Elizabethan Coins Custodianship


When Dr Bron Lipkin was 11 years old, and a budding numismatist, an elderly gentleman, a friend of his grandfather, gave him the two coins which are the subject of this page, and asked him to pass them on when he was older. I contacted Bron, who is now 75, a few days ago whilst browsing his Collector Antiquities (click site name for link for much better photos!), for not only did these coins take me back in historical time, but in personal time, too. When I was 14, my English teacher assigned a particular reseach topic: William Shakespeare and Elizabethan England. It was also at precisely that time that a boy in my class found an Elizabethan coin in our local park. It was beautiful; very delicate, silver, and with the faintest profile of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). I remember begging him for days to sell it to me for whatever he asked. In response, he taunted me with the coin and, finally, flung it round the chemistry lab, laughing, as I watched in utter despair. I never saw it again.

I asked Bron if he might consider my 14 year old self as the next guardian. Against all hope, he and his 11 year old self were delighted to designate my 14 and 54 year-old selves as joint, third custodians of these two treasures for the next 20 odd years. In turn, I will pass them on to the next person whose soul calls to them. As Bron said to me, doing this will enable that elderly gentleman, he and I, in some sense, to live on longer than our earth-bound years. This sequential custodianship will also ensure the survival of those pieces of English history. And I know that Fate will reveal their next guardian when, as Hamlet would have it, the time is ripe.


Coin 1: Sixpence

Third coinage of 1564

Initial mint mark: Pheon (1561-65)

Regular flan: 25mm



Coin 2: Threehalfpence

Third coinage of 1568

Initial mint mark: Coronet (1567-70)

Regular flan: 11mm