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My Coin Collection

September 24, 2022
by the gentle author

Tickets are available for my tour of Spitalfields throughout October & November



Over twenty years ago, I bought this coin from a street trader at the time of the excavation of the Roman cemetery in Spitalfields. In 1576, John Stow wrote about the Roman coins that were dug up here in Spitalfields and I suspect mine came from the same source. A visit to the British Museum confirmed that the coin had been minted in London and the piercing was done in the Roman era when it was the custom to wear coins as amulets. Somebody wore this coin in London all those centuries ago and today I wear it on a string around my neck to give me a sense of perspective.

As you can see, my collection has grown as I have discovered that coin collectors are eager to dispose of pierced coins at low prices and I have taken on the responsibility of wearing them on behalf of their previous owners. It was only when the string broke in Princelet St one dark night in the rain at Christmas and I found myself scrabbling in the gutter to retrieve them all that I realised how much they mean to me.

Coin of the Emperor Arcadius minted in London

Figure of Minerva upon the reverse

Silver sixpence minted at the Tower of London, 1569

Head of Queen Elizabeth and Tudor rose

Silver sixpence minted at the Tower of London, 1602

Head of Elizabeth

Silver sixpence, 1676

Head of Charles II

Farthing, 1749

Head of George II

Silver sixpence, 1758

Head of George II

Young Queen Victoria

Half Farthing, 1844

Head of Queen Victoria

Silver sixpence, 1896

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7 Responses leave one →
  1. Cherub permalink
    September 24, 2022

    The silver sixpence coins are lovely. Farthings went out of circulation in the year I was born, 1961, but I remember the pretty design with the little wren.
    My favourite coin is the 5 Franc piece here in Switzerland- it’s big and reminds me of chocolate Christmas money ☺️

  2. Mark permalink
    September 24, 2022

    By piercing a hole through the coin, you render them valueless! Got a couple in my collection, often wonder who wore them.

  3. Jane W permalink
    September 24, 2022

    So touching.

  4. Adam permalink
    September 25, 2022

    I hope you found them again !

  5. September 26, 2022

    Really enjoyed looking at your coins . I’ve a few similar email me sometime if your interested in seeing .

  6. September 29, 2022

    That is a very impressive coin collection you have!

  7. Marcia Howard permalink
    September 30, 2022

    How fascinating. I’ve had 5 silver threepenny bits with holes through them since the 1950s. Tiny little coins. I don’t recall where they originated from, but presumed they may have well made up part of a bracelet at one time.

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