Coins of Fire
Volume 55, Number 5, May 2018
Happy Birthday to us! I MAKE no apologies this month in using this “Comment” as an unabashed selfcongratulations, for as I write this in early April Token Publishing Ltd is about to celebrate its 35th anniversary. Somehow three and a half decades have flown by since the company was first established in a single room above a plumber’s shop in Liphook in Hampshire (on a recent trip to the area I was rather pleased to see that the shop is still there and it’s still a plumbers!). Back then we had one product—the magazine COIN & MEDAL NEWS—and a loyal following of a few thousand readers; today we publish two magazines, dozens of books, sell literally hundreds of products and now have a loyal following of many more thousands. As the hobby has grown so have we and we have gone from just two staff to 11 and have moved (many times) from our one room (using the toilet as storage) to what we hope will be our home for many years to come in a beautiful Georgian townhouse in the Cathedral City of Exeter. Other things have changed too, of course, and we now have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, offer digital magazines and downloadable books and an app and have truly embraced the 21st century, but deep down we have never forgotten our roots. Deep down we are what we have always been: a magazine publisher who loves the coin and medal hobbies and wants to see them thrive and grow. We have been very lucky over the years; as well as being very privileged to see some of the finest and most interesting coins around and attend some of the most fascinating exhibitions and galleries, we have also met some wonderful people, some amazing collectors and dealers, many of whom we count as close friends. We have attended shows and fairs the length and breadth of the land and across the globe and whilst that kind of thing is tiring we have enjoyed it too—mainly because we love being at the very heart of the hobby. Admittedly not everything we have turned our hand to has worked out—we published a Stamp Yearbook for example (we thought it went well with our other Yearbook titles but stamps don’t really mix too well with numismatics if we are honest!). We were also the original publishers of the metal detecting magazine The Searcher (regardless of what you might read elsewhere, it was Token Publishing Ltd that started the magazine and published it for its first two years or so), but back then the powers that be in the numismatic world really didn’t like the newcomers in the metal detecting hobby (I was told in no uncertain terms that there were people who felt it better that something remained lost forever than it be found by a metal detectorist), so we had to make a choice, The Searcher had to go and we stuck to the one magazine. That state of affairs wasn’t to last long however, and the split of COIN & MEDAL NEWS into two separate titles in 1989 and the publication of our first Coin Yearbook and Medal Yearbook came about because of the growth in both hobbies, a growth that has continued almost unabated since. The coin hobby in particular is enjoying a huge amount of popularity at the moment and, inevitably, there are those who are coming into it now who are keen to cash in on that, and good luck to them—but it isn’t about riding a wave of populism, it isn’t about jumping on a bandwagon for us, it never has been—over the past 35 years this has been far more than just a job, it has been our life. Those of you who know me will know that it was my first wife and I who started the company and now, alongside a very loyal team of staff, my current (and last!) wife and my eldest son join me as directors; this is a family business, it is our business and we work hard to ensure it is a success—just as so many dealers who run their own companies do. The coin trade is like that, to so many of us it is far more than just a 9 ‘til 5 job, it is part of the very fabric of our lives and to be honest we wouldn’t have it any other way. That said, none of it would be possible without you. When I said earlier that we had loyal readers I really meant it, so many of you have been with us for so long, many from the very start (if not before that, when COIN & MEDAL NEWS was published as Coins and Medals) and so whilst I do want to congratulate myself a little (and thank my team too), I also want to thank you all for sticking with us throughout the years. We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have and we look forward to the next 35—by then we will probably be beaming the magazine directly to your retinas, but I’ll be 111 so I won’t care!
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