The currency of the collector
THERE is evidence that coins and currency have been collected from as early as medieval times. During the renaissance, it was a popular hobby among the more privileged classes, including kings and queens, and by the 18th century, in addition to coin collecting, the study of currency, known as numismatics, emerged as an academic discipline.
The reasons for collecting coins can vary enormously; for some, it is motivated by investment, and is intended to accumulate worth largely based on the metal value of the coins.
Many collectors however, are hobbyists, collecting for the pure enjoyment of the coins aesthetic value. Of these collectors, some specialise in coins of a particular theme, for instance the type of artwork depicted, others may collect based on the nationality of the coin, or a certain historical period.
An often sought coin type is the error coin, where some discrepancy in the minting process has caused a small run of coins which differ in some aspect from their counterparts.
At Anthemion Auctions in Cardiff, there is a buoyant market for coins.
In the September general sale, a lot containing two albums of Victorian silver crowns, half crowns, shillings and other coins, sold for £1,200. In the same sale, a further lot containing a collection of pre decimal coins, Churchill crowns and Royal Mint Numismatic coin sets, sold for £550.
All auctions attract national and international bidders, and are available for live webcast bidding, so collectors come from far and wide to find pieces relating to their chosen speciality.
The auction market sees coins go under the hammer from many countries and historical periods, as well as banknotes and other financial artefacts.
In Anthemion’s fine art and collectors sale on August 22, a bank of England £5 note from 1920 sold for £450, and a Victorian “Gothic” crown from 1847 sold for £1,150.
A Victorian ‘Gothic’ crown sold for £1,150
A Bank of England £5 note from 1920