[Illustration by Rory Kurtz - reblogged from illustrationage.com]
Just like any other area in life, numismatics has its own fair share of bulls**t stories. Yup, all manner of misinformation goes around amongst us guys just like it does everywhere else!
Here are a few of my personal favourites -
The AK47 Five Pound Note
There was a truckload of hype that started a year or so ago about AK47 five pound notes. Apparently these were seriously collectible and ‘noties’ were tripping over themselves to get hold of one.
But guess what?
Yup, whilst these may appeal to a few young people with aspirations of being a proper ‘gansta’ (innit) or because they simply want one to flash around in front of their mates (more likely the case), they weren’t ‘sought after’ at all. AK47 is basically just a novelty number with no great appeal to serious collectors of bank notes.
The Scarcity of Benjamin Britten
A few years back, some numpty somewhere found it necessary to start a rumour that the Benjamin Britten fifty pence was not only very scarce, it was also very valuable. Lucky, with the old Information Superhighway at our fingertips it was quick and easy to put this silly hearsay to rest jolly quickly. As soon as people realised that the mintage of this coin was not particularly low at all (5,300,000) they soon saw right through this generous helping of baloney.
The only great mystery about it all is why certain people feel it necessary to spread such stoopid stories in the first place….
‘Coinies’ are Boring People
Okay, so collecting coins or bank notes (or both) may not be ‘finger on the pulse’ stuff in quite the same way as white water rafting, snowboarding or attending a three day rave, but it isn’t a boring pastime either. In fact collecting coins is really interesting and the chances are that you will have a whole lot of fun and meet a whole lot of people at the same time.
So, for anyone out there who thinks that numismatists are all pimply, nerdy folk with no social skills, grace, street cred or intelligence; you are very, very wrong.
Colllecting coins is hip. All the best people know that.
Every Kew Gardens Coin is Fake
Because there have been so many scare stories about people getting ripped off when buying themselves a ‘genuine’ Kew Gardens fifty pence, paranoia now roams freely in this part of Coinville.
Unfortunately we are all well aware of how many fake ones are out there. But this has all made it jolly difficult for anyone who is trying to sell a real one.
If you are planning on buying one of these for yourself then it is simple enough to find out the basic ways of spotting a duffer. I also happen to have an article that goes into loads of important detail – and it is right here on this very same blog!
How cool is that?
My title has been filched from the words of a spaceman called David Bowie. May his kind and polymathmatical soul rest in peace :)
© Article and images (where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019