The long, slow process of replacing my professional artard gear continues — my new scanner arrived this afternoon. First task is digitizing bits of my worthless coin collection.
No, seriously — I collect what real collectors call “lunch money” — heavily circulated world coins that are worth, at most, the value written on the front. Bought them in ten pound lots on eBay (my dealer doesn’t seem to be in business any more). Ten pounds, let me tell you, is a buttload of small change. Took weeks and weeks to go through them all, and every one of them guaranteed to be worth jack shit.
There would always be lots of fascinating and beautiful stuff, though. Mid-19th to the mid-20th Centuries and every continent on the globe.
You could tell a lot about a place from its money. Like, money with pictures of food on it comes from places where people are starving. Money with food and industrial equipment comes from Communist places where people are starving. In the immediate post-war era, the smallest coins in Europe were sometimes made of horrible cheap and nasty aluminum. Oh, and I’ll never forget the first time I turned over a coin and spotted a swastika on it. Brrrrrr — Nazi lunch money!
I thought some coins would make interesting merchandise. You would think that coins, being as public and emblematic as national flags, governments wouldn’t be all anal-retentive about copyrighting their images. You’d be wrong. This’ll be fun to figure out.
Oh, and the coin in the picture was, I thought, the one time I put one over on the bulk coin people. Without the holes (which were used to make it into a button or charm), a George III sovereign like that would be worth upwards of £1,000. But I’ve been digging around, and that there is almost certainly Victorian brass play money, worth nuffink.
So it’s consistent with the general high quality and value of the rest of my collection.