This newsletter has now been in production for four years. In that time it has attempted to avoid too much navel gazing, as this can be boring for the reader. However this seems an appropriate time to review whether it is performing a useful function, whether it can be improved and whether its menu of brief news items, features and reviews etc. should be changed. The editor would welcome views from readers on which items they find interesting, which boring or unintelligible and whether any new areas should be covered. As an example, an email in the early days of this newsletter from Mike Marotta pointing out the difficulty of reading the site with its previous dark background was useful and much appreciated.
Firstly some facts about this site, the whole site now has between 1,500 to 2,500 visitors a week. The majority of these hits are to one of the various editions of this newsletter. Most visitors do not stay long but a consistent ten to twenty percent spend a significant time visiting the site. This is not a large number compared to some websites but then coins and specifically counterfeit coins are a minority interest. The geographical spread of the visitors is vast. In just this last week the visitors were from forty-seven different countries. The main weakness is the scarcity of visitors from South America, presumably is due to language, and Africa, presumably due to poverty.
The most important sites referring visitors are Google and Google Images with the other major search engines such as Yahoo and MSN a long way behind. Other consistent referrers with small but steady numbers are Wikipedia and sites such as Reid Goldborough's counterfeit coin site, Predecimal and CoinLink. Finally every so often the site has a surge of visitors from a blog or a chat room. Sometimes this is from a coin-interest site such a Coin People or Coin Talk but often it is a non-coin site. One such chat room that recently generated hundreds of visits was a Portsmouth soccer fan club.
Apart from the
numbers of visitors how does one judge the success of a website? The editor considers it is mainly from the judgement of the coin fraternity. So a profile in the British magazine "Coin News" with warm words about the site was welcome. Also references to the site in two recent scientific papers were much valued by the old scientist in the editor. Perhaps the finest(?) accolade was on Coin Talk, "should have realised that such a great work could only be done by a fellow Welshman. very interesting read", De Orc.
Respected Celtic coin specialist dealer, Chris Rudd, has posted on the news section of his website details of fake trophy type gold quarter staters that are currently circulating. He has posted photographs of five examples of these counterfeits and details of Celtic coin expert, Dr. Philip de Jersey's opinion of these coins.
Dr. de Jersey is quoted as saying, "A number of near-identical trophy type quarter staters have appeared on the market in recent months. All are from the same pair of dies and I am sure that they are modern forgeries." Among the points made by Dr. de Jersey are:
1. Although these coins are struck they have no die links to any genuine pieces.
2.These coins have uncharacteristic smoothness to the edge of the flan compared with all the fifty or so known genuine example that generally have ragged flans with edge cracks.
3. The examples examined in hand by Dr. de Jersey were made from a yellowish gold instead of the expected coppery gold.
4. None of the suspected counterfeits have a secure findspot - no metal detectorist has reported a find of a coin of this type.
Chris Rudd should be congratulated on publicizing details of these fakes. Certainly, if the editor collected Celtic coins Chris Rudd's actions would be a recommendation to deal with him. It again must be emphasised that compared with areas such as Roman and Greek coins Celtic coins are not often counterfeited.
[Source: Chris Rudd's website www.celticcoins.com]