Coin Portraits

June 2010, Volume 47 No. 6
Your help is needed

I CANNOT quite believe that this issue marks the halfway point of the year—before we know it the York show will be here and gone, the summer will be over and I will be writing in this Comment about the start of another numismatic season in the autumn. Of course, with the new numismatic season comes the launch of our COIN YEARBOOK and that is something we have to think about before the year is halfway over!

Most of you will, by now, be familiar with our COIN YEARBOOK—we have been publishing this annual price guide and collectors’ handbook for nearly two decades now and we like to think that each year it gets that little bit better. It has never been intended to be a full-on numismatic catalogue with every single variety and mintmark listed, but rather an easy-to-use guide to the vast majority of pieces found in your average collection, or indeed in the hoards squirrelled away in attics or jam-jars by people who would never consider themselves coin collectors, but in fact have been for years. It has never been a heavyweight tome but nor is it a flimsy throw-away booklet either. It is designed to be referred to regularly, used for a year, and invaluable during that time, and then replaced. But that notwithstanding we do still try to make it the best it can possibly be —we want to give our readers as much useful information as possible for as reasonable a price as possible (you will note, I hope, that we haven’t put the price of the YEARBOOK up in years—it still stands at £9.95 and we are hoping to do the same for 2011). However, making the book as good as it can be not only relies on our production team doing a first rate job but also on finding out from you, the readers, the collectors, the buyers of the book, what you’d like to see included year on year.

For 2011 we have a number of new ideas that we would like your opinions on, as well as finding out what things we might have overlooked that you would like included.

One of the main areas we are toying with is bringing in a “spiral bound” version of the COIN YEARBOOK — the American Red Book (which we also stock) has both a hardback and a spiral bound version, the latter having the advantage that it lies completely flat when open on a desk, with no damage to the spine. Would that be something of interest to you? We are also looking at “colour coding” the different sections. At the moment all the prices are to be found in the blue- edged sections of the book, but what if we introduced different colours for different types of coins —maybe red edges for Roman Coins, green for Celtic, yellow for Hammered, blue for Milled and black for Modern (as examples). Would that help or hinder you? And what of the Irish, Island and Scottish sections—do you still want those included? Do you want them expanded? Maybe they are just right the way they are. We never get complaints about them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved.

Are there perhaps other coins you would like to see included? Is our coverage of the year sets comprehensive enough? What about the Britannias? We have a limited section on them but does it need to be expanded? And what of the gold sections? In such volatile times as these is there merit in including “basic” gold like the “ordinary” sovereigns?

We learned a long time ago that to produce quality products for our customers we have to listen to what they want. We now print over 10,000 COIN YEARBOOKS and sell out every year but we can only continue to do that if it is a book that 10,000 or more people want to buy—and they will only want to buy it if it contains the information they are looking for. So please, now is your chance to tell us what you would like included. We’ll be working on it over the summer (we always leave the pricing until last to ensure it is as up to date as possible but the rest of it gets started before the staff start disappearing for their summer holidays), so if you have any suggestions, tips, ideas or indeed (heaven forbid) complaints, then do let us know. We aren’t some “outside” organisation looking to make a quick buck by producing a price guide that no-one wants to buy. We are part of this hobby, we care passionately about this hobby and we want to produce quality publications that will help all of those involved in the hobby. With your help we can continue to do so.

You can write to us at the usual Honiton address or contact us via email at info@tokenpublishing.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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In This Issue

Ancients31
Parthia v. Rome—Part VIII
The struggle for power
Update35
Royal Maundy 2010
Celebrating 800 years of this special ceremony
Background39
Early Islamic coinage—Part XI
Seljuks, Christians and the Ayyubids
Insight43
Portraits on coins
This common coin feature considered
Hammered47
Charlemagne
The coinage of the “master of Europe”
Collector’s cabinet51
Coin of the Manila galleon
Spotlight on an 1769 MF pillar type eight reales
Tokens54
A boot and show town
The footwear fortunes of Northampton
Back to basics65
Faking it for beginners II
Forging further ahead
Banknote feature71
The Caledonian Banking Co.
Bankers to the highlands

Regulars

Editor’s Comment2
Coin news & views10
View of the Bay18
Around the World20
New issues coin update22
Royal Mint Bulletin24
Market Scene27
Price Guide to £5 coins59
Lexicon62
Banknote News69
Price Guide to £10 notes74
New issues banknote update76
Bookshelf79
Coin Clinic80
Letters to the Editor82
Dealer Directory85
Diary dates86
Semi-display adverts89
The Web Page91
Classified advertising93
Advertisers index96