Happy Birthday to us!

April 2003, Volume 40 No. 4
It was twenty years ago today….well maybe not exactly today as I write this but pretty close to it; twenty years since the “birth” of Token Publishing Ltd. Then based in a small office above a plumber’s shop in Liphook, Hampshire employing just two people and publishing just one magazine Coin and Medal News a successor to Coins and Medals and the forerunner of the magazine you now hold. Back then it was just 48 pages long, was printed on “newspaper” type paper, was “saddle stitched” and of course had no colour apart from the covers. Now the magazine spans 72 pages of top quality paper, full or spot colour throughout, is perfect bound and of course is now solely devoted to coins, paper money, tokens etc – Medal News having been a completely separate publication since 1989. We now also produce a COIN YEARBOOK as a companion to COIN NEWS, a BANKNOTE YEARBOOK as a companion to the BANKNOTE NEWS section, our renowned MEDAL YEARBOOK and a plethora of other titles to complement our magazines. As the magazines and books have expanded so too has Token Publishing – we now employ a team of eight at our offices in Honiton, Devon and have a host of regular contributors not to mention our valued consultants; however looking back at the magazines we produced in 1983 – the year the first pound coin was introduced and Coinex North moved to Wythanshawe, Machester - I am struck not only by the obvious differences but also by how many things haven’t really changed that much at all. Many of the dealers advertising today were around then - Coincraft, Miceli, Dorset Coin Co., Spink, Glendinings, Airdale and the London Coin Fair (having just moved to it’s new venue of the Café Royal) to name but a few – and the magazine itself was based along broadly the same lines as it is today. It brought you the latest news and views, the auction reports in Market Scene, an updated Price Guide and a host of articles on as wide a range of subjects as you are ever likely to find twenty years later – the April 1983 issue covered Ancients, Tokens, Paper Money and a “Thematic” article on Easter Bonnets!

Certainly Token Publishing Ltd and thus COIN NEWS has moved with the times, of course we have, but we haven’t moved so far or so fast that we have left behind the core of our business. One of the perils of today’s fast moving society is that often things aren’t thought through, change is introduced for changes sake and the penalty is paid – one only has top look at “New Coke”, the Royal Mail changing to Consignia (and back again) and the painting of the Tail Fins on the British Airways Planes to realise that change isn’t always a good thing. Our job is to provide you the readers with a magazine on numismatics that you want to read month after month and if that means keeping features you want, features you like, then so be it. Over the years we have tried some things that haven’t worked, and introduced others that have, but always at the heart of COIN NEWS has been the premise that we have an obligation to our readers to provide up to date news on what’s going on in the Numismatic world and interesting articles that they will want to come back to time and again. We think we have managed that for the past twenty years and intend to carry on doing so for twenty more at least, perhaps that is why we have published this title longer than any of our predecessors. Here’s to the nest two decades!

To help celebrate our twentieth birthday we are going to be giving every reader a specially commissioned crown/medal later in the year – however first things first we need to get it minted and that means getting a design. Rather than going to a numismatic artist we would like to give our readers the chance to see their work immortalised and so this month’s competition is just that – design our “Anniversary Crown”! You can base your design on the traditional themes of Birthdays, Celebrations, anniversaries etc. Or maybe you want to look at our publications. Maybe the history of the last 20 years, numismatically or otherwise will be your theme or maybe, if you have been with us for some years, you want to concentrate on the history of Token Publishing Ltd itself . Whatever you decide get it down on paper and into us – the best will be illustrated in COIN NEWS and the best of those will, we hope, go on to be immortalised in metal. See pages 56/47 for further details.

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In This Issue

Ancients23
Birdman, fact or fiction?
An ancient fable on Celtic coins
Background27
Britain's only silver coins given away
A look at the Maundy ceremony
Insight29
The Virgin Queen
Elizabeth I's early coinage
In Focus33
Changing heads
US Large cents examined
Fact File36
Coin alloys and their conservation
Part III copper and its alloys
Spotlight38
Ku-ku kookaburra
A new look at an old coin
On the fringe41
The Euro and the battle against counterfeiting
The first year in perspective
Medallic Miscellany42
Case for a commemorative
A good candidate for a medal?
Banknote Feature48
In Search of the flock
The source of the design for two notes of the outback
Banknote Feature50
All Change!
A new note for Fiji
Competition56
Design a birthday medal!

Regulars

Coin news and views8
New Issues Update14
Royal Mint Bulletin16
Market Scene19
Banknote news45
Price Guide to Guineas53
Bookshelf55
Collector's Page58
Dealers' Lists59
The Lexicon60
Coin Clinic61
Readers' Letters61
Calendar63