The day I took 800 coins to the sky in a WWII Spitfire

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to see the RAF’s most famous plane up close and personal. That’s because on the 24th March I drove up to the historic Duxford Aerodrome to have 800 of the brand new Spitfire £2 coins flown in an original WWII Spitfire.

I arrived at 9am but unfortunately the chance of flying was in doubt because of the poor visibility caused by low lying clouds. The rest of the morning was spent nervously looking at the sky waiting for enough visibility for the pilot to safely take the 74 year old warbird into the air.

Our pilot for the day was Flight Lieutenant Anthony Parkinson MBE, known as Parky. The delay caused by the weather gave me the opportunity to talk with Parky about his time in the RAF and how the Spitfire compares to the modern jets he has flown during his time with the RAF. You can see Parky discussing his career and the Spitfire in the video below.

The wait for take-off also gave me the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the famous fighter plane and experience some of what it would have been like for the young pilots who sat in the same cockpit to defend Britain in the skies over 70 years ago.

Finally at 2.00pm the cloud cleared enough for a small pocket of visibility to take the Spitfire into the air. We quickly pushed the Spitfire out of the hanger and Parky secured the 800 Spitfire £2 coins into the wing bays which would have once held the plane’s armaments.

At 2.20 Parky prepared the plane for take-off. Standing a few yards from the plane whilst it’s famous Rolls Royce engine fired up was brilliant, and the Spitfire TD314 drew in a crowd nearby while it taxied along the runway.

Parky swiftly took the famous plane into the sky and gave me and the rest of the crowd a fly by. Despite the cloud cover it was still fantastic to see the Spitfire race through the sky at the hands of a former Red Arrows display pilot.

The brand new Spitfire £2 coin is a fantastic commemoration of the famous plane and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF with such a fitting tribute.

Thank you to Ben Perkins, Flight Lieutenant Anthony Parkinson MBE and the rest of the team at Aerolegends for helping to take the Spitfire £2 coins to the sky and for giving me the opportunity to see this famous warbird in the flesh.


U334 flown silver 2 main 300x208 - The day I took 800 coins to the sky in a WWII Spitfire

Signed edition Silver Proof £2 Spitfire coin.

If you’re interested  

All 800 coins have now been sold. However, we will soon be flying the 4 times as limited ‘signed edition’ Silver Proof £2. Click here to pre-reserve 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.

ST Coronation 65th Oath CuNi BU 50p Coin Blog Image1 1000px - Brand New British Isles 50p marks the Queen's 65th Coronation Anniversary

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.

four coins - Brand New British Isles 50p marks the Queen's 65th Coronation Anniversary

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.

ST Coronation 65th Oath Gold Proof 50p Coin Blog Image - Brand New British Isles 50p marks the Queen's 65th Coronation Anniversary

 

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…

sapphire coronation 300x208 - Brand New British Isles 50p marks the Queen's 65th Coronation Anniversary

 

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.

The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

It started – as all ‘great’ ideas do – down the pub.

There I was, sipping on my *ahem* first pint of amber nectar, when an interesting point came up.  A good friend of mine, Billy, is turning 70 this year, and I was asked by my mates what I planned to get him.

It didn’t take me long.  By the second round I was in top form, and a great idea came to me.

And yet to their minds, my gift seemed beyond generous.  And I’m not sure any of them believed me.  But why?

Well that’s because it’s a genuine Penny Blackthe crown jewel in the nation’s greatest hobby.

Penny Black blog - The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

The 1840 Penny Black

A genuine one?” was the doubting reply.  Which is something I’ve heard a lot over the years.

It’s a perfectly valid response.  Especially when you consider the most famous example sold for just under £350,000!

You see, the Penny Black is the world’s FIRST postage stamp.  And better yet – from a collector’s point of view – they were only issued for 9 months (1840-41), and are so highly revered in philatelist circles that no collection is complete without it.  The very first.  A pillar of the Victorian Age.

But here’s the rub.  68 million Penny Blacks were printed in its 9 months of production.

And so for stamp collectors, condition is everything.  In fact Stanley Gibbons, the authority on stamps, have a series of terms to help clarify what the condition of a stamp is worth.  Every year they assign values to every British stamp ever issued.  The values of the most desirable versions are called the ‘fine [used or unused] catalogue price(s)’.

And while there are indeed many more factors that affect the overall value of a Penny Black (plate number, cancellation and corner letters), the gold-standard is the ‘4-Margin’ – a stamp with four clear white margins around the stamp.  And despite what you might think, it is a real rarity.

You see it was this version, the most desirable of the Penny Blacks, which I was giving to Billy.  Perhaps you can now appreciate my friends’ disbelief.

But there’s something else.  Something even more remarkable…

Roland Hill Penny Black 203x300 - The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

Roland Hill – The inventor of the Penny Black.

Over recent years the global market for stamp collecting has grown at a rapid rate.  One of the major factors for this is because old, historic stamps are rare, difficult to source and limited in supply.

This overall rise in values is perhaps best illustrated by the Stanley Gibbons 250 Index, which has seen a 288% rise in the last ten years alone.  Tracking the price of 250 key investment stamps, the index rise reflects the constant demand for the very best stamp issues.  And significantly, this growth has been in stark contrast to other comparable markets over the same time.

As a result of this continued demand, the last two decades alone has seen the official Stanley Gibbons catalogue value for a fine used example of the Penny Black rise by 150% – out-performing many other comparable commodities.

And so came my idea.  To give my good friend Billy a meaningful gift for a milestone birthday.  A gift that’s not only dear to my heart, but something with genuine historical significance, fantastic desirability, and as a bonus, a clear track record of increasing value.

So there you have it, a great idea for a great friend – thank-you Fosters.


If you’re interested… 

Penny Black 251x300 - The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

1840 Penny Black with 4 clear margins

You can own your own 4-Margin Penny Black, like Billy.  Click here for details >>>