In for a penny, in for a pound...

Tips from ex­pert Auc­tion­eer and Valuer, Oliver Miller, about start­ing your own coin col­lec­tion

EDP Norfolk - - Education -

In my ca­reer I have come across some truly ob­scure, weird and won­der­ful col­lec­tions, from a Vic­to­rian ex­plorer’s col­lec­tion from Aus­tralia and Fiji picked up while the ex­plorer was sail­ing around the world to an Ed­war­dian En­gi­neer’s col­lec­tion of Asian bronzes. Yet for me, coins are fas­ci­nat­ing items to col­lect. I en­joy the thought of some­one 300, 400 or 500 years ago pur­chas­ing goods and trad­ing with these fan­tas­tic lit­tle ob­jects - it’s ac­tu­ally quite mag­i­cal. The work­man­ship in all coins whether they are just two decades old or 2000 years old tells a story and holds a mean­ing. In fact it’s key not to play down the im­por­tance of the aes­thet­ics of a coin; beauty and de­sign are highly sought-af­ter at­tributes of coin col­lect­ing. In some cases, col­lec­tors clas­sify beauty as lus­ter and per­fec­tion, while oth­ers seek to pur­chase coins for their lay­out or art­work. Se­ri­ous col­lec­tors would nor­mally se­lect the field they are col­lect­ing care­fully. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, I find that peo­ple start by buy­ing a few ran­dom coins but as time ticks by the col­lec­tion gets far more so­phis­ti­cated and be­comes spe­cialised in one area, be that the era of the coin or coun­try of its ori­gin. Coins of high grade should not be touched to avoid dam­age, the USA mar­ket be­lieves in plac­ing them in cap­sules but this hasn’t re­ally caught on over here. In the UK we like to keep them in high-qual­ity coin cab­i­nets with soft lin­ings in or­der to keep the coins in a good con­di­tion

WHAT’S HOT: The de­mand for coins over­all is on the up with a very, very strong de­mand i n all as­pects whether an­cient or mod­ern. WHAT’S NOT: Crowns from the mid to late 20th Cen­tury are f lood­ing the mar­ket and most coins of this type re­ally strug­gle at auc­tion. TOP TIP: My ad­vice to peo­ple look­ing to make the jump into se­ri­ous coin col­lect­ing would be to buy qual­ity items and not quan­tity. Also if you have a col­lec­tion which you would like to sell, get it val­ued as now could be the time to sell! In April we held our spe­cial­ist Mil­i­tary, Coins, Sci­en­tific and Maritime Sale and we had over 300 coins of all dif­fer­ent types and va­ri­eties. We sold a Ge­orge III Guinea (1773) for £700, which was in su­perb con­di­tion, hence fetch­ing its high price. How­ever, my high­light of this Sale was an Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, Pleg­mund, Penny, (890895AD) which sold for £350 - it wasn’t the most valu­able lot in the auc­tion but it was my favourite due to its age and the prove­nance of this tiny item.

We hold val­u­a­tion days in the re­gion across the year which are in­for­mal ‘An­tiques Road­show’ type events and a great op­por­tu­nity for me to of­fer my ex­pert opin­ion and a free, no-obli­ga­tion val­u­a­tion on any range of items you bring along. I can of­fer ad­vice on a wide va­ri­ety of ob­jects from coins to vin­tage toy col­lec­tions, and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. We’re hold­ing the fol­low­ing val­u­a­tion events in Nor­folk in June:

Cringle­ford, Wed­nes­day 6th June, St Peters Church Hall Cen­tre, New­mar­ket Road, Cringle­ford, Nor­wich, Nor­folk, NR4 6UE, 10am-1pm

Long Strat­ton, Thurs­day 7th June, Long Strat­ton Vil­lage Hall, Ip­swich Road, Long Strat­ton, Nor­folk, NR15 2TA, 10am-1pm.

I wel­come any­one who thinks they have items of in­ter­est to come along to our val­u­a­tion events and for more in­for­ma­tion on all our spe­cial­ist auc­tions please con­tact us via our web­site www.bish­opand­miller­auc­

Ge­orge III Guinea (1773)

Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, Pleg­mund, Penny, (890-895AD)

Oliver Miller, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Bishop & Miller

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