Sunday, April 29, 2012

She came without a farthing...

I attended a local numismatics club meeting here in Calgary the other night. They were having a guest speaker give a presentation on Masonic coins and related numismatic collectibles so being a fan of the craft, I was very interested in hearing his talk.

After going through his collection of Masonic drink tokens and lodge medals, he showed a British coin whose reverse face had been punched with a Masonic compass and square symbol. The specific coin he showed was a farthing.

A farthing?

Here in Canada, this is not a well-known term. As a matter of fact, the only time I’ve ever heard the word was in All Dead, All Dead which probably explains why I was hearing the song in my head as the presentation wound down for the evening.

And then I got thinking about Brian’s series of sixpence coins he’s had minted over the years. From what I can find online, he first had them produced for this Back To The Light tour in 1993, another series was produced for the We Will Rock You show at Paris Las Vegas in 2005, and another series for the Queen-Paul Rodgers tour in 2008. Damn, I’ve been to all three of these events and haven’t been able to find a single coin.

I wonder if Brian ever considered producing a Queen farthing coin. It wouldn’t have the same connection to his preference for sixpence coins as plectrums, but it would have been a unique collectible from the News of the World era.  

I see that the Canadian penny will be suffering a similar fate that befell the lowly British farthing back in 1960. Canada will be removing the penny from circulation in the fall of 2012 due to the rising cost of production and peoples’ tendency to hoard them instead of using them as currency.


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