Minutes of the March meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the British Numismatic Society, held online via Zoom on Tuesday, 23 March 2021, Dr Clancy, President, being in the chair and 64 other people present.

NOMINATIONS: Daniel James Wallace (Stirlingshire) was nominated for Ordinary Membership. Alexander Green (Hampshire) was nominated for Student Membership.

ELECTIONS: Ho Cheung Chan (Berkshire) and Dr David John Naylor (Gloucestershire) were elected to Ordinary Membership.

DEATH: Dr Colin Stewart Sinclair Lyon (Gwynedd, 1945), the Society's longest-serving member, a former Secretary and Treasurer, the Society's President from 1966 to 1970, and a Vice President since 1976, died on 18 March 2021 at the age of 94.

The President said that senior members of the Society would combine to give a formal tribute to the memory of Dr Lyon when meetings could resume in person.

Sir Mark Jones then read a paper entitled 'More widely known by his works than any other living artist':William Wyon RA (1795-1851).

The President then announced the date of the next meeting and closed the meeting.

Our next meeting

Our fourth meeting of 2021 takes place next Tuesday, 27 April, the time 6pm London BST. The speaker is Dr David Swan and his paper is entitled Crisis in the Eastern Channel: the transformation in Iron Age/Celtic coinage wrought by Cæsar.

Capacity is limited, so members are asked to register in advance. To join the meeting, please go to https://www.britnumsoc.org/meetings/lecture-programme/2-uncategorised/214-2021-bns-rns-summer-conference

Those who register will be sent log-in details via email. If you are using the desktop version of Zoom, please ensure that you are using the most up-to-date version before joining the webinar. The meeting itself will commence with formal business at 6pm and Dr Swan's lecture will begin immediately after that.

The influence of the Romans on coin-producing tribes in Britain was profound, with the adoption of Latin legends on coins among many other changes. Whether Iron Age coins are a passion or simply an interest, this is a webinar not to be missed.


Our lecture on 27 April

The changes in British coinage after the conquest of Gaul have primarily been seen as an independent development, or one inspired by political relationships between British elites and officials in Rome. Through the use of coin hoards and iconographic evidence, this paper demonstrates that a cross-Channel connection between coinage had existed since the beginning of coinage in Britain. This connection continued even after the Gauls were conquered and the cross-Channel relationship remained despite changes in political circumstances. This had implications for other forms of material culture, which became tied to changes in the coinage.

Dr David Swan has completed his PhD on cross-Channel developments in Iron Age coinage at the University of Warwick. He has published a paper comparing the use of the image of the carnyx on both the Iron Age and Roman coinage and he has worked as an intern at the British Museum and a volunteer at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.


More Iron Age news

At the end of 2019 the Society awarded a grant of £2,000 from the John Casey Fund to Dr Courtney Nimura (above), at the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford, towards the further development of the Celtic Coin Index (CCI), the premier collection of records on late Iron Age coins from Britain. The CCI was founded in 1961 by the late Derek Allen and Sheppard Frere, and the very valuable card index holds nearly 70,000 records of around 50,000 specimens. Since 2004, it has also been linked with the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the British Museum.

Digitisation of the CCI is well advanced and further news about it can be found on the new Iron Age Coins in Britain typology website: https://iacb.arch.ox.ac.uk/ 

Work has started on the new CCI website, scheduled for launch in January 2022, with a concurrent exhibition to be curated by Dr Nimura at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.


Summer Meeting, 10 July, Oxford – full details announced, early booking advised

Fifty years after the United Kingdom implemented the move to decimalisation, the Society, combined with the Royal NS, are holding an all-day joint meeting which will focus on the reform and renewal of currency systems at different times and in different places. 

The conference, titled Currency Systems: Reforms, Renewals and Failures will take place on Saturday 10 July 2021, starting at 9.30am and closing around 4.45pm, in the Headley Lecture Theatre at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. 

The day will comprise a series of papers by leading scholars working on monetary history that will explore why changes were undertaken, what worked and what did not. It will look at the experience of currency reforms and renewal in the ancient world, Europe and Britain c. 500 - c. 1650 and in the modern world after 1770. In so doing the conference will seek to identify some common factors behind the success or failure of coinage system reform and renewal.

As a consequence of the restrictions arising from the pandemic, the event offers the option of attending in person or online, via Zoom. In-person attendance will provide a welcome chance to meet up again after the lockdown, but places will be limited depending on the prevailing restrictions at any one time. It is expected that an easing of restrictions by July may allow more places to become available for in-person attendance, and any such increase will be advised if available. Online participation opens this event up to anyone interested in the subject, wherever they may be.

The day will be structured around four sessions:

The Ancient World – Interpretation and Implementation 

Prof. Kevin Butcher (University of Warwick), Interpreting the coinage reforms of Nero.
Dr Dario Caolmino (University of Warwick), Reforming currencies in the Roman imperial provinces: strategies and failures. 

Europe c. 500 - c. 1650 – Replacement and Revolution

Dr Marcus Phillips, The coinage reform of ‘abd al-Malik – why was it so successful?
Dr William Day (MEC Project, Fitzwilliam Museum), The 13th-century gold revolution and the advent of the late-medieval gold standard in Europe. 

Britain c. 500 - c. 1650 – Reform and Renewal

Dr Rory Naismith (University of Cambridge), Late Anglo-Saxon England - reform and renovatio.
Dr Murray Andrews, Reform and recovery: the Tudor great debasement.

The Modern World – Transformation and Change

Dr Andrew Edwards (University of Oxford), The transformation of the American monetary system in the last years of the American revolution.
Dr Andrew Cook, UK decimalisation: Commonwealth and European influences. 

Booking is required for all wishing to attend. Current restrictions mean that at the time of circulating this issue of E-NEWS, in-person attendance has to be limited to 20 people. If selecting to attend in person, bookings will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. We are expecting that this ceiling on physical numbers will be raised before the event, which will enable additional in-person attendance places to be available. If you wish to attend in person and find that no more places are available then you should book to attend online. If more in-person places become available we will contact all those who have booked online to offer the option to upgrade. 


In person attendance: £30 per person 

Online attendance: £10 per person

Students in full time education: FREE (online attendance only permitted)


To book your place please visit the Eventbrite facility: 

Warburg Institute library re-opening

With the easing of government guidelines in England, the Warburg Institute in London, which houses the joint library of the Society and the Royal NS, has re-opened to visitors.

In line with the Institute's Covid-19 policies and procedures, the library will be open on Tuesdays between 11am and 3.30pm. Apart from the duty librarian, only one visitor can attend on each Tuesday. Visitors must request an appointment to visit at least one week in advance by emailing the librarian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please wait until your request has been confirmed by the Librarian before making any travel arrangements or venturing to the Institute. Visitors may be asked to register for 'track and trace' before they can enter the building; masks are obligatory and must be worn at all times. The library will be cleaned on Tuesday mornings prior to opening. The Institute stress that no-one without an appointment will be allowed into the building.

It is indeed momentous that the library is able to reopen, allowing members to again access this important resource. It is to be hoped that we will be able to return to normal access and hours before too long and when procedures permit. More news on this will follow in due course.

More Blog contributions sought – and published

The Blog continues to gather and publish a broad spectrum of articles and welcomes further submissions. Although some articles appear quite formal it must be emphasised that formal articles to academic standards are not a requirement for publication. It is intended that informal articles also be included, and this facility provides a mechanism whereby the voice of the everyday collector may be heard, as well as that of established numismatists. As the content of articles are not subject to editorial review prior to publication online, readers may provide editorial comment or questions by means of the blog comment facility. Many articles are published that receive no comments, yet often they are downloaded and read many times so clearly are of interest; we would hence encourage readers to feel free to make comments or pose questions. Prospective authors that have questions about the blog publishing process are encouraged to contact our Website Officer, Robert Page, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since the last issue of E-NEWS no less than eleven new posts have been added to the Blog, including three contributions from David Rampling on the single cross sterlings of Alexander III, one of which attempts to simplify the current classification methods employed by cataloguers. Oisín Mac Conamhna, Robert Page and Alan Smith combine to publish a possible new type of Richard III penny from Waterford, and Hugh Pagan provides a valuable reference to the mints and moneyers striking in both phases of the Expanding Cross type of Edward the Confessor. Why not check out these and other contributions: 

Dates for your diary

April 21.  Dauer Collection, Banknotes (London). 

April 27.  Society meeting (Online).

May 4.  Birchall Collection (London).  

May 25.  Society meeting (Online).

June 22.  Society meeting (Online).

July 10.  BNS/RNS Summer meeting (Oxford).  See above for full details.

July 10.  Historical Medallion Congress (Warwick).  TO BE CONFIRMED.

September 10-12.  British Association of Numismatic Societies Autumn Weekend (Stratford-upon-Avon).  STATUS UNCERTAIN.  

September 24-25.  COINEX (London). TO BE CONFIRMED.  

September 24-25.  Orders & Medals Research Society Convention (London). TO BE CONFIRMED.  

October 1-2.  50th World Paper Money Fair (London). TO BE CONFIRMED.  

October 1 to 3.  Annual Token Congress (Northampton).  

December 1 to 4.  FIDEM Congress (Tokyo).

September 11 to 16.  International Numismatic Congress (Warsaw).   CONFIRMED