victoria as the elder stateswoman she had become. Victoria’s Golden Jubilee marked the occasion for a design change and Joseph Edgar Boehm was chosen to design a portrait for the 78 year old Queen.

However, Boehm’s portrait failed to gain the public’s admiration in the way its predecessor had. The portrait was met with ridicule by the general public who found the small crown balanced precariously on her head as unrealistic and almost comical.

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Jubilee Head – Designed in 1887  to mark her Golden Jubilee.

 

The Veiled Head

The ‘Jubilee’ portrait was quickly replaced in 1893 after only six years, with what was to be the final obverse used on Victoria’s coinage. This new effigy was designed by Thomas Brock and shows a mature bust of the Queen with a veil representing her long period of mourning after the death of her husband Prince Albert.

Victoria was deeply attached to her husband and she sank into depression after his death. For the rest of her reign she wore black and the final portrait of the highly respected Queen represents this secluded period of mourning that came towards the end of her life.

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Veiled Head – The Jubilee Head design was short-lived, being replaced by Thomas Brock’s ‘Old Head’ or ‘Veiled Head’ design in 1893.

 

Together, these coin portraits tell the story of Queen Victoria, with each marking an important period from her long reign. All of these coins are now over 100 years old and for me they epitomise Victorian coin collecting.

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If you’re interested…

Today you have the opportunity to own each of these key portraits in the Queen Victoria Half Crown Set. However, these historic coins are very difficult to source and we only have a limited number available.
Click here for more details >>

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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 >> 

This GLOW-IN-THE-DARK coin, celebrating a 75 year old conspiracy theory, has caused a collecting sensation.

UFO Blog - This GLOW-IN-THE-DARK coin, celebrating a 75 year old conspiracy theory, has caused a collecting sensation.


On June 24th 1947 nine unusual high speed objects were spotted flying over the city of Roswell. The military announced they’d found a flying saucer, then retracted this, instead insisting it was a US Air Force air balloon. This caused conspiracy theories to develop and grow… what exactly was it that crash landed that day?

Flat reverse 300x200 - This GLOW-IN-THE-DARK coin, celebrating a 75 year old conspiracy theory, has caused a collecting sensation.

3D ‘dome ‘ shaped

To commemorate 70 years since the event that shook the city of Roswell, Niue have issued a coin that is as mysterious as the event itself and it is proving to be just as popular with collectors as the Roswell event is with conspiracy theorists. In fact, with only 700 ever issued, this coin is already sold out at the Mint and it is very clear why…

The coin is 3D ‘dome’ shaped, replicating the iconic UFO shape that you would have grown up seeing. Domed coins like this are highly unusual and collectors are always quick to add them to their collections. The coin is a stunning design, struck in sterling silver to a proof finish. It is a remarkable feat and uses the latest technology in modern minting to achieve this incredible high-relief finish.

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Glow in the dark feature

The photo-luminescent detail adds to the collectability of the coin. If you hold the coin in the light for 30-60 seconds, turn off the light and watch the magic happen –the coin actually glows in the dark.

The amount of glow in the dark coins are very few and far between, so it’s no wonder that collectors have been rushing to secure their own silver UFO coin.

This scarce coin not only comes in its own unique presentation case to help keep the mystery under wraps, it is also complemented by a custom made ‘Top Secret’ collectors crate, which hints at the Roswell conspiracy theories that there was a major military cover-up.

The Roswell incident is known as one of the most famous and mystifying UFO incidents in history, and now this coin is already becoming one of the most sought-after and collectable coins!

 

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Full item 300x200 - This GLOW-IN-THE-DARK coin, celebrating a 75 year old conspiracy theory, has caused a collecting sensation.

The Glow-in-the-Dark Silver UFO Coi

This item is now fully allocated. Click here to view other items from our collectors gallery >>