Mike 's Blog

30 Mar 2022

The St. Patrick Half Penny 1670

Tokens | Mike

Saint Patrick . The half penny. This is the first blog I'm writing about a coin I do not own yet!On the obverse it is written Florest Rex . This means may the King flourish. The reverse its written Quiteslay Plebs. That means may the people be at peace.it shows David playing the harp gazing at the Royal Crown of England wish was a gold color.

05 Feb 2022

Gates of Coventry

Tokens | Mike

Hi!Hope everyone is doing well. Today I will write about about the Gates Of Coventry. Now I will not write the whole article that was published in the Clarion magazine published at the last P.A.N. show. I had no idea that I was published. A good friend suggested it and the editor and publisher said yes.. When I received the magazine in the mail I had no idea the cover was about my article!The beauty of the set they all grade between MS 63 to 66. Not bad for 223 years old!! Please look at the engraving of these. It must of taken months to make a die. You can see every brick and window. This was a man born with the talent.

23 Aug 2021

St.Michael's Church D&H 38a Coventry Penny

Tokens | Mike

Well I could write pages on this church and the token. But I will keep it short. It is one of the most sought after tokens in the Conder series. It speaks for it's self. It's absolutely beautiful . It was built in the 14th &15th century. I could not find an architect associated with this wonderful church.The token is 28.3 grams and 36.0 mm. It's big and heavy. I will say it now. It is very under graded. Only NGC knows. This token was made for collectors. And for buying goods. It is a Penny! What I found is back in the 11th century a stone was put on the site and a church was built there called St. Mary's Priory.That church grew in stature and in status with funding from the medieval guilds. Chapels we're incorporated into the main fabric of the church. Soon St. Michael's had11 alters and seven chapels. The Chancel is a space around the alter. Sometimes it included the choir and sanctuary. This token was done by a great die sinker. Thomas Wyon. He made many wonderful pieces. As a matter of fact Wyon and Kempson teamed up on many projects. I can't imagine how long it took to make the die for this token. Just the detail . His son's also were die sinker. Even though this is a Coventry token it was left out of the set because it's a penny. The set is all half penny's. Wyon etched his name on the obverse and reverse you can only see It with a loop. It was built in the gothic style. It's spire was the tallest of all. Close to 300 feet. After a while it was the third tallest. This wonderful church soon became a Cathedral in 1918 it would still be standing. But Hitler kept on bombing the churches. St. Michael's was destroyed in the blitz on November 14,1940. They destroyed 600 buildings and killed 500 people. The picture below with Churchill the Bishop of Coventry and the Mayor was taken not to long after the blitz. They said he had a tear in his eye. ....A architect by the name of Basil Urwin Spence. Was asked to rebuild St. Michaels. He decided to build it right next to the ruins. The ruins will never come down. They want it to remind them of the destruction of war. This was in 1956 to 1962. ..Now like I said there is so much on this beautiful church I could write more. But please enlarge the pictures. This token took years to find. It's a rarity one. The D&H 38 Coventry is a triple rairty. It has edge writing saying Coventry token.They did not make many of each one. I have been looking on and of for years. Now it's home were it belongs. Hope you enjoyed the readers digest verson. Thanks. Mike. P.S. THE STAINED GLASS THAT THEY FOUND THEY PRESERVED. IT WAS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY OF THE TIME!!

27 Jul 2021

More Conder Tokens

Tokens | Mike

Hi. Yes this will be a short blog on some of the buildings on Kempson tokens. The ones I chose today are a few of the buildings still standing from the time they were built. Some are so good it looks like Kempson took a picture of them.. The best part is the years these buildings were put up. I'm not talking 1797. Some of these were built in the 1300's the 1500's. and so on. Just think of that for a moment. The English were excellent record keepers so the dates were not just put on these. You can say some went over rehabilitation but the original face of the structure is the same. Now Kempson almost seems like he knew these would still be around for hundreds of years even some of the gates that protected the city still stand. They are beautiful works architecture. The wall that encircled the city parts still stand. Doing research I said I wonder if some of these are still standinng. I went to work and i was surprised. St.John's church later became St.John's High School. I wrote a journal of these at N.G.C. A few days later I get a message from a fellow collector . He said I went to St John's school there I grew up in Coventry.. Small world. I asked him if he or if he knew of others that lived there if they had any of these tokens. He said none. Passed down from his family he was told they used them. Now I bet if I continued I will find more. This is something I thought of after the set was finished. The other tokens I collect many are still standing. Not just Kempson but others. Cathedrals ,government buildings. If you check Kempson other set of building of London many still stand. Some were destroyed in WW. 11. Hitler had an obsession with Coventry. He bombed it a lot. One famous Cathedral. St. Paul's he wanted destroyed. He felt it be could level this Cathedral it would take the resolve from the people and he could take England. He sent over 200 bombers and St.Paul's still stands. The people stayed inside and put out the fires. It was built if I remember by Wren. It's in the heart of London. One thing NGC graded many Red Brown the token below it looks like the lights are on!! St.Marys Sorry I got it the topic. That's ok the two are connected. St. John's token and picture like I said look so much alike. The same with Bablake and St. Mary's Hall. St. Mary's is used as a catering hall today and ceremonies. If you look at the token and the picture there is a wonderful likeness. . I will end this short blog on these wonder tokens and buildings. I hope.you see the talent of this man. We need people like this working today the old way. The way commens were done and older.coins. No lasers here.!!Be well be safe!!

06 Jul 2021

More On Conder Tokens

Tokens | Mike

Well my friends. I decided to write another blog on these beautiful arts in copper. They tell many story's . Story's about how it was to live in 18 century England. We're the Monarchy said no silver no gold. How were they going to survive. Britain was involved in Many wars and even a civil war. They had no money to speak of. Sure the King and Queen had there gold and silver. They even allowed some coinage to be made. This was the time of George The 111. Yes the battle for our Independence had much to do with this. There is one particular token it looks like a church. Built around 1340 . It's name was St. Johns. I wrote a journal about it at N.G.C. Shortly after I get a message from a fellow collector. Not only did he live in Coventry he went to that same building during high school. Sure it was probably refurbished but the outside is still the same . That's only 678 years. Coventry was bombed during WW 11. Many of the gates and buildings survied. So to get back to the tokens Matthew Boulton had built the SoHo mint. Now Britain was way ahead of other country's as far as coins were made. The Soho Mint operated on steam presses. They made 80 a hour. But it probably took weeks to make the dies. They had great engravers. That's why there are so many of these tokens. On the edge it would say where you could redeem these tokens. But collectors also noticed the workmanship and collectors noticed this and collected them . That's why so many are in MS after 224 years and longer. I found one of the first made in 1761 by a man called.Toke. He owned a farm and made thess. It was located in Kent. Depending on what the edge writing said ment how much they are worth today. That's why you will see a reference number like 214 a, b ,c. Let's say b they only made so many that meant it was worth more. There is another token below that has George Fredrick Handel. Peter Kempson made a set of Coventry tokens with just him on the reverse. He was loved in Britain but born in Germany.. Those go for a very high price today because they are very rare. . I know I'm all over on these. But you get the idea. They were used for money. The were made in a half penny and one penny. They were collected. They helped a country that was close to bankruptcy. Me I was lucky to find these. Look at one with a loop and count the bricks even the cobble stones in the street. The best part is there are still those in Red and Brown. One I have is proof like. To get a coin made today to be proof like takes allot of work . I believe this one was first of the die. They saved Britain I believe. . The prices of these have gone up allot. I have to stand back and say how bad do I want this.. There sold.raw at auctions. The quality ones.. There are still many. I could go on and on about these. Conder collectors do not slab there tokens. But the ones that are so beautiful should be. I believe in protecting them. I hope you enjoyed this. They do have classes on these at the ANA. They were made into the twentieth century. I will write a blog on those . Take care be safe and be well. Please enlarge PICTURES!!!

11 Jun 2021


Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone. Many of you have heard of or read blogs on Conder Tokens. Some have never heard of them. I will try to keep it simple. Back in the 18th century Britain was in very bad shape financially. With the wars they had they were near bankrupcy. Now what happened next is they started to make these tokens. Just like we did in the Civil War. The difference they had terrific die sinkers and manufacturing. Now I will not list all of the great die sinkers I will tell you about Peter Kempson.. He was one of them. Now a person by the name of Conder noticed these showing up and he was the first to document them. They became Conder tokens. Now the purpose was to be able to buy things. On the edge there was a writing on most but not all. They made half penny's and pennys. The edge writing would tell you were you could exchange these for products. And also the price of the token. These tokens were made of famous people famous sites political and for buying goods. The token you see below is the Soho Mint. They made most of them there a few were made privately. Now your in the 1700' s to make a token wasn't easy . Just the die would take time. The Soho Mint and below made 80 tokens at a time. They used steam presses. And they came out beautiful. I have a set it took five years to put together. It has 19 tokens and they were made by P. Kempson. He also made a set of England thirty two tokens. I have never heard of a set of these. They would be worth a fortune. He made this set of Coventry England.famous gates that protected the city. Famous buildings. He has four reverses plus the fifth the Handel reverse. Three he would put a period after certain letters. Then he made the very rare Handel reverse. There will never be a set of that. They were very rare. The workmanship got my attention. The set I put together is the only one known. N.G.C. agreed but couldn't put it on the label . So instead they put my name on them. It took two years to find the last one. They grade from MS 63 to MS 66 with some red brown and a proof like. . These tokens are 244 years old and look like they were made yesterday. The token below shows the token how I bought it. I knew it would grade MS. I sent it in and N.G.C. contacted me saying there was something on it and they could remove it. The graded one is what it looks like after cleaning. This one is not in the set. . There are so many of these Conder tokens. You ask what are they worth. Some hundreds of pounds. The George Washington's token graded MS 61 sold for 25,000 dollars. Yes they have very good prices. But then again your buying art on Copper and bronze. They have so much history. Such workmanship. You can count the bricks and the windows. The cobble stones. This was there tallent.. The token below is of Cardinal Worsely. If you watched the Tudors the story they told of him was not right. Henry the VIII actually liked him . He did not have him imprisoned and he did not kill himself. The gate was dedicated to him he was born in Ipwitch! Many of these were sold at the time to collector's who kept them in this condition. My set is on the web put in complete Coventry set tokens it should come up. Well I hope you enjoyed this. Those of you who want to learn more I will be happy to help. Just send a message. I'm in an auction now for a very special token. Once a week. Druids Revenge sells them in ebay. Take care be well!

08 Dec 2020

1794 Plain Edge Token Franklin Press A/U 58

Tokens | Mike

Hi my friends . I'm writing this blog about a label. That's right. It's wrong. Quick story. This is the second time I have taken up my position against NGC. You see the title is wrong. Very wrong. I called NGC. Talk about people who Will not admit to a simple mistake. The label should read 1794 GB. Half Penny. No Edge. Franklin Press Middlesex 307a. This is the third year I have taken them to task. If you didn't know Condor tokens and saw this in the Red Book you would think it was made here a post Colonial. Very wrong. Now NGC has refused to change the label to read the way it should. It was according to Mr. Bowers it never circulated in the United States. England yes.I spoke to the section supervisor of tokens and heard no we will not change the label. I said because if you did you would be doing the right thing. And admitting you made a mistake. Never happen Now I just want the label to read the correct information. Made in Great Britain. Not the U.S. I said give me proof about your label. We don't have to do that. I have the proof the book the token . Bottom line they made a mistake.. Bottom line they refuse to change history. The history of Mr. Franklin and were his token was made. I think they found it on wikapedia. Then I could understand the mistake. To this day refuse to change there label. It's a Conder token pure and simple. No number to look it up in Dalton and Hammer. That number is 307a. Has nothing to do with the red book.. I thought in was speaking to a token expert. Turns out wasn't. They will not take it higher. Didn't mean I won't . These mistakes must be corrected. . It means allot to those who are looking to buy it and own it. It does mean something about history. Thanks.

05 Dec 2020

Saint Andrew of Scotland D&H -44 1792

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone hope you are all well. Today is a token about St. Andrew. Who was he? He was the brother of Peter.. It was made in 1792. It's a half penny,made of copper. It weighs 11.1 gems 29 mm thickness is 2mm. . This token is what is called a double rarity. There is only one rarer than this. You notice the two pieces of wood he is holding. They are to be his cross. He said I do not deserve to be crucified like Jesus.. The cross is called de cussata or x shape. It states No one provokes with impunity! The reverse is the It or arms or Edinbourgh. The edge says Payable at the warehouse of Thos & Alex R Hutchison . He was crucified on November 30 60 A.D. Being St. Peter's brother he was the first follower of CHRIST. . He preached the word of God and said "I would not preach the honor and glory of the death s of the cross if I feared the death of the cross" .So he was sentenced to death for denying the religion of the Roman gods. His words were "I Cross Most Welcome And Long Anticipated! I Come To You With A Willing Kind With Joy And Desire A Fowler A Student Of The One Who Died For You. I Have Always Embraced You". He was not nailed to this cross instead he was tied. It has The same effect. You might say Why is he writing about a Saint. Well I'm actually writing about a token and the man who died on his cross.. If you look at the flag of Scotland it was made after the cross of St. Andrew. The country loved him. As a religious man and a man who stood up to the Roman Empire.. One man. He knew he didn't stand a chance. Knew that eventually after the interagations that the Romans would sentence him to death. Besides there's nothing wrong with a little religion now in the situation we live in today. Who Ever we pray to. Pray. This is a small blog. The man was sent out to preach the word of God by the Holy Spirit. They spoke all the world langues. He is also the patron Saint of other countries he preached in . When the House or the Senate is called to order in Washington it's opened by a member of one of the many Religions in this country . He says a small prayer that God will direct these men to a favorable decision. That doesn't happen all the time. Everywhere there is Justice we see in God we Trust.That's a reference to your God not the Catholics. .So politics does have a place in our history. The Druids had many in Ireland.St. Patrick witch is also a token here in the colonies.. He took there Sun God combined it with the Christian cross and the Celtic cross was.born. So Conder tokens have animals ,people famous people.who started the industrial revolution. War hero's just about every famous person in the 18th century. The political section has one of George Washington. In MS 61 it sold for 25,000 dollars. So you see there are many famous people. This was a way of recording there history.. These tokens grade very high. They were taken care of better than some coins today. The biggest I have is a MS 66 many of them. Proof like red and brown and the detail you can count the bricks or the links in a fence. These were masters. So I decided to write about this man Andrew. Yes an ordinary man who preached. Your not made a Saint the next day . Sometimes it takes centuary's. It's a remarkable process. So it's not a holy day just a normal day in the middle of a pandemic. A little religion won't hurt . It might save lives. I hope.you enjoyed this story of a simple man. Who influenced an entire country. Just like the people of the Mayflower. Looking for.religious freedom. So in this day of a virus taking million s.if lives ask St. Anthony for a quick cure . Thanks

28 Aug 2020

1796 D&H 42 Penny London P. Kempson.

Tokens | Mike

Hi every one. I hope your all well. The token you see at the bottom is one of Peter Kempsons London series.. He made 36 pennys. Now there were much heavier and bigger. This token has edge writing. It says " I Promise To Pay On Demand The Bearer One Penny X" . Now there were two different dies to some of these. Die A on the reverse and die B this one is die A. There was not that much difference between the two. A word that was it. The Guildhall in London if your there can be seen from King street. The building was built in 1411,but only the very fine crypt remains from the original structure. The fire of London in 1666 destroyed the roof and caused such damage that considerable repair was needed. A new roof was installed in 1669. The old hall was used as a bazaar by booksellers and vendors of various articles. Now I said the roof was put back on in 1669. However that was temporary and the roof on the token was added by George Dance in 1789..In 1870 a new council Chamber,Library,and Museum were added and the older parts were restored.. As if it had had luck it was badly damaged in air strike in the second world war,the original council Chamber and the roof again the great hall were destroyed. One thing I learned about the British is there resolve. They never let them famous buildings lay in rubble. Now remember it was built in 1411. It was rebuilt in1952 by Sir Giles Scott. Now many are amazed how good the shape of these tokens are. . Well I said in the first one they were sold to collectors and the public. Those sold to collectors were stored in a table like the one below. It has a marble top and many drawers to store the tokens. This one below was sold at Heritage ,don't think I didn't consider buying it. But my wife would throw me out. . It stopped the environment from damage to the tokens. They had a bed of felt that they laid on and stored like a safe. You look closely you will see the poles coming up. So when it was closed it looked like any other table. That's why I can buy a token with the rich color of red brown. They were taken very good care of. I have been lucky to be able to buy this art. I can't imagine how long it took to make a die of these buildings. Now here is something I found out. Kempson limited these to 200 A piece. Talk about low mintage. But it's a series I do not see anyone compleating. Not with the age and mintage. But think what it would look like. I have seen some in bad shape that gets me upset when I see so many in great shape. This token was bought before my set. And it still has that bright red color. I only wish the pictures could give them justice. Thanks for reading this I hope you enjoyed it. Stay safe . Mike

19 Aug 2020

St.Mary's Hall D&H 295 Warwickshire P. Kempson

Tokens | Mike

Hi everyone hope all is well. Today I will be writing about Conder Tokens. What are they . They were used in England during the 18th century. Why Conder. Well a Gentleman by the name.of Conder saw one an decided these were important . So he decided to catalog these beautiful tokens. Now Britain was not issuing any silver or gold.They were involved in so many wars it cost them. Like our civil war the people stepped up and made these. Some have the store on the reverse of on the edge. They made half pennies and penny's. . This way they could redeem them for goods. This set was made for collectors. Yes there were collectors back then. And they paid big money for these. The set is considered rare and scarce. The D&H number stands for Dalton And Hammer. A book that has them cataloged. Now there were many great designers and die sinkers. This one was made by P. Kempson. He was one of the best and there were also many others who were excellent. What happened they became a work of art in copper. P. Kempson put two sets together. One of all pennies and one of half pennies. I decided to put together one of his sets. The Coventry Set of tokens. There were 19 in the set. I was told I could not do this . Why well these were made in 1797. That's 223 years ago.It took five years but I did it. The token below is one of the set. They all graded MS 63 to MS 66 some red brown one proof like.. . Now St. Mary's Hall was built on Marys. street on the south side of St. Michael's Church. It says on the bottom St. Mary's Hall erected 6 in. It was built as a meeting and banquet hall for three of the city's guilds.St.Johns, St. Katherine Church, and Trinity Church. . This is the part I really enjoy. It was began about 1340-42. The great hall itself started in 1394 and finished in 1414. It was extensively repaired in 1580 and in 1753 the old brick floors were removed and wood planking put in.The windows you see at the bottom were of famous people Earls Dukes, Bishops Mayors,. In 1826 the Windows were replaced Pemberton of Birmanham. Why was this building important. All the public used it the corporation used it. That's during the reign of my friend Henry the VIII. The three other churches used it for there bussiness. What I find remarkable as I always say is the record keeping I mean back to the 1300's . I found I could not put it all in. Now enlarge the picture's the color was taken in the 20th century. The black and white the 19 century.not much change. Now look at the token almost to the brick. That's how good they were and the steam presses put out 60 to 80 per minute. This set is rare. It's so far the only known complete set. I will write another explaining these tokens. The token is12.96 grm 29 mm. The reverse is the crest of the town of coventry. An elephant for strength. On top a small castle were the soldiers would be and a wild cat to show there resolve. I'm very proud of this set it took two years to find the last one. NGC could not say its the only set . But they asked me to send it back and they put my name on the label. They do not do that to often. I was proud . But I had help from my friends at ANA. They didn't find any . But every time I was going to give up they kept me going. The set can be seen in the NGC Registry set or the web. Thanks I hope some of the new comers enjoyed this. It was last posted two years ago. If course more.information. And a picture of my research book. . That's what a research book should look like when your trying to find these. Thanks. Please enlarge the pictures. By the way the building is still standing!!!!!


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