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The Angarth Hoard

An unrivalled collection of coinage

This collection of one pence pieces is the largest in the world. It has its origins in a pilot scheme where several Scottish towns would stop using the coin (based on similar reductions in low denomination currencies in other countries). On the success of the scheme, the one pence piece was taken out of circulation, and in Angarth, several people decided to pool their collections together. They were greatly aided by the manager of the local Bank of Scotland, Mr Frederick Mcranmer, who helped co-ordinate the efforts of other branches.

The entire collection has never been counted, but exists as over eighty crates, mainly stored in the Angarth Museum Archive. The coins are mainly the post-decimalisation issue, with a 21mm diameter, although there have been some recent additions of older pennies (1860-1971) with a 31mm diameter. While the coins are no longer legal tender, they do have value as scrap metal, as the majority are bronze, composed of copper and zinc. The Museum's trustees have received several offers to buy the coins as scrap, but have turned them down.

The value of this collection is in the sheer volume of the objects, and the new context that this generates, as a gigantic number of coins. Looking at a sample on display, there is also the aesthetic value of the discolouration and dents to each coin, making each portrait of the monarch slightly different. This is not only the world's largest collection of one pence pieces, but also the largest collection of portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and her ancestors. It is therefore a worthy competitor to the Royal Portrait Collection at Buckingham Palace, as well as those examples in institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery.