It is hard to imagine a scandal taking place today where the political leaders of our country are arrested for causing the financial markets to crash. But that is exactly what happened when the ‘South Sea Bubble’ burst.
The ‘South Sea Bubble’ was a political and financial scandal that led to the arrests of leading members of Parliament and the near collapse of the stock market. From this turmoil one of the 18th Century’s most interesting coins was produced. Let me tell you how it happened…
The South Sea Bubble
The South Sea Company at the heart of the scandal was a trading company with a monopoly on trade in South America. The company was heavily linked with the government of the day, and a number of MPs owned large shares in the company.
Because of their shares in the company, members of the government began using phoney insider information to convince investors of the huge potential in South American trade, and therefore the profitability of the South Sea Company.
However, once investors realised that there was insider trading taking place, the company’s share price collapsed causing a catastrophic loss of money and property.
Frantic bankers and members of the gentry who had lost their life savings stormed Parliament and the Riot Act was read to restore order. An enquiry found that more than 500 members of Parliament had been involved in the crash and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was imprisoned.
The South Sea Company Shilling
On the brink of collapse, the South Sea Company luckily stumbled across a horde of silver in Indonesia and sold the precious metal to The Royal Mint.
The silver was minted into coins in 1723 with distinctive ‘SS’ and ‘C’ notations on the reverse. The proceeds from this silver helped enable the South Sea Company to recover from the scandal and ultimately continue operating for another century.
The shillings struck with this silver are now almost 300 years old and are a relic of a financial and political disaster which shook the whole country.
If you’re interested…
Historic silver issues are extremely difficult to source, however we have a small stock of just 50 South Sea Shillings available for collectors. Click here to find out more >>
Today I would like to tell you a fascinating story about a very limited edition United Kingdom coin struck in New York almost 60 years ago.
It is extremely rare that United Kingdom coins are struck anywhere other than in the UK, however the New York Exhibition in 1960 presented a rare opportunity for The Royal Mint to take their minting expertise overseas.
New York Exhibition
Still struggling to recover from post-war austerity, the height of Great Britain as the dominant trading nation of the world seemed a distant memory in 1960.
Britain was desperate to revive its ability to trade internationally and so the New York Exhibition was organised to demonstrate the best of British manufacturing to the American market with the hope of increasing British exports to the United States.
The New York Exhibition Crown
A brand new coin was struck for the occasion and although it was somewhat overlooked in Britain at the time, it stands out today as one of the most interesting Royal Mint coins ever struck.
That is because although just over a million New York Exhibition crowns were minted in the UK, a very small number were struck at the exhibition in New York so that visitors could see the best of British manufacturing before their own eyes.
This limited edition coin was minted especially for the visitors to the exhibition and only 70,000 coins were struck – that is less than 7% of the mintage of the ordinary circulation version!
Could I own a limited edition New York crown?
Although they were struck with a specially polished die, there were no special mintmarks on the coins struck in New York making them extremely difficult to distinguish from the ordinary uncirculated version.
However, as the ordinary uncirculated coin was somewhat overlooked at the time in Britain it too has a surprisingly low mintage – less than a fifth of the 1953 Coronation Crown and less than 6% of the 1965 Churchill Crown.
Some of the unsold crowns minted at the exhibition were brought back to the UK by The Royal Mint, meaning that there are likely to be a small number of rare crown coins which were struck in New York buried in collections across the country.
This coin played a key role in boosting Britain’s trade relationship with the United States, and the fact that a very limited number were actually minted at the exhibition in New York makes it undoubtedly one of the most interesting UK coins of the 20th century.
If you’re interested…
We are offering collectors the chance to own the New York Exhibition Crown struck in uncirculated condition (who knows, it might even be one of the rare coins that came back from New York!). To secure your New York Exhibition Crown for just £29.99 (+p&p), click here >>
When it comes to identifying the very finest quality silver coins, few, if any, can match an Australian ‘Kangaroo’. Precision made, eye-catching and struck from 999/1000 Pure Silver, they’re usually snapped up on sight. And now three of the most exciting new issues have been brought together in an exclusive limited edition set…
Why has the Kangaroo become such an important design?
When the famous marsupial is engraved onto an Australian legal tender coin it becomes a hallmark of quality. Rather like the British Sovereign is a benchmark for gold coins, the Kangaroo signifies that your coin is from a trusted source and has been produced to an exceptional standard.
Because of this, the ‘Kangaroo’ has such an international following, and has become one of the most prominent and internationally respected names on the market. Collectors worldwide buy these Australian coins for their quality, design and craftsmanship.
Three unique finishes brought together in one exclusive limited edition set
Now, three of the most exciting examples of the ‘Kangaroo’ you can buy have been brought together in one limited edition set.
The 2017 Australian Kangaroo Numismatic Set brings together the traditional bullion silver coin with the extremely sought-after high relief proof issue and the unusual gilded proof edition. Each coin boasts a full ounce of fine silver and demonstrate some of the finest minting techniques in the market.
Here’s a bit more about what makes each coin in the set so special:
The first coin in the set is the traditional bullion coin, struck by The Perth Mint to a frosted finish, it contrasts superbly with the reflective and raised parts of the design, giving an unusual three tone relief.
Then second coin is The Perth Mint’s high-relief proof finish $1 coin. This remarkable technique strikes the design onto a concave blank, allowing for the engraving to stand tall – more like a sculpture than a coin.
The final coin is the stunning gilded silver proof coin that features the Australian kangaroo carefully picked out in brilliant 24 carat gold.
All three coins share a similar heritage, but demonstrate distinctive approaches to coin design.
If you’re interested…
You can be one of just 250 collectors to own The Australian Kangaroo Set.
The coins will come complete in a Deluxe Wooden Presentation Case, ready to display, with a Certificate of Authenticity, attesting to its precious metal content and edition limit.
Each is individually encapsulated, perfect to keep them in pristine condition for your future generations to enjoy and appreciate. These coins are extremely popular, and with an edition limit of just 250, stock won’t last for long.