When coins are struck, they are a practical tool, impersonal and made of cold, hard metal.
But are they really?
Many collectors will agree that there is much more to a coin than a ‘small lump of metal’.
To many of us, coins capture a moment in time,
mark a point in history
and tell part of a more colourful story.
This is especially the case with coins issued during the reign of Queen Victoria.
As the longest reigning British Monarch in our history, Queen Victoria’s reign lasted for over 63 years, (63 years and 7 months to be more precise), until her death in 1901.
This astonishing record has since been surpassed by our very own Queen Elizabeth II,
(on the 10th of September 2015).
Her reign covered an incredible era during which the British Empire expanded across the world and the social landscape changed dramatically.
During her reign, she evolved from being a young queen into a global figurehead.
And with a recent spark of interest into her life and reign, she is still widely recognised by a whole new generation, with the help of numerous popular modern TV dramas.
So why did I say that Queen Victoria picks everyone’s pockets ?
During the 19th Century, the gold Sovereign was a recognised currency in over 20 different countries.
There were also many small denominations in circulation, which would be practically worthless today, because their value was so tiny. But times were different then.
When she died in 1901, as the head of the Great British Isles, the vast British Empire
and numerous other lands…
almost a quarter of the world’s population were using coins featuring her portrait.
So she did pick (or choose) everyone’s pockets !