Bandwagon Blues

December 2003, Volume 40 No. 12
The incredible hike in coin prices in recent years was inevitably going to lead to a number of things, some good some not so good. When your house has risen steeply in value you feel psychologically richer, even if you don’t have the money in the bank, and similarly having coins in your collection that are worth far more than you paid for them can only make you feel good about owning them. Unfortunately as with house prices this feeling is something of a false one unless you are actually prepared to sell the coins you have! Even if you are prepared to dispose of some of your collection, in the knowledge that you can make a “tidy profit” if you then hope to use that money to buy new pieces you’ll find your wealth relative; certainly you might be able sell your uncirculated sixpence collection for many times what you paid for it over the years but you’ll soon find that when you try to put that money into buying the hammered gold pieces you’ve always promised yourself that they have gone up considerably too and in reality you’re not really that much better off.
But is that necessarily a problem? Are we, as numismatists, just in it for the money? Just out to make a quick buck? Of course not, we’re collecting because we enjoy it, because we want to own our little piece of history, because we care passionately about searching for that one elusive coin that will complete our collection; because we want to be able to collect all the die varieties, mintmarks, errors and so on. Of course none of us would want our collections to be worthless but we are true collectors not in it to see how much we can make and as such it is our collection that is important not its value. If we were collectors of matchbooks or sugar packets we wouldn’t be worried about whether we’ll make money when we come to dispose of what we’ve accumulated we’d be out there looking to accumulate more – and in most cases in the coin world that is certainly true. Unfortunately, as always happens when there is money to be made, there are those seeking to take advantage of the situation the coin hobby finds itself in and make a fast buck at someone else’s expense. More and more forgeries are coming to light, ridiculous prices are being charged and spurious claims as to future values are being made. Suddenly every Saturday morning trader is a numismatist, every antique shop is now an “emporium” and every little craft market is a “Collectables Fair” – the bandwagon is well and truly rolling and everyone is trying to jump on.

Fortunately all is not doom and gloom, help is at hand and you’ll be glad to know that as a reader of COIN NEWS you don’t have to do anything at all, bar what you are already doing, to get that help. We have been in the Coin Trade for 20 years now, and are very proud of that fact, many of our advertisers have been around far longer and we are delighted to be associated with them and all those who have come along in recent years to make the hobby as diverse as it is, and we are especially proud and delighted to have such a loyal readership. We have always wanted to do our best for them, and the coin hobby in general. and believe we have done, and will continue to do just that. So keep reading your (and Britain’s) favourite Coin Magazine (yes – that’s this one!), keep going to those Society meetings, keep dealing with your favourite coin or banknote dealer (or indeed any of the advertisers found within these pages) keep up to date with the current prices with the COIN YEARBOOK and the denominational price guides published in COIN NEWS every month and you’ll not go far wrong.

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In This Issue

Background25
Late Anglo-Saxon economy
Coinage after the Vikings
Feature Article29
First Yorkist King
A glimpse at the early coinage of Edward IV
Spotlight33
Libya
New issues via the Internet
Fact File34
Lost Images
Cultural identity and the advent of the Euro
Insight37
Lord Liverpool - Part II
Concluding a Peer's Numismatic insight
Medallic Miscellany40
Life and Times of Samuel Johnson
One of England's most quoted figures
Banknote Feature52
The Congo Free State
Currency of the Dark Continent
Banknotes for beginners55
Tips and Hints
Part VII - the "C" Factor
Collectors' Corner71
Beware the Brasso
Watch out for houseproud relatives

Regulars

Coin News & Views10
New Issues update16
Royal Mint Bulletin18
Market Scene21
The Lexicon43
Bookshelf45
Banknote news49
Coin Clinic56
Price Guide to Sixpences59
Dealers' Lists62
Letters to the Editor64
Calendar67
Semi Display advertising72
Classified Advertising74
The Web Page76