World Coins

Coins in times of war in book from Royal Mint, Spink

A new book by Kevin Clancy explores the connections between money and war.

Images courtesy of Spink and the Royal Mint Museum.

A new book issued by the Royal Mint Museum and Spink explores the connection between coins and paper money during wartime. 

Objects of War: Currency in a Time of Conflict by Kevin Clancy is a 136-page softcover book from Spink.

War has shaped currencies, creating, abolishing and molding them. Coins and bank notes, conversely, have proved themselves an indispensable weapon of war, as the means through which wars can be fought. The disruption that comes with conflict has seen usage of money change to cope with extreme circumstances.

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Coins have frequently been debased or buried in hoards as an army advances, and they have saved lives on the battlefield and become objects of sentiment as a memory of home. As symbols of state, money has offered the means through which victorious leaders have proclaimed their triumphs, evidenced from the Roman Emperors’ issues down to predominating themes among modern commemoratives. 

In this book, author Clancy, who is also director of the Royal Mint Museum, explores these themes, revealing how something that thrives on stability can adapt when the normal rules of life are turned upside down. Colorfully illustrated throughout, the book focuses principally on experiences in Britain from Tudor times but draws on other instances from around the world and across time to show how money and war have collided and influenced one another. 

The book was published for £25 but is currently on sale for £20.

To order, visit the Spink books department website

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