My interest in coins must have started round about the age of four, when my grandmother handed me a bun penny telling me to take special care of it as that was a picture of Queen Victoria on the front and it was nearly a hundred years old.

A year or two later my mother’s uncle died and I acquired what could best be described as a schoolboy collection mostly consisting of totally worn out colonial pieces and Maundy odds with holes in. Hardly a prepossessing lot but a seed had been well and truly sown.

As I grew up my interest and indeed my collection increased. My father managed a shop, so I have to admit that I was in a privileged position and during my teens there was hardly a day went by without my sifting through the loose change looking for additions to my collection and those elusive rarities (yes the 1933 penny!) which surprise, surprise I never quite managed to find; I did however put together a run of pennies from 1882 to 1967 with only the usual suspects missing. Condition of the earlier specimens ranged from fair to ‘is it a coin?’ It was not much, but at the time I was proud of it. The official neglect of our coinage in those days produced a fascinating and evocative selection of types, colours and states of preservation which was at one time attractive and thoroughly engrossing to a young, inquisitive mind.

As other distractions (sport, girls) took over, my collection was shut away in a cupboard, and although taken out and pored over from time to time was not added to until the mid nineties when for some reason I got the bug again. Pennies were once more my main interest but eventually the collection expanded to include everything from Celtic to the modern day decimal series, as well as a smattering of European and American coins.

In 2009 I wrote ‘The Standard Guide To Grading British Coins 1797-1970’ published by Rotographic and in 2010, having been made redundant for the third time, decided to become a full time coin dealer.

 

 

Derek