Coin News

Volume 36, Number 1, January 1999

As the hobby grows and develops so do we...

Volume 36, Number 1, January 1999

THE increasing use of colour in COIN NEWS has received a very positive response from readers over the past months. There has been especial praise for the "Collector's Choice" four-page section in the centre of last month's issue. We intend to make this an occasional feature with the products offered being changed from time to time as demand dictates-so look out for those special offers to come. Now we are taking the magazine a stage further: with this issue we have made a number of changes, most noticeable being the new fresh appearance of the page layouts. In addition, the magazine is changed from stapling to perfect binding, along with a lettered spine for the very first time. These improvements, together with even greater use of colour, have been made possible by the use of new technology and, more importantly increased circulation which, in turn, have generated more interest from advertisers. After our strictures last month concerning the Collectables exhibition at Olympia in London, we are very pleased to report that the Manchester show in late November was a resounding success, with a good attendance that kept us busy all day. The show was also extremely well organised and publicised, which doubtless contributed in no small measure to its overall success. These factors do help to attract attention, not only from the committed numismatist but from the lay public, and it was encouraging to see how many families were in attendance. Over the past few years there has been a great deal of agonising over the future of the hobby, especially with a view to encouraging youngsters. Our experience is that school outings to museums, where coins and medals are not only on display but there are "hands-on" facilities, go a long way towards stimulating the interest of boys and girls. Let them actually handle a Greek tetradrachm or a Roman denarius or a massive thaler from the German states and you can see the excitement in their faces. Many collectors of long-standing have told us of the thrill they got when they first held an ancient coin, an actual chunk of metal which people had used hundreds if not thousands of years ago. The magic touch of ancient metal-therein lies the indefinable appeal of old coins. Of course, we applaud the fact that modern coins are not only more exciting in their design and subject than ever, but now increasingly make use of special surfaces, combinations of metals and even colour. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that an ancient coin, no matter how worn or encrusted with verdigris, has infinitely greater human interest because of its links with the past. The Pobjoy Mint has not been slow to appreciate this point, hence its issues in recent years reproducing ancient coins. And for this reason also we heartily endorse the proposal by Chris Rudd that the Royal Mint give serious consideration to celebrating the Millennium with a set reproducing Celtic coins. They would not only be an admirable addition to modern coinage but a fitting reminder of the glories of Ancient Britain.

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