One of the questions I get asked most, by my friends and others in the coin business, is: what is the best (and most affordable) way to build an enviable collection of historic coins?
There are so many fascinating coins in British history, it’s a question that is hard to answer. Where do you start!?
Which is why I’ve decided to put together an Expert Guide to building a collection of historic coins, by answering some of the questions I hear most often from collectors…
How far back can I go?
One of the questions collectors face when they first start collecting historic coins is: how far back can I go? Is a Victorian coin affordable, and did every monarch release coins?
As a general rule, coins tend to get more expensive the further back in time you go. Which is why owning a coin from our current monarch is the best place to start. You can then work your way back through other famous monarchs.
Most collectors can aim to collect coins from each monarch back to the 17th century. After the tumultuous leadership of Oliver Cromwell, Charles II reclaimed the throne and began a period of standardised coin issue. For most collectors it’s possible to collect coins back to this fascinating period in history without breaking the bank!
Which are the important monarchs?
A great coin collection should contain coins issued by famous monarchs, monarchs that changed the history of our nation and ones that revolutionised our coinage.
An obvious monarch is Queen Victoria – the monarch who built the largest Empire the world has ever seen and who oversaw some of the greatest changes our nation has ever experienced. And every collection should contain an important issue by our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in our nation’s history! And you can’t leave out George III, not only did he oversea a complete overhaul of our currency but he’s also our longest reigning King.
Those are just a few of the key monarchs, but once you start collecting you’ll find that each monarch has a fascinating story and a number of really interesting coin issues.
Base metal, Silver or Gold?
Gold has historically been seen as the pinnacle for collectors. But this famous metal comes with its difficulties. Gold coins were issued in much smaller numbers, and not every monarch released a standardised gold coin. Which means that to own a Gold coin from some monarchs is extremely difficult – for example George VI only issued a Sovereign for one year of his reign.
Base metal and Silver coins tend to be much more achievable for most collectors. Base metal coins (pennies, farthings and the like) tend to be less expensive, however because of their lower value the quality of coins can vary widely. Silver coins were issued by most monarchs, and because of their slightly higher value tend to be found in better grades.
How should I store my coins?
The wear and tear of an old coin is part of the appeal of collecting historic coins, but it’s important to protect your coins from any outside interference that could potentially discolour, wear or generally affect the condition of your coin.
I would recommend always storing your coins in capsules, and if possible in a tamperproof capsule that will guarantee the condition of your coin for generations to come. And as you build your collection, there’s nothing better than having a box with trays to keep your collection together for you to store and present.
How much will it cost me?
For most collectors building a historic coin collection, one of the most confusing elements can be price. The prices for historic coins can vary widely – you might find an old Victorian penny at a car boot for less than £10 and then see what looks like the same coin selling for hundreds on an online auction site.
I’d always recommend purchasing carefully, preferably by making sure you either have an expert opinion or by ordering from a reputable retailer. By making sure you’re getting your coins from the right place, building a collection of Silver coins back to the 17th century is actually more affordable than many collectors realise – in fact most coins should cost between £100 and £500.
Lastly… have fun!
The most important part of collecting coins is having those coins in your hand and feeling the history your coin has carried with it over generations. So have some fun and get collecting!
If you would like to learn more about building your own historic coin collection, with some expert guidance, just fill out the form below. One of our team will be in contact with you soon:
From Tiny Dancer, to Rocket Man, there’s no denying Sir Elton John has produced some of the most recognisable and popular hits the world has ever seen. His music catapulted him to global stardom in the 60s and 70s, and he is now one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.
And now, the Royal Proclamation issued on the 14th of February 2020 confirms that a range of Elton John coins will be released this year. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate his legacy and contribution to British music than with a UK coin!
Not many details have been released yet by The Royal Mint, but if you want to be the first to know when they’re released simply register your interest below.
In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the Royal Proclamation to see what’s in store for this exciting new coin range…
Next Music Legend?
This news comes following the exciting release of the first coin in The Royal Mint’s Music Legends coin series – the Queen £5 – earlier this year.
I think we can safely assume that Elton John will be part of this series and we’re sure that collectors and Elton fans alike will be feeling the love for this new coin.
At the moment, the designs are still top secret but the reverse is said to feature Elton John’s boater hat, glasses and bow tie set against a union flag and the inscription “ELTON JOHN”.
It also looks like this commemorative Elton John coin will be issued in a variety of base and limited edition precious metal specifications and denominations. This includes a Brilliant Uncirculated £5 coin and a 1oz Silver £2 coin that will be the only coin in the range to feature a special edge inscription – “a decorative star pattern and in incuse letters the inscription “ELTON JOHN”.”
Register your interest
It goes without saying that Elton John has leagues of fans worldwide, so I expect these new commemorative issues to be amongst the most anticipated new issues in 2020, and as such will be in high demand. That means when the coins are released you’ll have to act quickly to secure yours!
If you want to be kept up to date and be the first to know when these coins are available then simply register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as we have more information.
I don’t know about you, but I’m counting down the days until James Bond – or better known by his MI6 codename 007 – will be returning later this year in the hotly-anticipated 25th Bond film, No Time To Die.
But what’s perhaps even more exciting is that the Royal Proclamation issued on 14th February 2020 confirmed a BRAND NEW coin series featuring the British secret agent will be issued – just in time for the release of the new movie!
Much like many of Bond’s missions, the details of these coins are a closely guarded secret. But your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to register your interest below, so that when the new coins are released you’ll be the first to know.
In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the Royal Proclamation to see what is in store for this exciting new series…
007 to feature on THREE coins
According to the Proclamation there will be not one, not two, but three coins issued in the series. The designs have been confirmed to feature the following:
- The Bond car from Goldfinger set against the 007 logo with the inscription ‘Bond, James Bond‘.
- The Bond car from The Spy Who Loved Me set against part of the 007 logo and the inscription ‘Pay attention 007′.
- A depiction of James Bond’s torso in a dinner jacket and bow tie set against a part of the 007 logo with the inscription ‘Shaken not stirred’.
From this I think we can safely say that all three designs will feature iconic James Bond images that we’ve grown to know and love, and will instantly recognise from the films.
It also looks like this commemorative Bond coin will be issued in a variety of base and limited edition precious metal specifications and denominations. This includes a Brilliant Uncirculated £5 coin and a Silver £2 coin.
Not the first time Bond features on a UK coin…
However, eagle eyed collectors will know that this isn’t the first time the suave secret agent has featured on a UK coin. He made his debut appearance in the Royal Mint’s A-Z 10p coin series, taking the ‘B’ for ‘Bond’ spot.
Out of all the A-Z 10p designs, ‘Bond’ is widely considered to be the most popular. This makes me certain that this brand new James Bond series WILL to be a real hit with collectors!
If you’re interested…
It goes without saying that Bond has an unrivalled cult following with leagues of fans worldwide. So, I expect these new commemorative issues to be in high demand… Click here to see the full range!