Archive for the ‘Coin Information’ Category

A Tale of Greek Mythology

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

Plutus: The God of Wealth

The Greek God’s have managed to survive in our memory, language and box office films over the thousands of years of since their stories began. Most of you will have heard of the majority of them in the form of our most loved superheroes (and supervillans), such as, Zeus – God of the Sky, Poseidon – God of the Sea and Hades – God of the Underworld, to name but a few. However, have you ever heard of Plutus? Well, he is our God here at Cash4Coins. The God of Money! Or more precisely, ‘Wealth’.


Zues Posideon Hades


The Story of Plutus

The story tells us that Plutus was born to the son of Demeter, the Goddess of Agriculture and Liason, the son of Zeus. The tale goes, Plutus, the ‘grandson’ of Zeus was blinded by him so his deeds as the God of Wealth were unbiased. Along with being blinded, Plutus also couldn’t walk and so he arrived to his destinations by flight with the wings he possessed.


Plutus and Liason



Plutus, who is usually depicted as male through the arts, was often sculpted as an infant or young boy holding on to the ‘Cornucopia’. The Cornucopia is a container shaped like the goats horn, usually flowing with an abundance of grains, fruits and flowers to represent being plentiful. One of the most well-known statues of Plutus is of sculpted as an infant in the arms of Eirene, the Goddess of Peace. It is thought that the reason behind the sculpture is because with ‘peace’ brings prosperity and, ultimately, wealth.


Baby Plutus


‘Plutus’ in the English Language



The excessive desire for wealth


The worship of wealth


One who rules by the virtue of wealth


The study of wealth management


Mistaken Identities and Theories

Plutus is often mistaken for ‘Pluto’ who is the God of the Underworld. However, a more accurate name for this God is Hades. Although, Hades has become a common name for the underworld itself. Plutus actually has no relation to Pluto, aside from the fact his is the son of Zeus’s son, Liason and Zeus is Pluto’s brother alongside Poseidon.


So, whether you’re a ‘Plutomaniac’ or not, we would love to hear from you about your money exchanging needs. From foreign currency exchange to helpful advice on fundraising, we are here to help. Get in touch today to speak to our friendly team of experts.


A Brief History of Swiss Banking

Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by c4c-admin-account No Comments


Swiss banking over 300 years

Zurich and Geneva are the main hubs of Swiss economy, with Zurich being responsible for around a third of the wealth and a quarter of jobs within the city. Although Switzerland has its lack of natural resources, it makes the most of what its got and has become stable and prosperous by producing goods with strong value. For example, Rolex, Proctor & Gamble and – who could possibly forget? – Swiss chocolate.


Aside from the chocolate, the beautiful mountainous views and popular ski resorts, Switzerland has a lot to offer. For those who want to keep their banking activities top secret, Switzerland is known as a financial safe haven. Regulation by civil law means that customers of the bank can put forwards complaints against any bank that doesn’t maintain client confidentiality. This has resulted in clients being protected because they cannot be prosecuted for information that has been divulged.

It all began over 300 years ago when Kings of France had the need for such a high degree of secrecy in their banking and borrowing of loans. It was carried forward through the years and became a safe place for people to reside their money after fleeing the revolution.

The Swiss Franc (CHF) has also always been the go-to currency in a crisis.

However, the modern day notoriety of some of the supposed ‘clients’ could include a strong list of mobsters, dictators and tax cheaters. This is due to the Banking Act of 1934 which allowed Switzerland to ultimately overcome the great depression and stock market crash of 1929 by allowing the clientele of the banks to keep their banking activity private. But this has also meant a lot of corruption over the years. Including the riddance of money and gold that was transferred from Jewish families over to Swiss banks from Germany, allegedly helping to finance their part in the war.

Top Secret Banking

However, it is not all bad. After World War Two, the USA, UK and France came to the agreement, called The Paris Agreement of 1946, that countries that remained neutral over the war would transfer over the money recovered from German allies to help aid Nazi victims. When discussing the issue, Switzerland transferred over approximately 250 million Swiss Francs of gold into the Tripartite Gold Commission’s monetary gold pool. This meant that the UK, French governments and US would waive claims against the Swiss banks connection to German gold over the war. In the years since, heirless money that has been left in Swiss bank accounts during that period of time has gone to Jewish and refugee communities to help rebuild the lives of families who were victims of the war.

Due to such high involvement in fraudulent scandals, Swiss banks have come under fire and held a national referendum in 2008 to amend the constitution that allows the information and records within banks to be open to tax authorities. However, a staggering 73% of the country voted against this idea, but it was not swiftly forgotten. In 2009, shortly after the UBS scandal, where a Swiss national helped US citizens avoid tax and defraud the US Inland Revenue Services, the law was amended so that non-Swiss clients of Swiss banks could be prosecuted for activity of this kind and limit tax evasion as much as possible.


Switzerland’s financial history is brief but remarkable. Withstanding wealthy King’s orders, world wars and great scandals, the Swiss have definitely got a lot to talk about (or keep to themselves, of course) in regards to their financial economy. If you have any queries in regards to your riches, please don’t keep it to yourself… Give our team a call today!


Posted on: December 6th, 2016 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

The Debate

The way we pay for things has altered many times over the years depending on which culture or society it has derived from and where it is going. Currency has developed from many forms, such as leather, silver and gold. Even living animals, such as cows and sheep have been used for trade! The one thing that all of these types of currency have in common is its physical form. However, it has become apparent in the last few years that we are drastically changing our means of exchange by swapping our shrapnel for the instant contactless tap of our credit cards (and even the tap of our phones with Android and Apple Pay!) This goes hand in hand with the drastic progression of technology how it is has transformed the way we live today. We debate the pros and cons of these developments and what it means for you.


Summary of Development

Over the years, we have become more accustomed to the usage of money as a value on our credit cards rather than the physical cash that we have. This is not new though, as banks have been around for hundreds of years. This is where we can walk into any bank and get a statement of how much money we have stored in the account that we hold in that bank as long as we hold a legitimate form of ID. However, as technology has developed, the same principle still occurs, except we can now use cards, online banking and even our phones and watches in order to check the balance of our accounts. It has gone even further over the last decade, with people given the ability to do more than check the balance of their accounts. It has allowed us to control what goes in or out of our accounts by using a simple password and security questions to access our information.


Big Brother

There are many pros and cons that go hand in hand with making something as personal as our money, and how we spend it, electronic. For some people, their daily life requires the ease and speed that things like contactless payment and online banking offer. Although for some people, it can be a rather large hindrance. With the use of electronic payment, comes the record of how it is used. For many people this can be seen as a “Big Brother” economy, whereby the user is constantly being monitored on their spending pattern and cash can become suspicious. This constant monitoring can reduce crimes such as tax avoidance; however, it does pose the risk of fraudulent activity, theft and subsequently leaving many people vulnerable to their online activity being passed on to third parties. Not only is fraud an issue, but many people have a surge of marketing emails for products they don’t even want due to the way online stores share their personal information. We suggest that taking a little bit of extra time to read the fine print and un-tick any boxes that subject you to this kind of activity is one way to help you become a more savvy online shopper at a lower risk.


Risks and Personal Security

This poses the question of our safety and security. With cash in hand, at a store or a market, you know exactly what you are getting. Online, rather than simply exchanging money there are several steps involved that require us to enter all of our details such as, our home address, telephone numbers and sometimes even a family members name and address for extra “security”. Not only does this put us at risk of having our money stolen, it puts us at risk of having all of our personal information in the digital world where people can access it at ease. On the other hand, someone might argue that fraudulent activity has been an issue since the use of physical money with counterfeit coins and notes constantly in circulation.


Contactless Pay

This simple tapping method for goods under £30 has become a popular way of payment and it seems to have been received well with 81.5 million contactless cards used in the UK (as of January 2016). Apple and Android work on a similar basis of having our account details stored on our phone and tapping it against a card reader as a form of payment. There are many pros and cons to this form of payment alone, many people are in favour of its ease and speed, whilst some people simply do not trust that their cards won’t be in more danger of fraud, and other people cannot trust themselves not to overspend with such ease!


Financial Stability

Did you know that contactless payment is merely a promise? When a company allows us to use a credit card or contactless payment within their business, it is effectively the same as them giving us a loan and we are promising to repay it. The ability for us to access money that isn’t ours, and promise that we will pay it back is not a recent development, however it is now easier than ever for us to spend money that we may not have. When we can see physical cash, we are more mindful of how we spend it. This is because our minds can process, visually, when it is all gone then we cannot spend any more, whereas when it is a value on a screen that allows us to overdraw or borrow more money, we can easily forget the risks that come with it, for example, high interest charges. So when you are next at your local, remember to take the shrapnel beside your bed before you allow yourself to splurge on your card!


The Future

With the vast developments in technology more and more people signed onto online banking, “E-Money” seems as though it is here to stay. Whilst some people may be skeptical of its safety and security, these technological developments are not without great amounts of research and action in order to protect and prevent any complications of its use. Although it is simple, quick and easy, we believe that there is still a place for cash and the physical monetary form. So if you’re a little bit old fashioned, like us, and have any queries about any currency or money you may have then please contact one of our experts today.

A Brief History of the London Bullion Market

Posted on: May 31st, 2016 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

Many of us only dream to have access of such vast amounts of wealth, however, for those of us in the UK the trade of gold and silver tends to only be for those of who are members of the London Bullion Market Association.  The LBMA is an association that is loosely overseen by the Bank of England and only deals with bullion dealers or refiners and international banks and manages the ‘over the counter’ trade between bullion dealers.

How it all began

You can trace the London bullion market back to 1600’s with the partnership of Moses Mocatta and The East India Company. Moses Mocatta was the founder of ‘Mocatta and Goldsmid’ in 1961, which is one of the oldest bullion brokerage firms in the world today. During the 17th Century, whilst Isaac Newton was leading the Royal Mint, the gold in England became much more freely circulated than silver, which led to England producing many gold based coins whilst the rest of Europe were still dealing in silver until the late 19th Century.

The Gold Rush

In the 17th Century, The East India Company brought gold from Brazil to London and housed it in a London vault, which was set up by the Bank of England. This subsequently became a housing facility, which was used to serve the rest of Europe. The Bank of England’s involvement with setting up the purpose built vault became a key player in the distribution and management of the gold, especially after the influx of events such as the famous gold rush in California, Australia and Africa. At this time, approximately 60% of the world’s trade of gold passed through London.


In 1749, the Royal Mint John Lucas, who was an assayer, to oversee the quality of the gold coming into the London vault, which ultimately led to having a ‘Good Delivery’ list. This list of specific gold refineries ensured that the gold coming into London was that of a high standard from a trusted source. Samuel Plumb and Browne were the first gold refineries to be added to this list in 1754. By 1850, there were fiver refineries on the list that dealt with the trade and quality of gold coming in and out of London. These companies consisted of Mocatta and Goldsmid, N M Rothschild & Sons, Sharps Wilkins, Samuel Montagu & Co and Pixley & Abell.

The London Gold Market

The Good Delivery List that consists of these refineries has remained unchanged over the years, however the set up became slightly more different in the 20th Century. These refineries would eventually oversea the entire gold market coming into London, whilst also making sure that the companies responsible for maintenance and the assayers were appropriate and of a high standard.

The Gold Market Fixing Company

The Gold Fixing Market refers to the arrangement made between the Bank of England and N M Rothschild and Sons in the early 20th Century where it would be agreed upon for the formation of the free gold market where there would be an official set price on any one day. The original five refineries on the Good Delivery List would perform the first fix in 1919 and form the Gold Market Fixing Company between the five of them.

Inflow to the US

The Wall Street crash in 1929 saw the expansion of the Good Delivery List when large amounts of gold and silver were being melted down which all had to be sorted into ‘Good Delivery’ status. However, with a new fixed price set in America in 1934, the inflow increased. This prompted the even bigger expansion of the Good Delivery List, which eventually extended to 20 refineries and mints in 8 different countries.

London Bullion Market Association

Due to the vast increases and decreases of the fixed gold price and the constant maintenance of the Good Delivery List and other resulting lists, the Bank of England felt that this scale of business would need to be looked after by an independent body. In 1987 the London Bullion Market Association was formed, and their job is to, amongst many things, oversea the whole process of gold and silver trade and maintain the good delivery list and deal with traders. The Bank of England still remains loosely involved with the LBMA as the facilitator. To be considered for Good Delivery Status, it is now required by LBMA to assure Responsible Gold Guidance.

You may not be able to get your hands on those much desired gold and silver bars, but if you have any gold or silver coins (or notes for that matter!) that you need exchanging, or simply need a quote, then we would love to help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team for advice.

A Brief History of The Gold Rush

Posted on: May 3rd, 2016 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

There’s Gold in them there Hills….

Picture yourself in 1830’s America living on the west coast. It is a peaceful time and way of life for Native Americans and Mexicans; until, that is, small nuggets of gold were found in Sacramento Valley in 1848. It would be these small nuggets of gold, which would completely transform the environment and demography in western American, forever. When the news spread about this discovery of vast amounts of gold waiting to be brought to the surface had emerged, many people travelled from all over the world to mine this treasure and become rich off the back of it.

Where did it all begin?

It all started with a lonely carpenter, James Wilson Marshall, originally from New Jersey. Marshall found fleck of gold when at Sutter’s Mill, where he was working at the time. Shortly after his discovery, the treaty that ended the Mexican-American war was signed and over with, leaving California to America, however, it still had a large population of Native Americans, and people of Spanish and Mexican descent. That is, until news of his discovery spread. By the end of 1849, the population on ‘non-Native Americans’ had risen from a mere 20,000 people to 100,000 and by the end of the 1860’s; the overall population had risen from 157,000 (a combination of Native Americans, Mexicans and Spaniards) to almost 400,000.

The Transformation

Not only was it foreign people overseas, even lot’s of men from around America uprooted their family or saved up money in order to settle in California in pursuit of the gold mining dream and the wealth that came with it. This completely transformed California from its rural and peaceful surroundings to accommodate the needs of the masses of people. This included towns springing up all over the place equipped with saloons, shops and brothels, which ultimately created communities and micro-cultures forming around those who were involved with the gold mining. The new job prospects and wealth for many people from across the world may sound very appealing, however, due to the nature of this heavily labored work, there were many poorer native folk who were subjected to slavery and being taken advantage of in order to create wealth for the settlers.

Pro’s and Con’s

There are many benefits and disadvantages that have plagued this state since the ‘Gold Rush’; due to the population increasing drastically within the space of a couple years, the bustling economy helped the state to become a very wealthy place. However, it came at the cost of many Native and ‘Californios’ (Americans of Spanish and Mexican descent) losing their homes and their freedom, along with the demolition of the countryside in the process. In just over two years, almost the entire surface gold had been already mined and there were many people still arriving to this state in pursuit of gold mining but had no luck. Due to this downfall of gold mining, many people turned to hydraulic mining, which helped to grow the industrialization of California vastly, although it came at a cost of extremely hard labour and completely destroying the landscape of a once very beautiful peace of land.

A brutal battleground

The effect that the Gold Rush had on the United States was substantial as there was no law regarding the ownership of this gold being mined until a state constitution was signed claiming the land was owned by America.  The greedy nature of humans and money had led to a crime increase and racial attacks that would seek to drive out the ‘foreigners’. The violence was returned on the internal migrants with roughly 1 in 12 perishing, which had resulted vigilantism. The need for the settlers to turn this into a ‘new state’ with a high influx of Europeans and Americans arriving caused the first governor of California, Peter Burnett, to declare that this was a battle between the native and new colonisation of people, and would result in the Native-Americans being ultimately enslaved, removed or killed in order to benefit the new settlement.

It didn’t stop there

Gold mining reached it’s peak of wealth in 1852 where around $80 million dollars worth of gold was pulled from the earth, but due to the decline it leveled off to just over $40 million per year by 1857. Although, the downfall of the industry didn’t have too much of a negative impact on the people who still wanted to settle for the appealing way of life in California. It was a bustling new state, filled with the idea of wealth, hopes and dreams, which is how it is often perceived as today, however, with its bleak and greedy past is often forgotten about.

If you have found yourself with your own golden nuggets or gold coins that you want to exchange then we can help Contact us today at Cash4Coins for any enquiries that you may have.

A Brief History of Chinese Currency

Posted on: March 2nd, 2016 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

As you can imagine, China’s history is steeped with colourful traditions, beautiful cuisines and a vast heritage, so it isn’t hard to believe that they’ve had an incredible impact on the rest of the world. Anything from fast paced technological developments, to wonderfully wacky inventions, and to everyday things that we may not even consciously think about, such as money. The Chinese just seem to have a knack for presenting new ideas and inventions that will ultimately be taken on around the world, and their means of currency is no exception to this…

Where it all Began

It is widely believed that China has a long relationship with money and currency, as it has been used within their country for over 3,000 years! So it is no wonder that many of their inventions were to be taken seriously, being such innovators and early bloomers in this field. They began using cowry shells as a form of currency, which eventually led to the invention of the first coins to be made of metal. It didn’t stop there. They continued to come up with several different means and ways of currency and exchange. This included, using bronze objects in the shapes of spades and knives as forms of coins.

They Weren’t Always This Smart

We are led to believe that during the period of time between 210AD and 90BC there was a major disruption to currencies and major inflations due to emperors and people in power being allowed to make their own coins and money.

“Flying Money”

Around 960AD to 1279AD the first glimpse of paper money made an appearance. Before this, it is suggested that the first kind of ‘flat money’ was made from deerskin as a type of leather note. They would then paint around the edges of the note to define the amount. In 1024, the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty took over production of paper money, the first currency to not be back by silver or gold. Compared to heavy shrapnel, this form of currency was much easier to carry around due to its lightweight form, thus the name “flying money”.


With this exciting new form of currency came the eventuality of misuse and over printing. This major inflation caused many issues for the Yuan court until the demise of the Dynasty in 1368. After this, many issues were suspended, however a lot of these notes remained in circulation for many years after.

Follow the Leader

Europe followed a step behind China in regards to their innovations towards currency. Paper money was nowhere to be seen until it was recorded in Marco Polo’s writings during the 13th century onwards. Although, paper notes were not formally adopted by Europe until Sweden introduced their bank notes in 1661.

Today, China has three forms of active currency; Renminbi, Hong Kong dollar and Macanese Pataca. However, Renminbi, is the most commonly used by the citizens of mainland China, whilst the other two are used in Hong Kong and Macau. We cannot deny that China has had an incredibly large impact on the entire world on the way we use money in exchange for goods and services. All countries use some form of paper money thanks to China and their innovative ideas. So, if you happen to find yourself some Chinese Renminbi, remember that your wallet/purse would be a lot heavier today if it weren’t for them! So, if you need any help on how to exchange your notes (and coins!) then contact us our experts today.

Check your Change – How to Avoid Counterfeit Currency

Posted on: February 7th, 2016 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

How to spot those fakes – Handy Hints

It is that dreaded time of year again, February. It is this particular month where party invitations are sparse and business is quiet, trying to recover from the mayhem that is our Christmas Break. However, we at Cash4Coins are always keen on helping you make your money stretch that little bit further, so we have done some research and collated the best tips on how to avoid accepting or receiving counterfeit coins and notes this year.

A survey done by the Royal Mint saw that 2.55% of British Pound Coins were counterfeit and in circulation as of May 2015. This may not sound like a lot, but out of the millions of pounds in circulation in the UK, it is easy to see how you could end up with them in your pocket after your next food shop, meal or night out. The responsibility lies with the individual that accepts a counterfeit note or coin so it is important that you spend that little bit of extra time to check the money you are exchanging or that is being placed into your possession. If you are ever unfortunate enough to come across one, it is handy to know what you’re looking for before you take your partner or date for a romantic meal, come to pay and then find that your handful of notes and coins are in fact, monopoly money.

Awareness is Key

It has been reported that over 700,000 fake bank notes were found in circulation last year. This shockingly large amount shows how easy it is to fall victim to having one in your possession. You should know that it is illegal to possess fake money of any kind and to pass it around, so if you do come across such a note then be sure to pass it on to the police. You can also refuse to accept any notes given to you and alternatively receive your change in coins or with a different note.

Take Note!

If you are ever unsure of a note that you have received then there are a few indicators that suggest whether your money is genuine or not. Try running your finger over the note, where it says ‘Bank of England’, the print should feel raised.

Silver Lining

On every bank note you will find a metallic strip that runs right through it. It is shown as dashes running in a line on the back of the note but then appears as a dark line with no spaces when held up to the light.

Go to the Light!

This is one of the most simple, yet affective, tricks in the book. When holding a 5, 10, 20 or 50 note up to the light, an image of the queen should appear through the, once plain, oval shaped area in the bottom middle of the note.

Spot the Difference

If you come across a coin where the writing, milled edge and inscription may seem off center, unevenly spaced or poorly defined with uneven depth, then bingo! You may have yourself a fake pound coin.


Did you know that the design of the reverse side on pound coins change every year? When coins are produced and put into circulation, the year they were made is marked on them, so if you are unsure, there are is information online or at banks that provide the information of what design goes with each year. If the design of the coin does not match the year that is dated, then you are sure to have found yourself an imposter.

Neat Trick!

If you are reading this as a business owner, there are many instruments and tools that you can purchase that will check if notes that you are dealing with from customers are real or fake. For example, running a UV light over a ten pound note will show the value of the note in bright red and green whilst the background stays the same colour. Although, if you do not have access to one of these, but you want to check a £50 note, try rubbing the top of the note, above the image of the Queen’s head that is in red, onto a white piece of paper. The red colour from the note should rub off onto the paper.

The Aging Process

If you spot a coin or note where the date suggests it has been in circulation for a few years but shows no sign of discolouration then you should be suspicious, as it may have only just been produced.


If the colour of your coin does not match the colour of a genuine pound coin or if the designs on both sides are not aligned with each other then be aware.

The Good News!

Although your counterfeit notes may be worthless, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you have received an old note that has come out of circulation, damaged or contaminated you can take yourself down to the nearest bank and have it exchanged for the real deal! Similarly, if you have any enquiries about your currency, anything from Sterling to Yen, and how to exchange it with us here at Cash4Coins, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.


What the Roman’s did for us…

Posted on: December 16th, 2015 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

A brief history of the Roman Empire’s currency

Money has us all going a little stir crazy at this time of year. Looking for those extra coins under the sofa or behind the cupboards to help Christmas go that little bit further. But, how would you feel if what you were looking for in the bottom of your purse or back pocket wasn’t extra coinage, but 3 cows and a sheep? Well, in many cultures thousands of years ago, cattle and livestock was the appropriate exchange for goods and services. This was how the Romans went about it until the first coins were produced in late 4th century BC in Italy.

Coin from Roman Times


The Romans expanded such a vast empire that the coins and currency was produced only in Italy to ensure wide circulation of Roman coins. However, it was not coins, but rather a system of bronze weights that were used as currency. It was only as the Roman Empire expanded and claimed more artifacts from war that they started to use precious metals as coins to represent currency. It is alleged that the first Roman coins were small bronze coins created in 326 BCE in Neapolis, followed by the first silver coins produced in the 3rd century. The weights of coins were drastically reduced following the financial excess of the Punic war. At this time, gold coins were minted for the first time.


As the Roman Empire grew, so did the amount of silver taken from their enemies and the attainment of silver mines in Macedonia. Silver then replaced bronze as the most frequently used currency. This transcended into warfare when Lucius Cornelius Sulla, commander of the army Mithridates, minted silver and gold coins to pay his army. An action followed by Julius Caesar.


After winning in war in 44 BC, Julius Caesar had his portrait featured on Roman coins. This was the first image of a living persons portrait to be stamped onto gold and silver coins in history. Marcus Junius Brutus, a politician of the late Roman Republic, equally used his portrait on one side of the coin and two daggers on the other side after the killing of Ceasar as a mark of victory. Following suit, the production of coins began to multiply throughout individual cities across the empire that were convertible into Roman currency, now using copper and zinc rather than gold and silver.

Coins with Caesar


The uses of pictures on coins became so popular that placing an image containing an image, chosen by leaders, show an incredible insight into the colourful Roman history. It often depicted anything from current events, images of leaders and royal family history to images that reflect victory, peace or even as simple as a horse and chariot. However, it still remained that the portrait of a leader was pressed on one side.

With such an incredibly rich history reflected through a means of currency makes it all the more spectacular and gains insight into the fascinating world of the Romans.

Unfortunately, we cannot exchange cows, chickens and sheep for you this Christmas but if it’s exchanging your unwanted currency or simply to talk to a member of our friendly team then don’t hesitate to call us on 0161 635 0000 or contact us via our website. Merry Christmas!

Who Gives a Monkey!

Posted on: November 27th, 2015 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

A guide to British Cockney slang for money.

For many years, cockney slang has been rooted in the heart of East London culture as a sub-language in British history, used in everyday life… “I left it up the Apples and Pears” (which translates to “I left it upstairs!”) or even to describe how you are feeling… “I am Hank Marvin!” (or “I am starving!”). This type of rhyming slang is thought to have come about in the East end of London as a code between thieves, incomprehensible to eavesdropping authorities. It is also believed to have been a common secret code between traders and entertainers.

Others believe that it came about with the mixture of cultures coming into London via the East end as a sort of ‘underworld slang’. This is thought to have formed a common language between the Italians, Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Jewish creating a form of hybrid English.

Slang terms for money

However it originated, the type of language used to describe the way we exchange currency between each other is almost like talking about a completely different currency to that of the British pound sterling known to the rest of the country.

Below are some fascinating examples of this monetary rhyming slang and their origins:

Money – ‘Bees and Honey/Bread/Beer Tokens’

There are many phrases used to describe money but the most popular phrases listed above are ‘bread and honey’ which has a simple rhyming quality for the word ‘money’ but the word ‘bread’ is suspected to have originated from biblical times as earning your ‘crust’ alludes to having enough money to pay for your daily meals… I am sure you can guess where the phrase ‘beer tokens’ comes from!

Cockney cartoon

How to speak Cockney

£2,000 – ‘Archer’

Allegedly this is the amount a man called Jeffery Archer used to bribe a call girl with in the late 20th Century.

£1,000 – ‘Bag of Sand’

A rhyming cockney slang for the word ‘Grand’, which it is commonly referred to as.

£500 – ‘Monkey’

It is generally uncertain as to where this slang originated but it has been suggested that it dates back to the 19th century and is associated with the animal on the bank notes from Indian Rupees.

£100 – ‘Ton’

Typically used to describe the measurement of 100 cubic feet of capacity for storage or loading it is also used to describe one hundred pound. Never pluralised but it is sometimes used to describe £50 in the phrase ‘Half a Ton’.

£50 – ‘Half a Ton/Bull’s-eye’

Bull’s-eye often refers to the central point of a dartboard where the player scores 50 point when hitting the target in the very middle. See above for ‘Half a Ton’.

£25 – ‘Pony/Macaroni’

Macaroni is cockney rhyming slang for pony, which is the most common name to describe twenty-five pounds. There are many suggestions as to where this originated. Similar to the monkey, it could possibly relate to the animal used of the 25-rupee bank note. Some people also believe that this was the typical amount used to pay for a small horse in the 18th century.

£15 – ‘Commodore’

Possibly the most amusing origin of the bunch as the word to describe a five pound note can often be referred to as ‘Lady Godiva’ (fiver), 3 times a ‘fiver’ is 3 times a ‘Lady (Godiva)’ and ‘Three times a Lady’ was a hit record by the commodores!

£10 – ‘Tenner/Cock and Hen/Cockle/Bill and Benner/Big Ben’

There are so many words used to describe a trusty ten pound note but most commonly ‘Cock and Hen’ as this phrase has carried the association with the number 10 for hundreds of years, but became associated with money in the 20th century as people started to carry ten pound notes in their pockets or wallets more commonly. Other words listed above simply hold the rhyming slang along with associations to London, i.e. ‘Big Ben’ (Ten).

£5 – ‘Fiver/Lady Godiva’

A simple rhyming slang to fiver, Lady Godiva allegedly originates from the East end of London.

£2 – ‘Bottle’

Thought to have originated from the word ‘spruce’ (rhyming with the word deuce) which refers to a type of beer made from the shoots of spruce fir trees.

£1 – ‘Lost and Found/Nicker/Cow’

The most common of the three is the word ‘Nicker’ when used to describe a pound coin. It is unknown as to where this originates from but some theories include; the relation to the use of nickel in the minting of coins or the valuation that describes the fiver dollar note that was valued at a similar rate to the pound coin in the 19th century. ‘Cow’ is short for ‘Cow Licker’, which is just a rhyming slang for ‘Nicker’.

50p – ‘Cow’s Calf’

Rhyming ‘calf’ with the word ‘half’ it simply refers to ‘half a cow’, this translates to ‘half a pound’, which is fifty pence.

1p and 2p – ‘Coppers/Shrapnel’

Copper refers to the shiny brown colouring of the coins whereas shrapnel refers to an inconvenient and heavy pocket full of small change. Shrapnel originated from the word used to describe artillery shell fragments, which is brown, small and heavy when there is a handful.

bees and honey cartoon

So, next time you exchange your money in London, don’t forget to take your with ‘Bees and Honey’ when you head down to the local pub! If you have any old ‘Bees and Honey’ or foreign coins or notes you want to exchange then get on the ‘Dog and Bone’ and call us on 0161 635 0000 or contact us via our website.

Short history of the Spanish Peseta

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 by c4c-admin-account No Comments

How the Spanish Peseta has changed over time

The Spanish Peseta was the national currency of Spain from 1869 until 2002 when it was replaced by the Euro. The name Peseta comes from the Catalan word peça that means ‘fraction’. Before this (in 1808) some unofficial coins were minted in Barcelona with the words Peseta on them.

Unlike many international currency systems the Peseta was never given a special symbol (like the £, € or $), instead it was shortened to either Ptas, Pta, Pt or Pts.

Spanish Pesetas are divided into 100 centimos – the 25 centimos coins were also called Reales. The last Reales coin was produced back in 1959 and featured an image of Franco.

Spanish Reale

Spanish 25 Centimos or Reale coin


Spain joined the Latin Money Union in 1868 and following this the Peseta was introduced. Spanish law dictated that the Peseta became a sub division of the Peso with 1 Peso equal to 5 Pesetas.

As with many currency systems of the time the Peseta contained around 4.5 g of silver or around 20% gold. From 1873, the silver content was replaced by gold at varying percentages.

Following WWI the Latin Money Union disbanded and it was then that Spain became part of the Bretton Woods Currency System that tethered the Peseta to the US Dollar at a rate of 60 Ptas = 1 Dollar. In 1967 the Peseta established a new rate against the USD of 70 Ptas = 1 Dollar.

In 2002 the Peseta was replaced with the introduction of the Euro and the exchange rate was 1 Euro = 166 Pesetas.

Metallic makeup and nicknames 

In 1896 Peseta coins were minted in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Centimos and 1 and 2 Pesetas. The 1, 2, 5 and 10 coins were minted in copper (later to be replaced with Bronze) and the 20, 50 centimos as well as the 1 and 2 Pesetas were minted with silver content.

The 5 and 10 centimos coins earned the nicknames small dog and fat dog (perra chica and perra gorda in Spanish) on account of the Lion on the coin looked more like a dog! Many Spanish up until the Euro was introduced called the 5 Peseta coin Duros.

Nickname for spanish coin

In 1876 gold 25 Peseta coins were produced. This was then followed by 10 Peseta coins in 1878 and 20 Peseta coins in 1889. Production of gold Pesetas stopped in 1904 followed by the cessation of silver coins in 1910 and bronze in 1912.

Cupro-nickel coins were manufactured from 1925 as a 25 centimos coin and in 1926 the last silver 50 centimos coin was minted.

Change of rule meant change of coins

Because of the fairly turbulent history of rule in Spain each government or monarchy has changed facets of the currency.

The Spanish Republic of 1934 minted its coins as 25 and 50 centimos and 1 Peseta. The previous Royal minted coins of 25 centimos and 1 Peseta were used to determine the new coins composition and size. Further changes followed in 1937 when the first iron 5 centimos coins was produced and also a 1 Peseta coin in brass.

The first currency issued by the Nationalist government were the 25 new centimos coins with a hole that bore the image of the sun rising and arrows. Aluminium 5 and 10 centimos coins were first introduced in 1940 followed by a smaller aluminium and bronze 1 Peseta coin in 1944

All change with the Euro

In 1999 the Peseta was replaced by the Euro with coins and notes coming into circulation in January 2002. This was followed by the Peseta being taken out of circulation as non-legal tender in March 2002. Even today, 12 years later, many supermarkets and shops still show the Peseta equivalent.

Pile of Peseta coins

It is estimated that there is still around 1.5 billion Euros worth of Pesetas in Spain that were never converted to Euros.

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