Latest Posts

RNS/BNS Library Update

Currently the Warburg Institute, where the RNS/BNS Library is located, is closed in response to the government guidelines during this COVID-19 event. No date has been given for when it will reopen.

But work on re-cataloguing our library continues.

The RNS/BNS Numismatic Library holds over 19,000 items – and items are being added all the time. Our current electronic library catalogue is only accessible using an old computer in the RNS/BNS Library.

Over the past year all the books have been re-catalogued to provide more bibliographical information about each title held.Off-prints are now catalogued. New shelf marks have also been added, which are clearly labelled on the spine of each book – making it easier for you to find items on the shelves.

The next step, when the library re-opens, is to get our new catalogue added to an online academic library website ( This will allow our library collection to be easily searched from the internet at any time.

As also holds the catalogues of many UK academic institutions, if we don’t hold an item you are looking for, you will be able to see who does.

The process to add our information on to is complex and will take time, so there will be an update once this has been completed.

In the meantime, a searchable spreadsheet of all the books held in the RNS/BNS Library is now available on the BNS website. Please note: It does not include the periodicals or sales catalogues, which still need re-cataloguing

Finally, for anyone interested in looking for archived auction catalogues from the comfort of home, there are several excellent online resources:

  • The Newman Portal at Washington University in St. Louis, has thousands of scanned auction and sales catalogues from the U.K. and U.S.A.
  • Issuu has hundreds of more recent auction catalogues from the U.K. around the world

And, most auction houses now have archived catalogues that can be searched online from their own websites

New volume on Roman coin hoards available for pre-order

Iron Age and Roman Coin Hoards in Britain

by Roger Bland, Adrian Chadwick, Eleanor Ghey, Colin Haselgrove, David Mattingly, and Adam Rogers

Publication date: 30 April. Available from Oxbow Books at a pre-publication offer of £48.75 (normal price: £65).


More coin hoards have been recorded from Roman Britain than from any other province of the Empire. This comprehensive and lavishly illustrated volume provides a survey of over 3260 hoards of Iron Age and Roman coins found in England and Wales with a detailed analysis and discussion. Theories of hoarding and deposition and examined, national and regional patterns in the landscape settings of coin hoards presented, together with an analysis of those hoards whose findspots were surveyed and of those hoards found in archaeological excavations. It also includes an unprecedented examination of the containers in which coin hoards were buried and the objects found with them. The patterns of hoarding in Britain from the late 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD are discussed. The volume also provides a survey of Britain in the 3rd century AD, as a peak of over 700 hoards are known from the period from AD 253–296. This has been a particular focus of the project which has been a collaborative research project between the University of Leicester and the British Museum funded by the AHRC. The aim has been to understand the reasons behind the burial and non-recovery of these finds. A comprehensive online database ( underpins the project, which also undertook a comprehensive GIS analysis of all the hoards and field surveys of a sample of them.

Chapters include

Overview and analysis of the dataset

Theories of Hoarding and Deposition

National and regional patterns in the landscape settings of coin hoards

Analysis of excavated hoards

Coin hoards as archaeological objects: material and context

Coin hoards and society: chronological syntheses

Coin hoards and society: debating the third century: crisis or continuity?

New Release: Coinage and History in the Near East 6

New research into Byzantine and Early Islamic coinage in Syria, Palestine and Egypt, plus their archaeological and historical background. Articles on additional themes include Umayyad weight standards, and the significance of die axes for medieval mints. 

Well over 250 coins are illustrated, many of them for the first time. The book is published by Archetype for the Seventh Century Syrian Numismatic Round Table and contains the papers presented at the Round Table conference held in Worcester in April 2019. The Round Table organises informal conferences for numismatists, archaeologists and historians with an interest in Late Antiquity/Early Islam in Syria/Palestine and the surrounding area. 

2020, vi + 221 pp., illustrated throughout. Price £32. ISBN: 978-1-909492-73-8

For further details contact Tony Goodwin:


  1. Anastasius I at Theopolis – Real or Imagined? Steve Mansfield
  2. Using the iconography and inscriptions on Heraclean Dynasty coins to construct an historical narrative of the 7th century Byzantine Empire. Stephen Maxfield
  3. A New Coin Type from the mid-seventh century? Maria Vrij
  4. An Overview of the Phase 1 Byzantine-Arab Coinage. Andrew Oddy
  5. The Lazy S Workshop: Coin Production in Early Arab Syria. Andrew Oddy
  6. A very peculiar group of early Pseudo-Byzantine coins. Tony Goodwin
  7. Greek Monograms and Countermarks in Seventh-Century Syria. David Woods             
  8. What can we learn from ‘Transitional’ coins? Tony Goodwin
  9. Yet again on Justinian II’s gold coinage, ‘Abd al-Malik’s monetary reform, and the ‘War of images’ Federico Montinaro
  10. Die Chains and Die Links with the Mint Name Ḥalab. Ingrid Schulze
  11. The Standing Caliph Coins with the Mint Name Qūrus (قؤرس) A new Die and a new Die Link. Wolfgang Schulze
  12. From Scythopolis to Baysān: A Glimpse at the Coins of The Hebrew University’s Excavations at Beth Shean. Nitzan Amitai-Preiss
  13. The Umayyad Coins excavated during the Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project 2012–2016. Ingrid  and Wolfgang Schulze
  14. Coins and Papyri in 6th/7th Century Egypt. Tasha Vorderstrasse
  15. The weight standard of copper coins as a means for understanding the Syrian tradition of the seventh century. Dietrich Schnädelbach
  16. From Ancient to Medieval: The Significance of Fixed Die Axes. Marcus Phillips

SP 57 – Now Out!

Special Publication 57 Tokens: Culture, Connections, Communities by Clare Rowan, Mairi Gkikaki, and Antonino Crisà, Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 57, 248 pages; SBN: 0 901405 35 3.

We are pleased to announce the publication of RNS Special Publication no. 57 – the first volume dedicated to the study of tokens from the Neolithic until the modern age.

This volume examines different tokens from different periods in detail, addressing the makers, users, types and contexts of these objects.

Unpublished material is presented in several of the contributions. This comparative approach reveals the recurring characteristics of tokens across time, as well as their importance to human society.

The entire volume is FREE to download from the RNS website. Follow this link.

Those wishing to own a copy can buy it for £40 from Spink.


  • Introduction, by Antonino Crisà, Mairi Gkikaki & Clare Rowan
  • The Invention of Tokens, by Denise Schmandt-Besserat
  • Some Notes on Athenian Bronze Tokens and Bronze Coinage in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC, by Kenneth A. Sheedy
  • Tokens Inside and Outside Excavation Contexts: Seeking the Origin. Examples of Clay Tokens from the Collections of the Athens Numismatic Museum, by Stamatoula Makrypodi
  • The Armour Tokens from the Athenian Agora, by Martin Schafer
  • A Rare Clay Token in Context: A Fortunate and Recorded Discovery from the Necropolis of Tindari (Messina, 1896), by Antonino Crisà
  • Roman tesserae with Numerals: Some Thoughts on Iconography and Purpose, by Alexa Kuter
  • Lead Token Moulds from Rome and Ostia, by Clare Rowan
  • Tokens of Antinous from the Roman Province of Egypt, by Denise Wilding
  • Tokens in the Athenian Agora in the Third Century AD: Advertising Prestige and Civic Identity in Roman Athens, by Mairi Gkikaki
  • Using and Reusing Tokens: Some Remarks About Christian Graffiti on Contorniates, by Cristian Mondello
  • The Holme Cultram Abbey Series: English Medieval Tokens and a Cistercian Use Case, by Kate Rennicks
  • How Royal Tokens Constituted an Art Medium that Participated in the Monarchical System Between 1610 and 1661, by Sabrina Valin
  • For Change and Charity: Identifying the Motivations and Characteristics of Issuers of Tokens in the British Isles in the Mid-Seventeenth Century, by Laura Burnett
  • ‘Success to the Seventeen United Bright Stars’: The Spithead Mutiny of 1797 Recorded on a Sailor’s Love Token, by Bridget Millmore
  • The Politics of Token Economics, Then and Now, by Bill Maurer
  • Index

SP55 Special Pre-publication offer

Special Publication 55 Arab-Sasanian Numismatics and History during the Early Islamic Period in Iran and Iraq: The Johnson Collection of Arab-Sasanian Coins by Hodge Mehdi Malek, Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 55 in two volumes, 832 pages including 130 plates; ISSN 0080 4487; ISBN 0 901405 94 9 

This is the first major work to attempt a comprehensive survey of the Arab-Sasanian silver coinage since Walker’s 1941 Catalogue of the British Museum collection. It includes the latest research on the subject, both historical (chapters 1 to 4) and numismatic (chapter 5 to 15). All the coins (over 1,600), both silver drachms and copper fulus, in the Johnson collection are illustrated on the excellent plates. Where the Johnson collection does not have a specimen of an important coin an example is illustrated from another source, making this a truly important work. 

The extensive chapters on the persons named on the coins, the mints, and the Pahlavi, Arabic and Sogdian legends, make this an invaluable historical source. Other chapters discuss the copper issues with their varied designs, the eras and dates used, metrology, coins struck in the east in Sīstān and further north by the Hephthalites, and countermarks, as well as the designs found on the silver drachms. All Pahlavi and Arabic legends (mints, persons named, religious and other marginal legends, dates) are written out as they appear on the coins in extensive tables. This makes it possible for a beginner in the series to read these sometimes difficult legends.

About the author: The author has been active as a collector and student of Arab-Sasanian coins since 1970. He published a book about the coinage of Tabaristān (RNS SP 39) in 2004 and has written numerous articles about ArabSasanian coins and the related late-Sasanian series. In this work he has brought together his expertise on the coinage, his knowledge of the Persian language and his experience from visiting many of the mint and other places discussed in the book.

For full preview click the link:

Full retail price: £95 

Special pre-publication price for fellows: £57 plus postage: 
To order click the link:
Special pre-publication offer closed.