December 20th 2023.

Next club meeting Monday 8th January

·        Short Talks By members.

Monday 5th February.

Monday 4th March

Meetings are held at the Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, commencing at 7.00 p.m.



·         Please let me know if you are intending to give a Short Talk in January.

·         Please think about Auction lots for March and ideas for our 60th in May.

·         Please consider whether you could join the committee, we WILL have vacancies come June.


December Meeting

The Club meeting in December was a members evening: buying and selling, a buffet supper, a quiz, and presentations by members about recent interesting purchases. The buffet supper was organised once again by Henry and was much appreciated by the 20 or so members attending the meeting. There were five displays this year.


John had just received the uncirculated set of the new definitives from the Royal Mint. The general view in the room was that they were an improvement over the fragmented shield idea of the last set, even though we have lost Britannia. John pointed out that thematically, the set bore a strong likeness to the iconic animal set from Eire in 1928. It remains to be seen how much circulation these coins will get, though apparently cash is making something of a comeback. The coins in the Royal Mint sets have a Tudor Crown privy mark behind the King’s head, which will not be present on the business strikes.


Second was Michael, who talked about some tokens he had recently received that came from Spitzberg. The legends were in Russian, which took Michael a little while to locate. Spitzbergen is a group of islands in the Arctic ocean with an economy mainly based on sealing and fishing, but it also has deposits of coal. Mining was began by an American company, the Arctic Coal Company in 1904. At that time everyone wanted to own the islands (well - the coal) but a treaty in 1920 finally gave it to Norway. Russia mined the coal from 1932 till the war and then resumed afterwards in 1946. At this point they issued the first tokens for use in the company, a second (revalued) set following in 1993. Norway was not happy with this because the values were in Russian Roubles.

The 1946 set consists of 10, 15, 20 and 50 kopecks, the 1993 set 10, 25, 50 and 100 Roubles. Only one other person in the club had any of these tokens.

Michael then told us of a completely different find he had come in recently. The coin in question was an Edward VII halfcrown in nice condition, but at first sight it appeared to have a loop on it so it could be worn on a chain but ruining it in numismatic terms. On closer examination, it became clear that the halfcrown had been cleverly hollowed out to make a small photo locket, with room for two photos. Not one for the scrap silver pile after all!


Thirdly, we had Stuart who told us about two Temple tokens he had bought recently. Temple tokens are bought by pilgrims on their way to a shrine where they can be given as offerings and then probably recycled to be offered all over again. The latest one came from Berwick a few weeks ago.




Neil had brought along an unusual Exeter pub token from Paris Street. The value was given as 1 ½ which amounted to the usual minimum price for an item in the pub, eg. a half pint of beer. The pub itself had been long established in Exeter but had been blitzed in the war. Although it had no name for the pub, it was unusual for tokens of this period to have images such as the greyhound illustrated here.




Finally, John told us about a recent purchase and also a King Stephen penny he found when metal detecting. He said how lucky he was, because on the day he found it, he had the choice of two fields to go metal detecting in and decided to go for the one he’d done the day before and found 35 buttons. His recent purchase was a half guinea, all brought along to show.



Thanks to all who made the effort to bring along items.

Following on from this we had Gavin’s notorious quiz set out below, answers next time….





Young head farthings were issued in 1895 – true or false?



Before 1707 what was 1/- Scots equivalent to in English money?



Who was the first king to issue a gold half-crown?



“Not worth a damn” is derived from which coin?



Which West Indian country other than French colonies has issued Francs?



“Eagle” is the nickname of what coin?



How could an Elizabethan petty criminal change Ύ d into 1 d?



Who was the first English king to be portrayed wearing a laurel wreath?



When was the name of a denomination first shown on an English regal coin?       



“Owls” and “Turtles” are nicknames for coins of what series?



What does the mint mark O represent on US coins?



What was the first dated English coin?                                                                           



Who designed the reverse of the British 1935 crown?



Which large Commonwealth country has issued crowns but no halfcrowns?



What coinage was nicknamed Breeches Money?



In 1942-3 Canada issued 5 cent pieces made of tombac.  What is tombac?



In which British territory were French coins current until 1830?



Who struck the tokens for 5 and 2 sols issued in France by the Monneron brothers in 1791-2?



What is the significance of the two pillars on Spanish Pieces of Eight?



When did New Zealand start to issue its own pennies and halfpence?




Xmas Lunch

Xmas lunch this year was at The Bull at Streatley, where eleven of us celebrated Xmas in the usual fashion, with crackers, turkey, mince pies and all the usual paraphernalia accompanying entertaining chatter around the table till it was time for our carriages to be ordered for the trip home. Thank you to Peter for organising the affair and we look forward to doing the same next year.


Future Events.

·         Midland Coin Fair – National Motorcycle Museum –  January 14th.


Past Events



Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers.

Club Secretary.