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Thursday, 29 March 2012

62) Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative Coin issued by the Royal Mint, U.K.


62) Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012):
A Five Pound Commemorative Coin issued by the Royal Mint, U.K.

Queen Elizabeth II (born 21.04.1926) is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states( known as the Commonwealth Realms – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Belize, St. Christopher (Kitts) & Nevis, St. Lucia, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and  Papua New Guinea) and Head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations. In her specific role as monarch of the United Kingdom, she is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. 

 She is, also, the “Head of the Commonwealth” and “Queen Regnant” of seven independent Commonwealth countries (the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).

Titles and styles:

She is the “Monarch” or “Sovereign”. In common parlance, she is “The Queen”, or “her Majesty”. Officially, she has a distinct title in each of her Realms. For example, she is the “Queen of Canada” in Canada, “Queen of Australia”, in Australia, in the Channel Islands which are Crown Dependencies rather than separate Realms, she is known as “The Duke of Normandy” and “Lord of Mann” respectively. Additional styles include “Defender of the Faith” and “Duke of Lancaster”. When in conversation with the Queen, the practice is to initially address her as “Your Majesty” and thereafter as “Ma’am”. She has received Honours and Awards from around the World and holds several honorary military positions around the Commonwealth.

Ascension and coronation:

She began to undertake her public duties during World War II in which she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

In 1951, when George VI’s health was declining, she toured Canada and USA. In 1952, she went on a tour of Australia and New Zealand after visiting Kenya. It was during her Kenya trip that the news of George VI passing away came on 6th February 1952 after she returned to her Kenya home “Sagana Lodge” from a stay at “Treetops Hotel”, when the mantle of Monarch/Queen passed onto her and she started staying at Buckingham Palace.
Her coronation took place on 2nd June 1953, the ceremony being conducted at Westminster Abbey and was televised for the first time, with millions of viewers watching the Event world-wide.

Duties and Commitments: 

Throughout her 60 years of reign The Queen has carried out her duties with commitment and enthusiasm, including that of the State Opening of Parliament. She is a patron to over 600 charitable Organisations in addition to her official duties. 

She also makes several overseas trips and welcomes visiting Heads of States from other countries. Tradition and ceremony are still central to modern monarchy, with some of Britain’s famous patriotic scenes inter-linked with the Royal Family. She has been performing even the  most serious duties  – such as laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, to the everyday traditional spectacle of Guard Mounting and the vibrant military pomp of Trooping the Colour and , has also, been a part of the colourful celebrations of Royal weddings, jubilees etc. 

The “Guard Mounting” (or Changing of the Guard) is one of London’s most iconic sights and occurs regularly at Buckingham Palace. Accompanied by a Guards Band playing traditional military marches and even pop songs, a new Guard replaces the Guard on duty, protecting the Sovereign and Royal Palaces as they have been doing since 1660. At the Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Guard is normally formed by the Household Division in their iconic full dress uniform of red tunics and towering hats known as bearskins.

The Annual Trooping the Colour is an exercise dating back to the time of Charles II, the custom including a daily parading or “trooping” of regimental flags or Colours in front of soldiers – for each soldier to recognize his regiment in the heat of battle. Presently, more than 1400 officers and soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians unite to parade at the annual Trooping the Colour.

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign:

In 2012 (this year), Queen Elizabeth II, will complete the 60th year of her reign – her Diamond Jubilee. She is the second longest reigning monarch after her grandmother, Queen Victoria. 

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated from 2nd to 5th June 2012. Several events have been organized throughout the U.K., the Commonwealth and the World to make this a memorable occasion.

The Queen herself will take part in a number of celebrations including “The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant” where about 1000 boats will assemble on the Thames, with the Queen’s Royal barge leading the flotilla. The whole event is reminiscent of the days of old, when the Kings/Queens of Britain would go on barge flotillas on the Thames on festivals and special occasions and would be a page out of a history book. Queen Victoria had granted city status to Bradford, Kingston-upon-Hull and Nottingham and Queen Elizabeth will grant city status to competing towns as well.
On 4th June2012, a total number of 2012 beacons will be lit across the U.K. and the Commonwealth, with the Queen lighting the National Beacon. It is expected that the streets will be filled with people both from the U.K. and around the World.
The other day, I saw a documentary on BBC on how even the iconic Big Ben is getting a massive face-lift for the occasion.
Notwithstanding the planned pomp and show, the Queen is said to have set two guidelines, informally:
i)             The use of minimum public funds
ii)           People should not be forced to celebrate.

Commemorative Coin:

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Mint U.K. has brought out a series of coins that mark the various events, ceremonies and landmarks from her reign. The Commemorative five Pound coin, which I have acquired for my coin collection recently, features two new portraits of the Queen, one each on both faces of the coin. The theme of having two portraits of the Queen , one young (at the time of her Coronation) and one present day, is inspired by the Commemorative medal struck for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.



The cover of the coin album issued by Royal Mint U.K. for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.



For the portrait, when the Queen was younger, the inspiration has come from the very first portrait of the Queen which appeared on coins from 1953 onwards, which also appeared on the coins which were issued by the Royal Mint at the time of her Coronation. This portrait was fresh, evocative and symbolically reflected the optimistic mood of the people at the beginning of a new Elizabethan era.  On this portrait, the Queen is shown as wearing a wreath and no crown as in the portrait at the time of her coronation and the words “DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS” (May God Guide my steps), which had also appeared on Queen Victoria’s gold five Pound coins in 1839.




The present portrait of the Queen facing right has “more dignity and gravitas”, as she appears in full official regalia. On the periphery of this face of the coin are the words “ELIZABETH .II.D.G.REG.F.D.”(ELIZABETH II. BY THE GRACE OF GOD QUEEN. DEFENDER OF THE FAITH” and “FIVE POUNDS”. Both the portraits have been crafted by Ian Rank-Broadley.

The coin specifications are as under:
Denomination: 5 Pounds
Alloy: Cupro-Nickel
Weight: 28.28 gms.
Diameter: 38.61 mm
Edge: Milled
Quality: Brilliant Uncirculated.

In addition, the Royal Australian Mint, has released a 50 cent silver proof coin to celebrate the event/occasion.



The above image is of a crown issued in 1953, celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the present reigning Sovereign. This coin is from the collection of young Kavish Hukmani, who is an avid numismatist. The image shows Queen Elizabeth II wearing a cap/beret and riding a horse. 

On the outer periphery the words “ELIZABETH.II.DEI.GRATIA.BRITT.OMN.REGINA.FEDEI.DEFENSOR” (Translated into English, it means “ELIZABETH II, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, OF ALL THE BRITONS, QUEEN, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH”.  On either side of the Horse are two identical images of the Royal Crown with the inscription “E II R” (meaning Elizabeth II Regina). The coin is minted with a cupro-nickel composition.
Interestingly, I have noticed a flaw in the Inscription in the above coin. The term “FEDEI DEFENSOR” (Defender of the Faith) is used for Kings/Sovereigns while the term “FEDEI DEFENSATRIX” is the title given to a Queen.
The Royal Mint having got used to using the term “Defensor” from the time of Edward VII’s coronation in 1902, have erroneously continued with the term even in the case of the Queen. I wonder, whether in the face of this glaring oversight, whether this coin qualifies as an “error coin” (like in the case of the Commemorative State quarters issued by the U.S. Mint, one lot of which was minted with the inscription “In God ,We Rust” in place of  “Trust”). If the Crown issued in 1953, does qualify as an error coin, then the value of this coin would be much more than other issues during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.



The reverse of the Crown issued in 1953 on Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation to the throne. This face shows the four quarters of the Royal Shield from the Royal Coat of Arms  (also carried on the One Pound coins issued from 2008 onwards). For a detailed reference please refer my post "65) The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom: Great British 2012 coin set (Uncirculated) issued by Royal Mint, U.K.", ( reference link given at the bottom of this post).

 The theme is that of the four quarterings of the Royal Arms, each contained in a shield and arranged in saltire with a rose, a thistle, a sprig of shamrock and a leek . In the centre is the Royal Crown .

At the bottom is mentioned 1953 indicating the year of issue.

The following images of a 100 pound Note issued by the States of Jersey to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, are from the collection of Jayant Biswas who has shared the images for this post:


The above is an image of the cover of the album containing the 100 Pounds Note. 

              
The 100 Pound Note with the Queen's holographic portrait titled "Equanimity" reproduced on this Note by special permission of Jersey Heritage.  Notice that the serial number of this Note starts with the letters "QE" indicating that this is a "Queen Elizabeth II" limited edition Note for Collectors only. The inscriptions are "States of Jersey" on the top of the Note. "One Hundred Pounds" on the bottom and "EIIR" (Elizabeth II Regina - "or Queen")



 The back of the above 100 Pound Note. The inscriptions being "Chent Louis" "Cent Livres" and "Etats De Jersey". This Note has been printed by De La Rue.




The description of how the project was commissioned to carry out the making of the Queen's portrait titled "Equanimity" and the historical background. 
 



The personal flag of Queen Elizabeth II.



Links:

British Crown Dependencies:

1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey

2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey

3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain

5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
  
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015

7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend

8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie

9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda

10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence 

11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003 

12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint 

Famous Battles

1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK) 

2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK

3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK

Gold Coins:
  
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark

2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark 

Silver Coins:

1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns 

British India Coinage:

 1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835

2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress

3) Edward VII: King & Emperor  Coinage

4) George V King Emperor Coinage

5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage 

Other British Royalty: 

1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK

2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown

3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK

4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013

5) The British Empire:  A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)

6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark

 British Coinage:

1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)

2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin

3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence

4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone

 Commemorative British Coinage:

 1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era

 2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK

3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)

4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel 

5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK 

6) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom

Inspirations from Scottish History: 

1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes

Banknotes from Scotland:
  
1) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

61) Commemorating the bicentenary of Charles John Huffam Dickens (07.02.1812- 09.06.1870) A two-Pound U.K coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian era and for all time.


61) Commemorating the bicentenary of Charles John Huffam Dickens (07.02.1812- 09.06.1870)
A two-Pound U.K coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian era and for all time.

Dickens Facts:

v  Charles Dickens was born on 07.02.1812 and spent an idyllic childhood, first in has birth-place Portsmouth and later in Chatham, Kent. Dickens spent the happiest days of his childhood in Chatham (1817-22) where he was sent to school and began reading voraciously. His father John Dickens was a clerk in the Naval Pay Office and amassed huge debts to maintain his family of a wife and 7 children, including Charles. (His father’s character has been immortalized by Charles as the ridiculous, but endearing Mr. Micawber in “David Copperfield”). 

v  The family then moved to London in 1822 where they lived in Camden Town (A flourishing Flea Market – present day). In due course, his father was imprisoned for debt when Charles was 12 years old and he (Charles) had to work in a blacking/shoe polish  factory “Warrens Blacking Factory”, Hungerford Market, London, near Charing Cross Station, on the Thames , pasting labels on bottles  on a pay of six shillings a week, while his family was in Marshalea debtor’s prison in 1824.(I suppose, that in today’s age of more awareness about children/minors and laws against minors doing manual labour/working on a job , Charles may not have found himself at manual work , but then it was a time when there was a great divide between the Nobility/wealthy and the Commoners). By the time his father had been declared insolvent, Charles and his family had faced innumerable hardships which were characterized through his novels, characters and writings. In 1824-27, Charles studied at Wellington House Academy, London, and at Mr. Dawson’s school in 1827.
v  Later, from 1827 to 1828, Dickens found a position as a clerk at the office of Ellis and Blackmore, solicitors at Holborn Court, Gray’s Inn. Realising that Law was not his calling, he studied shorthand and free-lanced as a court reporter at Doctor’s Commons. Charles became deeply interested in social reforms and took up an assignment with “The Mirror of Parliament” (1832-34) and “True Sun” newspaper (1830-32) which was radical in its views and also wrote short stories for the Morning Chronicle (1834-36), under the pen name “Boz” (Sketches by Boz was a collection of his early writings published in 1836). He also contributed to Monthly Magazine and the Evening Chronicle and edited Bentley’s Miscellany (1836). In 1840s he founded Master Humphrey’s Cloak and edited the London Daily News.

v  His insight into life’s experiences born out of the hardships that his family had faced, was given wings by his rich imagination, tremendous humour and keen social sensibilities which went towards his writing stories which were immensely enthralling and brought to life the hardships of the Victorian era leaving the readers on several occasions reflective as well as with a tinge of sadness. 

v  The young Dickens was very good-looking and often described as a fop with his flashy waistcoats, jewellery and flowing long hair. During his lifetime, he was the most famous writer in Europe and America. It is said that when he visited America to deliver a series of lectures in 1842 and later in 1867, his fans followed him everywhere – outside his hotel, in Railway Cars, restaurants, almost like a superstar of today.

v  He is considered the greatest writer of the Victorian era and has some of English literature’s most iconic novels and characters to his credit. During his lifetime his works enjoyed unprecedented popularity and accolades and are equally popular today. His genius gained currency during the mid-nineteenth century when interest in his works was recognized afresh by critics and scholars. 

v  Many of his works were originally published in monthly installments, a format of publication that Dickens himself helped popularise. He often revised his plots and characters on the basis of reader’s responses to a published episode and his readers anxiously looked forward to the next episode – much like the popular “soaps” on today’s television serials.

v  His works have been highly praised by eminent Writers like Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, and G.K. Chesterton etc. for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterizations and social criticism.

v  His nineteenth century readers included Queen Victoria, Vincent Van Gogh and Karl Marx.

       Philanthropic work:

In May 1846, Dickens set up a home for the redemption of fallen women called “Urania Cottage” in the Lime Grove section of Shepherds Bush. He became involved in many aspects of its day-to-day functioning and scoured prisons and workhouses for rescuing such women. All these women were required to emigrate following their stay in Urania Cottage. It is estimated that at least 100 residents of Urania Cottage graduated and went to live in Canada, America, and Australia etc.

Death and legacy:

From 1860, he lived at Gadshill Place, near Rochester, Kent.

While working on his last unfinished Novel, “Edwin Drood” he passed away at Gadshill on 9th June 1870 at the age of 58, after suffering a stroke a day earlier. Contrary to his wishes to be buried at Rochester Cathedral in an inexpensive, unostentatious manner, he was laid to rest in the “Poet’s Corner” of Westminster Abbey. He had wished that no memorials should be built to honour him. Indeed, the only memorial built for him was in 1891 in Clark Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon his death, the London Times in an obituary called him “the greatest instructor of the nineteenth century”.

He continues to be one of the best known and most read of English authors and his works have never gone out of print. Nearly 200 movies and TV adaptations based on his works have been made. 

His story “A Christmas Carol” is probably the best known of his works and still continues to be adapted for stage and T.V. renditions, turned into an opera, ballet and Broadway musical as well as, translated into several different languages. It is a well-loved tale with money and coins as its central theme and carries the joyous message that Christmas is a time for giving and thinking of others. 

When he did his first public reading to an audience of two thousand people in Covent Garden, the text he chose was from “A Christmas Carol”.

Commemorative coin:

A two-Pound Brilliant Uncirculated commemorative coin has been issued by the Royal Mint, U.K. to mark the 200th Anniversary of Dickens’s birth.



The cover of the Album issued by Royal Mint, U.K.




The obverse has the Queen’s portrait by Ian-Rank Broadley with the words” ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.FID.DEF. (meaning: Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith”) 2012 TWO POUNDS” on the periphery of the coin.




The reverse has his profile outline, created by Matthew Dent, from the titles of Dickens’ famous works, from his early writings “Sketches by Boz”, to his final and unfinished novel “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”. Taken from David Copperfield, the words on the edge inscription are those of one of the characters Mr. Micawber (said to portray Charles’ father):“SOMETHING WILL TURN UP”

His Works:

It is not surprising that coins and money are the recurring themes in many of Charles Dickens’s works, as he knew both wealth and poverty during his colourful life.

In 1833, Charles’ first story “A Dinner at Poplar Walk” was published in the London periodical “Monthly Magazine”.

His first success came at the age of twenty-five with his first novel “Pickwick Papers” which was well received and made him one of the foremost writers of his time. This was followed by two more novels “Oliver Twist” and “The Life and adventures of Nicholas Nickelby” (1839). He grew increasingly somber in his later works. “A Tale of Two Cities” described through its storyline the horrors of the French Revolution, as well as immense sacrifices, the lucid narration transporting the reader to the times which the story depicts and leaves a sad, brutal image of the ultimate sacrifice at the end.

His popular Novels were: “The Pickwick Papers” (1836 – Stories about a group of somewhat odd individuals and their travels to Ipswich, Rochester and Bath etc.)  “Oliver Twist” (which appeared in monthly installments from 1837 to 1839 and depicts the London Underworld and hard years of the foundling Oliver Twist), “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” (which too came out in installments from 1838 to 1839 and is a story about young Nickleby’s struggles to seek his fortune), “The Old Curiosity Shop” (1840-41), Barnaby Rudge: A tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty” (1841), “Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit”(1844), “Dombey and Son” (1848),“David Copperfield”(1849-50 in which Dickens used his own personal experiences of work in a shoe-polish factory), Bleak House(1852-53),  “Hard Times”(1854), “Little Dorrit”,“A Tale of two Cities” (1859 – set in the years of the French Revolution – A tale of unrequited love and the ultimate sacrifice when the Revolution was “eating up” its erstwhile oppressors criticized often for lack of any humour), “Great Expectations” (1860-61 written in a comic manner), “Our Mutual Friend”, the story of Pip (Philip Pirrip) and the unfinished mystery novel “The mystery of Edwin Drood”.(published in 1870, in the year that Charles passed away).

Some of his well known short stories were: “A Message from the Sea”, “Doctor Marigold”, George Silverman’s Explanation”, “Going into Society”, Holiday Romance”, “Hunted Down”, Mrs.Lirriper’s Legacy”, Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings”, Mugby Junction”, “Somebody’s Luggage”, “Some Short Christmas Stories”, Sunday Under Three Heads”, “The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain”, “The Holly Tree Three Branches”, “The Lamplighter”, The Perils of Certain English Prisoners”, The Seven Poor Travellers”, “The Wreck of Golden Mary”, and “Tom Tiddler’s  Ground”.

Some other popular works of Dickens are : “A Child’s History of England”, “A Christmas Carol”, “A House to let”, “ American Notes for General Circulation”, “Master Humphrey’s Clock”, “Miscellaneous Papers”, “Mudfog and Other Sketches”, “No Thoroughfare”, “ Pictures from Italy”, “Reprinted Pieces”, Sketches by Boz”, Sketches of Young Couples”, “Sketches of Young Gentlemen”, “Speeches: Literary and Social by Charles Dickens”, “ The Battle of Life”, “The Chimes”, “ The Cricket on the Hearth”, “ The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices”, “ The Uncommercial Traveller”, “Three Ghost Stories: The Haunted House”, “Three Ghost Stories: The Signal Man”, “ Three Ghost Stories: The Trial For Murder to be read at Dusk”.

Although he is well-known for his novels and short stories, he wrote several essays and edited and re-wrote hundreds of other works submitted to periodicals which he edited. He distinguished himself as an essayist in 1834 under the pseudonym “BOZ”.
“A Visit to Newgate” (1836 reflects his memories of visiting his family in the Marshalea Prison) and his experience during this period, also found a mention in his novel “Little Doritt” (1855-57).  In “A Small Star in the East” (he wrote about the working conditions on mills) and in “Mr. Barlow” (1869 – he drew a profile of an insensitive tutor/teacher).

During the 1840s, he spent much time travelling and campaigning against the social ills of his time. He also wrote pamphlets, plays and letters.

In 1850s he was the Founding Editor of his own Magazine “Household World” and its successor “All the Year Round” (1859-70). 




Links:

British Crown Dependencies:

1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey

2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey

3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain

5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
  
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015

7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend

8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie

9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda

10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence 

11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003 

12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint 

Famous Battles

1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK) 

2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK

3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK

Gold Coins:
  
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark

2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark 

Silver Coins:

1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns 

British India Coinage:

 1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835

2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress

3) Edward VII: King & Emperor  Coinage

4) George V King Emperor Coinage

5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage 

Other British Royalty: 

1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK

2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown

3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK

4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013

5) The British Empire:  A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)

6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark

 British Coinage:

1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)

2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin

3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence

4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone

 Commemorative British Coinage:

 1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era

 2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK

3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)

4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel 

5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK 

6) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom

Inspirations from Scottish History: 

1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes

Banknotes from Scotland:
  
1) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

60) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15th April 1912- 15th April 2012); An Alderney Five Pound Coin commemorating the maritime legend.


60) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15th April 1912- 15th April 2012);
An Alderney Five Pound Coin commemorating the maritime legend.

 
·    The RMS Titanic was one of the three passenger luxury liners commissioned by the White Star Line for providing a weekly service from Southampton, England to New York City, United States.
·  Construction of the Titanic started in 1909 at Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, the Company tasked by White Star Line for building the ships. More than 35,000 workers and engineers were employed to build the various ships being constructed by the shipyard, which was one of the World’s biggest and most modern shipyards of its time.

·  The specifications of the ship were:
Length: 269.06 metres
Tonnage: 46,329 gross
Beam: 28.19 metres
Top Speed: 23 knots
Maximum passenger and crew capacity: 2603 passengers and 944 crew (around one-third of the total capacity)
Lifeboats on board: 16 (each with a capacity of 65) & 4 Collapsible boats ( Thus, the total rescuing capacity of the ship was 1178 passengers  i.e. about one-third the Titanic’s passenger carrying capacity. Strange though this may sound, the ship actually had much more than the legal requirement of lifeboat capacity on board). Also, there were 3560 inflatable lifejackets and 49 lifebuoys.
·  The Titanic, aptly named, was not only the World’s largest Passenger liner of its time, but it was also the most luxurious. It offered to its passengers of an ultimate experience in luxury, although it could move at a slower speed than other liners, it more than made up for it through the luxury and lavishness it offered.
·    The forward grand staircase was very spectacular and built in the style of Louis XIV and was covered by an impressive glass dome and extended for five levels.
    The Fourth Funnel on the ship was a dummy
as the ship needed only three, but the
Designers thought that four funnels looked
more aesthetic on such a large vessel.
·The ship had three huge propellers. The outer
  propellers were the largest, each with three blades of manganese-bronze alloy with a total diameter of 23 ft and weighing 38 tonnes. The central propeller was smaller at 17 ft in diameter and weighing 22 tons. The propellers could be stopped, but not reversed.
   Of the 1296 passengers on board there were 28 different Nationalities, 13 honeymooning couples and 12 pet dogs. The break-up of the 918 crew members, included Captain Edward Smith,  seven watch officers, 23 women, 28 engineers, 289 boilermen and enginemen, 491 service staff and seven carpenters.
 
·         The bulkheads at bow and stern were as high as the D Deck; others were up to the E Deck.
  Featuring ivy and trellis work, the restaurant had French waiters and in good weather the windows could be opened.
·          
·    The ship had its own orchestra which entertained first class passengers. It has been recalled by Titanic survivors, that the heroic members of the orchestra began playing in the first-class lounge following the collision with the iceberg and, after following the passengers onto the boat deck, they remained at their instruments until the end.
 
·     Six of the 35000 workers who had helped build the Titanic, were specially selected to go on the ship as a rare honour because they knew the ins and outs of the ship to act as a support group called the “Guarantee Group”. They along with the owner’s nephew Mr. Andrews, a leading ship designer in his own right, made no attempt to leave the ship and went down with the ship they had so meticulously built.


The sequence of events which led to the tragic fate:

·         2nd April 1912: Titanic left Belfast at 8.00 P.M. and arrived at Southampton the following day.
·        10th April 1912: At 11.45 A.M. after a grand inauguration and with thousands of cheering spectators on the quayside the Titanic set sail for New York stopping at Cherbourg at 6.00 A.M. to pick up passengers.
·  11th April 1912: the Titanic arrives in Queenstown, Ireland at 11.30 A.M. (approx.) where the last passengers get on board. At this point the Titanic had about 2223 passengers and crew on board i.e. much less than its stated capacity of 3550 passengers and crew.
·   14th April 1912:  Interestingly, the Titanic receives warnings throughout the day. The fatal iceberg is seen dead ahead at 11.40 P.M. and despite all efforts to avoid it, strikes the ship on the starboard side. Also, in hind-sight it has been theorised by researchers that if the officer on the watch had given the instructions to change course slightly to avoid the iceberg about half a minute before he did, one of the greatest shipping disasters of all time could have been avoided and the Titanic may have sailed harmlessly past the giant iceberg. However, we will never know what was going on in the mind of the officer on the watch, who also had a chain of command on the ship as well as accountability for a wrong decision to think about, before the instructions to change course were given. 

·         The ship did not sail into the iceberg head-on but suffered a glancing blow in a manoeuvre trying to avoid it. The iceberg did not open her plates like a can opener, but tore them apart at the riveted joints. The Titanic was designed to survive a head-on collision that would flood the first four of her water tight compartments or a collision from another ship that would ram her in the middle and flood a maximum of two compartments, however, the long rip in the hull was not foreseen and the ship began to sink.

·         At 12.45 A.M. the radio Operator Jack Phillips transmitted the distress signal “CQD” and at 12.25 A.M. Captain Smith ordered evacuation of the ship with “women and children” being put on the life-boats first. It appears that although , altogether, all the lifeboats (16+4 collapsible, in number)had an aggregate capacity of 1178 persons on board the Titanic only about 700 lives could be saved due to the “women and children” protocol being enforced by the ship’s officers and most of the lifeboats went almost half-empty. The survivors on the lifeboats also saved only a few passengers from the icy-cold waters for fear of the boats being over-filled or capsizing. These two reasons were the prime factors,  that,  at least 500 more lives could not be saved. As such, for about 1500 passengers on board there was no escape.

·         The Titanic sank at 2.20 A.M. (a little less than 3 hours after it struck the iceberg) taking with it almost 1500 lives to the horror of the survivors. The Carpathia arrived at the scene of the disaster at 4.10 A.M. (almost two hours after the Titanic went down to its watery resting place) to pick up some 710 survivors.
  .     Fatigue tests on recovered hull indicate that the steel contained high levels of sulphur making it brittle at low temperatures and liable to fracture rather than deform. Steel quality, nevertheless met the industry standards of the time when the concept of brittle fracture was unknown.

·         Though the wreck itself has never been recovered, nearly 6000 artefacts have been lifted from it and are on exhibition or in private collections today.

·         The first successful attempt to locate the Titanic was made in September 1985 by a joint American-French team, led by Dr.Robert Ballard, using side-scan sonar from research vessels Knorr and Le Suroit. The wreck was found at a depth of 2.5 miles , about 370 miles from Mistaken Point, Newfoundland.
 
.        Dr.Ballard revisited the site in 1987 and took more than 57000 photographs on the details of the wreck which was declared an International Memorial by the U.S. Congress in the same year.
·         In 1998, the first tourists started visiting the site. For about $70,000 tourists can visit the wreck in submarines/submersibles, which land on the Titanic’s wreck, causing it to deteriorate faster and reducing it from a Memorial to a “deteriorating Junkyard”.  


·         The ownership of the artefacts recovered has been the subject matter of several court cases and disputes.

·         Two films have been made on the Titanic tragedy. In 1958 “A Night to Remember” and in 1997 “Titanic” by James Cameron which won 14 Oscar nominations and 11 Awards. Cameron has now come out with a "Titanic-3D" version of the film to commemorate the Centenary of the maritime legend.
·         The Titanic was one of the three Olympic-class ocean liners – the others being the “RMS Olympic” and the “HMHS Britannic” (originally called the “Gigantic”). These 3 ships were the biggest of the White Star Line’s fleet of 29 steamers and ships. The Olympic was requisitioned by the British Government for war services as a troopship in September 1915. She was nicknamed “Old Reliable” and had to her credit striking and sinking of a German submarine U-103.  She had a narrow escape when in May 1934; she collided with the Nantucket lightship with the loss of 7 lives. Rendered unstable, she was broken at a ship building yard in 1937. The “HMHS Britannic” (Her Majesty's Hospital Ship) on the other hand was requistioned as a hospital ship in 1915 by the British Government. She struck a mine or a torpedo and sank in the Kea Channel, Aegean Sea in November 1916 in an eerie similarity to her sister ship,Titanic, four years earlier.

·         Taking advantage of the centenary year some persons who were in possession of Titanic artefacts, tried to set up an auction in the USA hoping to sell them for a fortune despite vehement protests. On the other hand, a couple of days earlier, I came across a news-item that the descendants of a surgeon John Edward who died on the Titanic, have been happy to find out that a letter that he had penned before the ship sank and which is in the possession of an anonymous collector-buyer will be returned to them for public display at Belfast. Indeed this is the least that the collector could do for Edward and his descendants.


Commemorative coin:

Alderney is the northern-most and third largest of the Channel Islands and is a part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which is a British Crown dependency. The origin of its name “Alderney or Aurigny” is obscure and is possibly Germanic or Celtic. Alternatively, it may derive from the Norse “alda” (swelling wave, roller), “renna” (strong current, race) and “oy” or “ey” (island).

The island of Alderney has its own currency which is at par with that of the United Kingdom’s Pound Sterling. Interestingly, although it is authorised by legislation, Alderney does not issue its own Bank notes and issues coins only. Alderney coins are widely available to collectors only and not used in general circulation, and for normal circulation within the island, Guernsey and UK Notes and coins are mostly used and occasionally, Jersey, Scottish and Northern Irish currency circulates within the island. Also, Alderney occasionally issues commemorative coins in the 1,2 and 5 Pound denominations in cupro-nickel, silver or gold again only for Collectors.

 During research, it was discovered that the Titanic had sailed past Alderney as she travelled from Cherbough to Queenstown on what was to be her first and last voyage.
The Alderney Island has issued a five-pound commemorative coin to mark the centenary of the ill-fated Titanic, which has been brought out in an elegant album.

 
The face of the commemorative coin album shows the Titanic on its maiden doomed voyage together with the image of the ship on the reverse of the commemorative coin.



The obverse of the coin issued by the Royal Mint on behalf of Alderney, shows the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley (his initials appear below the Queen’s portrait “IRB”) which has been the approved design since 1998. On the periphery of this face of the coin are the words “ALDERNEY FIVE POUNDS” and “ELIZABETH II”, as well as the year of issue “2012”. (Notice that the letters “D.G.Reg” (By the grace of God Queen) and “F.D.”(Defender of the Faith) do not appear on this face, like in the Australian coin in the preceding post, and unlike in the coinage issued in the United Kingdom.


The reverse of the coin shown above shows the ship’s profile moving ahead to its doom with its boilers emitting steam. The “Thane Titanic Memorial” (situated in Ireland) is in the background of the ship. Above the ship are the words “1912 RMS – TITANIC – 2012”.
The Royal Mint engraver Lee Robert Jones has placed the memorial figure as looking down at the ship’s profile, as it sails through the Atlantic Ocean.

“Thane” the “Titanic memorial” was designed by Sir Thomas Brock in memory of the victims of the Titanic disaster and has been erected in Belfast, where the ship was built in the Harland and Wolff’s shipyard. The memorial is called “Thane” which is another name for the goddess “Fortuna” and shows her receiving the body of a seaman from two mermaids.


The memorial to the Titanic in Belfast, Ireland, as designed by Sir Thomas Brock.



An image of the Titanic as it has been resting at the bottom of the Ocean for the past century. 

The Canadian Mint and  the Perth Mint (Australia) too have brought out Commemorative coins on the Titanic Centenary.
Below is an image of the silver coin brought out by the Perth Mint, Australia.




An image of the coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint to commemorate the centenary of the Titanic.


Guernsey Post has issued a set of six stamps on behalf of Alderney, revealing a little known connection between the island and the famous ship. The six stamps together make up a time-line of events surrounding the voyage of the Titanic.
The stamps show the ship embarking on its maiden voyage (36p), at full sail past Braye harbour in Alderney (47p), the ship’s grand staircase (48p), the orchestra playing as the ship sank (52p), the captain (61p) and the life-boats (65p).



Links:

British Crown Dependencies:

1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey

2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey

3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain

5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
  
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015

7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend

8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie

9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda

10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence 

11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003 

12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint 

Famous Battles

1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK) 

2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK

3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK

Gold Coins:
  
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark

2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark 

Silver Coins:

1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns 

British India Coinage:

 1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835

2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress

3) Edward VII: King & Emperor  Coinage

4) George V King Emperor Coinage

5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage 

Other British Royalty: 

1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK

2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown

3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK

4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013

5) The British Empire:  A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)

6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark

 British Coinage:

1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)

2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin

3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence

4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone

 Commemorative British Coinage:

 1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era

 2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK

3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)

4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel 

5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK 

6) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom

Inspirations from Scottish History: 

1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes

Banknotes from Scotland:
  
1) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote