About Peter Alan Rayner
Peter Alan Rayner
(1924 - 29 July 2007) was a British author of numismatic (coin collecting) books. He was known by his second name Alan, rather than his first to avoid confusion with Peter Seaby, also a popular author, whose family firm Rayner joined at the age of 24.
Rayner lived in Harpenden, Hertfordshire where he attended St George's School, Harpenden as a day boarder. During World War II he was conscripted into the mines as a Bevin Boy, although he was eventually released owing to ill health and enlisted in the Intelligence Corps.
In 1948 he joined B.A. Seaby Limited as an assistant in the English Coin Department, and began to specialise in milled silver coins. In 1957 he helped prepare for print a second revised edition of the book called 'English Silver Coinage from 1649', written by H. Seaby and first published in 1949. This proved to be one of the most popular books published by B.A. Seaby Limited and further updated editions were printed in 1967, 1974 and the most recent in 1992. The book is used by numismatists as a main reference for all English silver coinage from 1649 to the year 1992 with a three-lettered prefixed (ESC - referring to English Silver Coinage) numbering system attributable to each coin and any variant. In 1961 Rayner wrote Your Book of Coin Collecting (published by Faber & Faber London). This presented to the new collector of coins 'a complete guide to Coin Collecting'. In 1966 he also wrote the book Coin Collecting For Amateurs published by Frederick Muller Ltd of Fleet Street.
Rayner remained at Seaby's until 1974, when he left to join the English branch of the coin company Paramount. He immediately became a valued member of staff whose knowledge of silver coins was unrivalled. He also specialised in foreign coins, in particular German.
He is survived by his Swiss wife Madeleine from Schaffhausen, who caused Rayner to learn Schweizerdeutsch (Swiss German), four children and eight grandchildren.