As an independent, experienced and reputable numismatist I can offer the following services:

  • Valuations and Probate valuations
  • Commission bidding at auction
  • Advice – independent appraisal of lots is advisable for collectors

I have been a member of the British Numismatic Trade Association since 2001.

Although based in King's Lynn I regularly attend coin fairs around the country and I am able to meet clients in London by arrangement.

Valuations and appraisals of collections can be done, with a prior appointment, at my shop, in London or (depending on your location) at your address.

I usually attend the main coin fairs held in the UK, below is a short list of the upcoming fairs.

Please contact me to confirm that I will be attending a particular coin fair if you wish to meet with me.

Collecting Coins

Reverse side of 1575 Elizabeth I Sixpence

What a peculiar hobby coin collecting is some might say. Well for me it started when I was six years old when my father gave me a bent & worn Elizabeth I sixpence. The portrait was non-existent but the legend was there as was the rose however the reverse was decent & the date clear 1575. I was looking at it in 1948 so this little silver thing which I had in my hand was three hundred & seventy-three years old & when you are only six that seems an awful long time ago.

During the next couple of years I started learning history at school & from the library came a pictorial history book. There were no photographs just line block drawings & on one page there was a Henry VII Testoon & on the next the great seal of Henry VIII (which was round like a coin). Well that seemed to fire my imagination just who had handled my little sixpence, had Elizabeth I held it or had it been in the pocket of Francis Drake the possibilities were so exciting.

The Great Seal of Henry VIII

I carried on collecting coins which people gave me & then when I was eleven, I moved to a new school in Hunstanton to which I use to cycle & while riding around the town & looking in a shop window I saw stamps (which I also collected) & coins this was the shop of a chiropodist named Mr. Ram so saving my pocket money I went in. Mr. Ram had bought his coins from London dealers I heard him say so I was weaned on good coins & I continued to collect. I remember that I bought a very nice Charles II crown 1676 & a Scottish thirty shillings of Charles I amongst others.

I then discovered Seaby's standard catalogue & for my Christmas present in 1955 my father bought for me coins which I had chosen from the catalogue, they were, William I Pax penny £1-12-6, John penny 6/6 (six shillings & sixpence), Edward III groat 15/-, Henry VIII 2nd coinage groat 12/-, Edward VI shilling 14/- & George III crown 1819 £2/0/0-. The coins were good very fine except the crown which was good EF or better. Total £6, I was thrilled & I still have the invoice.

Standard Catalogue Of British Coins 1955 Peter Seaby

So, by the time I was fourteen in 1956 I had a very nice little collection which I have worked out at todays values would be around £25,000, how things have changed. In 1967 I started dealing as Cromwell coins & I did this for a couple of years until my father died & I went into the family business after which I went back to collecting & for sixteen of the next years collected hammered halfcrowns 1551-1662 part of which was sold by Glendinings in conjunction with Spink in April 1982 after which I went on to collect hammered gold & crowns.

In 1995 I decided that the time was right to start dealing again since when I have attended many major fairs & auction in this country & also produced an illustrated circular which goes out to some eleven hundred collectors, dealers, clubs & museums. I deal in hammered & milled gold & silver & my specialty area being Tudor, Stuart & Early Milled coins. I am as enthusiastic now at seventy-six as I was as a child & I am hoping to trade for a few more years. It has & continues to be an absorbing & exciting hobby as well as a business.

Coins are best stored in trays within a cabinet & carefully taken out & held in the hand by its edges feel the history, live the story. If the coins are not static, if you carry them with you to coin fairs or to show others then they should be placed in the appropriate plastic envelope to prevent rubbing while in motion. But generally coins are better kept static in a cabinet.

Coins are best viewed in front of a window without sunlight so a north facing window is preferred. After all daylight was the best light available when they were designed & minted.

Display cabinet with coin trays

The importance of coin literature - Coin literature particularly old sales catalogues from numismatic auctioneers are advisable for a collector as they are essential for dealers. It is important to be able ascertain the value of a coin, perhaps one which has not been on the market for many years & you can look back through these catalogues to see how it compared with coins that you do know the value of & thereby getting a feel of the value of your own coin.

Grading coins - Grading coins is subjective so may vary depending on who you talk to so the advise would be to use a reputable dealer preferably who is a member of the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA). Accurate grading comes with experience so if you attend coin fairs look at different dealers' cabinets & make up your own mind where you believe you are getting the best quality for your money.

Independent graders – I idea of independent grading is in principal a good one providing inexperienced collectors or often investors a guarantee of quality. This is great if the grading is consistent but in my opinion, it is not & it is not a silver bullet, this is why the same coins are sometimes sent in numerous times with a different result. This only goes to show that grading is a matter of one person's opinion so who would you prefer to grade your coins? A dealer known to you & of long standing or an anonymous person from a grading company. Grading companies encapsulate the coins in plastic which does of course offer the coin protection but what a way to collect coins in a box filled with lumps of plastic instead of keeping them free in a cabinet. This is a tactile hobby & the choice is picking up an oblong of plastic or taking the actual coin out of a tray & holding it in your hand, I will always prefer the latter.

Enjoy your collecting.

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