Review – Small Change: a history of everyday coinage

1 min read
Peter Johnson
Amberley Publishing, £14.99
ISBN 978-1445689708
Review Amy Brunskill

The production and use of coinage are closely tied to many other aspects of social history, as is demonstrated in this accessible and engaging book. Focusing on smaller denominations, both those produced officially and the ingenious local responses to a lack of small change, it presents an overview of the development of money around the world, before discussing the story in Britain in detail.

The author uses examples of specific coins and tokens to demonstrate his themes, using original photographs with informative captions. Of particular interest is the discussion of the alterations made to coinage as a reflection of the social and political situation, which highlights the insights into other aspects of life offered by numismatics. The work could have benefited from a bibliography, but it succeeds in presenting a succinct and thorough history of Britain’s coinage, and through this a history of Britain itself, from AD 150 to the present day.

This review appeared in CA 358To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

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