Looking Back

January 2006, Volume 43 No. 1
We often use the New Year, and our resolutions in particular to look forward, to put aside the past and move into the future, it’s traditional to see January as a “clean sheet” and often what went before is simply forgotten. But those of you who collect Roman coins will know that the Roman god Janus, after whom this cold and miserable month is named, was the god of gates and doors, of beginnings and endings, and was always represented as having a double faced head looking in opposing directions, he didn’t only look to the future but reflected on the past too - and with that in mind we’d like to do the same.

At COIN NEWS we pride ourselves on the quality of the editorial and features we include every month and if your comments are anything to go by you feel the same as we do. We always do our best to bring you a varied but balanced magazine and like to think we do a good job; the recent Readers’ Survey (results from which will be published in due course) indicates that on the whole we have got it right but we’d like to know more. Thanks to your completed surveys, letters and comments we know that in the main we have the balance right with a good mixture of editorial and articles but what we’d like to know is specifically what did you like most about the magazine in the last year? Which article caught your eye? Which piece of editorial did you think was most insightful, even invaluable? Maybe one of Raymond Palermo’s articles on the coins and Emperors of Rome, one of David Pottinger’s Token articles or Denzil Webb’s Collector’s Notebook/On The Fringe series. Maybe you’re a banknote collector and have enjoyed James Mackay’s “country” series or have gained a new insight into your favourite dealer thanks to John Andrew’s “Profiles”. Maybe your favourite wasn’t from a “regular contributor” but was the work of a “new name” someone perhaps you’d like to see in print again. Whatever your favourite article of 2005 was we’d like to know about it – not only for our own information but also because we’d like to thank that particular author! With this in mind we are proud to announce the inaugural annual COIN NEWS prize for best article or feature! The idea behind this is not only to encourage authors to write for us – we have a very decent “backlog” of articles but always could do with more – but also to show those authors that actually their work is read and is appreciated. Of course as this is to be an annual award we are hoping that it will also go some way to encouraging others to write – maybe you have an article or two in you about a subject close to your heart, who knows this time next year you could be in the running for the COIN NEWS prize yourself! We’re not actually sure if we’ll ever produce a cup or a shield to go with this award but we will produce a cheque (and most authors will, we are sure, be more than happy with that) and of course the winner will have the kudos….!

Although the prize is primarily for authors of features or articles we’d also like to know if you found a piece of editorial particularly useful or enlightening (we class editorial as those pieces that aren’t articles or adverts i.e. this “Comment” the “News and Views”, the “Market Scene” etc) so if you’ve found a write-up of a particular auction especially useful or if you’ve enjoyed a certain “Comment” let us know (although I promise not to award myself the cheque!). All you have to do is take a look at the magazines from January until December 2005 (the contents pages are on this website in case you don’t keep your magazines and need to refresh your memory as to what was in a particular month - just click on back issues!) choose your top three articles/features/editorial pieces and fill in the form on page… as an added incentive all those who vote will go into a draw to win a gold sovereign.

As this is the first year of this prize, and we do accept that many people won’t remember exactly what articles caught their eye in previous months, we’d also like to encourage you to use Janus’ other face and look forward to next year’s prize; use this opportunity now to highlight the pieces you really enjoy over the next twelve months (starting with this issue) so when the 2006 award is announced you’ll know exactly which item to vote for.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Looking Back
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In This Issue

Insight29
The Empress Theodora's Coin Cabinet
A rare insight
Ancients33
Trajan: The later years
His building projects and military endeavours
In Focus37
A major discovery
Rare Canadian obverse found
Tokens38
Some 19th Century tickets and passes
Admission tokens
On the Fringe43
Lost and Disaster money
Lost and damaged coins and notes
Something different46
The last secular Pope
Coinage of the last pope to govern the Italian Peninsula
Profile48
Dimitri Loulakakis
From Hobby to lifelong passion
Medallic Miscellany51
Grace Darling: A Northumbrian Heroine
Medals awarded for a young girl's bravery
Banknote Feature57
Notes of the Bulgarian people's Republic
Further notes of a restored kingdom
Competition69
Win a mahogany Coin Cabinet
Author of the Year88
Vote for your favourite article

Regulars

Coin News and Views10
New Issues Update18
Royal Mint Bulletin20
Market Scene23
Trade Update26
Coin of the month40
Banknote News55
Bookshelf60
Price Guide : £5, £2 and 10/-63
Coin Classroom67
The Lexicon68
Collectors Page69
Dealers' Lists71
Letters73
Calendar77
Semi-dsplay adverts82
The Web Page84
Classified Advertising86