Why the Queen’s birthday changes day every year…

Since 1952, the Queen has celebrated her official birthday on a different date each year. In fact, for the past five years alone she has celebrated her birthday on the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 13th June, and next week she will celebrate her birthday on the 12th!

Now you’re probably wondering how this can be… and that’s because the Queen actually has two birthdays every year.

The first is on the actual day the Queen was born – 21st April 1921 – meaning that in April this year she marked her 95th birthday, although the celebrations were far more muted than normal. 

Currently the reigning monarch’s second birthday is an official birthday on the second Saturday in June – a practice that dates back as far as 1748.  

When King George II was the sovereign, the annual military procession (which later became the ‘Trooping the Colour’ parade) became synonymous with celebrating the monarch. However, King George II’s birthday was in October, and since good weather couldn’t be guaranteed for the annual parade in autumn, he decided to mark the date in the summer instead when there was a better chance of good weather.

And so, the tradition to celebrate the monarch’s birthday in the summer stuck, and each summer the Queen gets the chance to celebrate her birthday again!

This year 12th June will mark a particularly special birthday for the Queen. Turning 95 is a milestone achievement – less than 1% of the population reach this impressive age, so it’s no wonder that the Queen’s June birthday is set to be an important moment for the country and collectors alike.

And with the Queen’s 95th birthday being such a milestone achievement, many commemoratives were issued to mark the occasion in April. Since then we have seen repeated sell-outs.  

But there’s one commemorative that has been issued specifically to mark the Queen’s official birthday that only 750 collectors will have the chance to own.

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The Queen’s Official 95th Birthday Penny DateStampTM

The Queen’s Official 95th Birthday Penny DateStampTM is set to be released on the 12th June. Most notably, this commemorative contains an original penny struck in 1926, the year the Queen was born. Each one has been individually capsulated and postmarked with the Queen’s official 95th birthday – 12th June 2021. What’s more, the one day only postmark ensures that the edition limit is guaranteed and that no more can ever be produced.

With such a limited number available, this DateStampTM issue is sure to be another sell-out as collectors aim to pay tribute to the Queen’s milestone birthday and her longevity. You can be one of them today by clicking the link below.


If you’re interested:

You can pay tribute to our longest reigning monarch by pre-ordering the Queen’s Official 95th Birthday Penny DateStampTM here. Only 750 will ever be issued, so you’ll need to be quick.

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How a political blunder led to the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall is perhaps the most iconic symbol of the Cold War. A tall concrete barricade that divided the citizens of Germany for almost three decades. Numerous people risked their lives to cross the wall, whether digging tunnels underneath, flying over in a hot air balloon, or even driving cars under checkpoint barriers! But in 1989 that all changed when the world watched a press conference that all went a bit wrong…

A press conference that went wrong

For many months throughout 1989, there was mounting pressure on the government to adjust the restrictions around the boarder wall in Berlin. On the evening of November 9th 1989, the East German Party leader held a press conference announcing some loosening of the restrictions. But he hadn’t been briefed properly.

Gunter Schabowski broadcast the relaxing of some of the travel laws, but when asked when the freedom of movement would happen, he simply shrugged his shoulders, glanced at his notes, and said “right away.”

And that was it. A single moment, the most iconic in recent history, caused by an accident.

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Image Credit: “Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989” by gavinandrewstewart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

After almost 30 years of physical separation, crowds of people swarmed to the Berlin Wall checkpoints in anticipation of reuniting with loved ones and passing into the West freely.

Because of the confusion, the East German border guards had not been warned and were utterly overwhelmed by the crowds. At first they were told to stamp passports with symbols that effectively revoked East German citizenship, but as the crowds grew larger it became clear that unless lethal force was used, that the wall was no longer impassable. And no one was willing to give that order.

The Night the wall fell

That evening saw celebrations throughout Berlin, with people climbing the wall and taking pickaxes and hammers to break it apart and pull it down. Pieces and fragments of the wall were chipped away, with many pocketing pieces as souvenirs.

Families and loved ones reunited, as those from East Berlin were greeted with flowers and food. After years with limited contact, media censorship and restrictions, the people of Berlin were free to travel as and where they wanted.

The official reunification

Almost a year later, on 3rd October 1990, the German flag was raised over the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. It symbolised the moment at which the two German countries were finally reunified as the unification treaty became official.

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BERLIN — Fireworks illuminate Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate as Germans celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nov. 9. U.S. Army Europe members participated in many of the events saluting the anniversary. (Photo by Richard Bumgardner)

Every year the German Day of Unity is celebrated throughout the country, with fireworks, meals, concerts speeches, and of course commemoratives. This year marks the 30th anniversary, and despite the coronavirus restrictions around the world, the people of Germany will still be celebrating and remembering the moment the country was untied again.


If you’re interested…

Today you can commemorate the historic moment in which Germany was brought together again by owning THREE commemorative coins alongside an original piece of the Berlin Wall in the Reunification of Germany Collection.

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This collection has a tiny edition limit of JUST 200. Considering the anniversary this year, and the popularity of difficult to source one-off historic products like this, the edition limit is expected to sell out completely.

Click here to order yours now >>

Imagine using a cup, a stamp, or cardboard as a coin…

Today the coins you find in your change are all produced by the Royal Mint. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like if coins, and the metal to make them, disappeared.

When people have had to go to extreme lengths in the face of emergency, it has produced some of the most intriguing and interesting currencies around. And here are six of the most unusual currencies ever issued, and what drove people to create them.

The coins made from a drinking cup

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In 1646 in a town under siege, with no incoming money, the people of Newark needed to find a way to pay soldiers for protection. So they reached for whatever metal they had available to make coins – and that meant their cutlery! Silver cups and plates were surrendered, cut up into small diamond shaped pieces, and had a denomination stamped onto them.

Because of the way these coins were made, you could sometimes see the pattern of the cup or plate from which the coins were made. Understandably these coins, which surely belong in a museum, are hugely desirable among collectors and are rarely available.

The notes that were issued to be devalued

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It seems odd that a government would issue money just for it to be devalued. But during WWII when the American army was based in North Africa this is exactly what happened. The American government was concerned that if the Germans were to mount a successful attack, they could take over the currency. Therefore, all notes used to pay soldiers based in North Africa had a yellow seal added to them. This meant that should the Germans take over, the notes could be easily identified by their yellow seal and instantly devalued.

The Russian stamps used as German propaganda

During WW1 the Russian government found it increasingly difficult to issue coins. Instead, they turned to ‘currency stamps’ printed on thin cardboard instead of normal stamp paper. Using stamps instead of coins was a way of saving precious metal for the war effort.

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Several denominations of ‘currency’ were issued, with a statement on the reverse stating that each stamp had the circulating equivalent of Silver coins. However some of these stamps soon landed in the hands of Germans who counterfeited them but with one clever detail – the statement on the reverse was changed to an anti-Russian message. The idea was to destroy confidence in the Russian government and devalue the currency.

An unusual English denomination

George III’s reign is known for the vast number of interesting numismatic pieces issued, and the Bank of England emergency tokens are no different. Conflict in George III’s reign had caused financial panic, and thousands of people hoarded silver coins out of fear.

The Royal Mint’s limited ability to issue coins posed a problem as they could not make enough coins for the demand, so eyes turned to the Bank of England. An agreement was made that allowed the Bank to issue emergency currency. However technically speaking these were tokens and not coins, which is why they appear in the unusual denominations such as 1s 6d or 1 Dollar.

Why money was burnt in revolutionary France

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In revolutionary France in the early 1790s, the government issued paper money, known as Assignats, backed by the value of clergy property. The government continued to print money, and faced with an influx of counterfeits from Britain, the value of these Assignats soon reached a massive 45 Billion Livres, despite the value of clergy property only being 3 Billion Livres.

In 1796, the notes had lost all of their value and were publicly burned, to be replaced with a new paper money. Any of these surviving notes are incredibly rare as most of them were destroyed, making them very desirable among collectors.

How a Civil War turned a stamp into currency

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It’s hard to imagine a small paper stamp, issued over 80 years ago, being used to pay for goods and services. But in Spain in 1938 that’s exactly what happened.

The Civil War caused the public to hoard coins out of fear, and so they all but disappeared from circulation. Because metal was in limited supply, the government turned readily available stamps into ‘coins’. Unlike Russian emergency stamp currency, these stamps were welded onto a special board with the coat of arms printed onto the reverse. The stamp value gave these new ‘coins’ a denomination, and they were released into circulation to help towns and cities trade.

With such a delicate nature and small number, it’s no wonder that these coins are scarce and difficult to track down today.


Nowadays the Royal Mint is well suited to meeting our coin demands so it’s unlikely we’ll ever need to use stamps or cutlery in place of coins! Emergency currency is always a fascinating area for collectors, with some of the rarest and most unique issues having appeared out of difficult and troubled times. It’s not often that these emergency issues appear on the market – but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye out for them!


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If you’re interested…

Today you can own one of these unusual and fascinating numismatic issues – a Spanish 15 Centimos ‘Coin’. There are only an extremely limited number of these issues available worldwide, and considering the fascinating story behind these issues, our stock is likely to be snapped up fast.

If you want to add one to your collection, click here >>