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Coins & Banknotes

Rarely does a week pass without either an old tin box bursting with all manner of coinage or a hessian bag full of foreign bank notes arriving on our valuation desks. Scouring through these collections is a real pleasure with history literally being held between ones’ thumb and index finger. A percentage of the coins and notes will be of low commercial value and head into our Vintage & Antiques auctions as properly organised ‘group lots’ and sold accordingly. There will also be a percentage of the consignments that deserve to be further investigated and placed in smaller groups or as individual lots.

Gold Coins:

The most obvious and often most valuable of the coins we have the pleasure of handling are gold coins. Many variations including country of origin, denomination, gold purity (carat) and age must be considered when assessing value for auction. What should also be considered, in my opinion, is the skill and craftsmanship that goes into the various designs of these fascinating coins. When one takes the time to look closely at high quality coins, the detail and work invested into them can truly be appreciated. One of the most iconic gold coins must be the sovereign. Designed in 1817 by Italian medallist and coin engraver Benedetto Pistrucci (1783-1855) the coin depicts Saint George and the dragon on the reverse and the reigning British monarch to the obverse. Still in production today values of sovereigns have soared in recent years. Most will realise between £200-350 at auction but recently an extremely rare 1937 King Edward VII sovereign made a remarkable one million pounds! This was because one of only six were produced and verified by The Royal Mint in South Wales, you can read the full story here:

Examples of coin set jewellery also regularly feature in our sales, often being held for our prestigious Selections & Collections auctions. Examples include sovereign rings, coin set charm bracelets and Krugerrand necklaces.

Silver Coins:

Presentation silver coin sets are an auction favourite benefitting from a healthy following due to our global sales listings and live internet bidding systems. Collectors based in Newtown or New York have the same access to high quality images and condition reports ensuring the buyer can bid with confidence and add that missing piece to their collection. We also sell large quantities of circulated silver coins often dating to the entirety of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Attention to detail is crucial ensuring any rare examples are given the exposure required when being offered to an academic buying community.

Hammered Coins:

Hammered coins that arrive at auction will date to the middle of the 17th century and before. Examples are far rarer than the later milled examples and therefore demand is extremely high. Due to the age and the production process identification is of high importance and often an involved process. Considering the many hundreds of years in existence and number of hands these coins may have passed through is an exciting thought and, for me, adds to the allure of these sometimes-ancient coins.


Paper currency in some format can be traced back to the 7th Century in Tang dynasty China. European exploration introduced the concept further around the globe with evidence showing how small pieces of cloth were used as a means of trade. European banknotes and receipts began to be used in the 17th century with the Bank of England issuing permanent banknotes in 1694. Most examples we see coming in for sale will date from the 18th century through to present day with early examples from small banks being highly coveted. We come across all manner of foreign banknotes as well as local Welsh banknotes issued in historic towns such as Brecon and Crickhowell.

Shown below are a varied selection of coins and banknotes we have offered in the recent past with auction prices noted.

Coins and banknotes can be valued free of charge without obligation. Please contact:

North Wales - Stephen Roberts

South Wales - Philip Keith

West Wales - Charles Hampshire

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