On the same afternoon that I found my little Saxon artifact, I picked up this very nice little George I halfpenny:
Many of you will be wondering how I can tell, well that’s where the internet and experience comes into play…also as you can see from the reverse shot, I cleaned this side which makes identification a heck of a lot easier….
Now some would argue that you shouldn’t clean coins and you should keep the original patination. Well…..I agree to a certain extent. If the coin is a rare coin, or apparently in absolutely perfect condition underneath some simple clay or mud…then don’t clean it. In fact if you have any doubt what so ever, don’t clean your coin. But, as in this case, you have a coin which, lets face it isn’t going to get a numismatist reaching for the phone in any great hurry….why not carefully clean it. This will only stay in my collection – it is not of national importance – so clean it I did and I am pleased with the result.
George I is an interesting monarch, being the Hanoverian Prince brought over to the UK to stop the Catholics retaking throne in the early 18th century. He appears to have been unpopular with the general public who ridiculed him and especially his accent. He was however, by all accounts a well educated man being fluent in German, French Dutch and Latin and certainly by the end of his reign, English too.
The discovery of this coin fits nicely with my growing collection ranging as it does from Iron Age – Roman – Early Medieval, Elizabethan, 17th, 18th, 19th and of course through to the 20th century. I am going to have to look out for a good display case for them all as its a shame to keep them locked away…..