Westminster Collection 288 Group and Copyright Abuse

Westminster Collection

The Westminster Collection (westminstercollection.com)
The Westminster Collection of Poole, UK are just one of the many gold & coin dealers worldwide who commit copyright infringement by using our copyright images without our permission.

On their William IV sovereign page, which we reproduce here, they are clearly using two of our high quality gold coin images.

The images we have positively identified so far include 1832 King William IV gold sovereign obverse and reverse images.

Copyright Abuse
Perhaps we should be flattered by the number of people including dealers who continually infringe our IP (Intellectual Property) rights by using our copyright images, but we do not find it amusing, and will take legal action against any copyright infringers.

Sample Listing

“One of the rarest reverse designs in Britain’s coinage history

The William IV sovereign features the unusual ‘Crowned Shield’ design on the reverse. Most sovereigns you’ll think of feature the familiar St George and the Dragon design. But this sovereign is different. It depicts Jean Baptiste Merlen’s ‘Crowned Shield’, making it even more desirable to the astute collector.

During the reign of William IV, the Royal Mint had two established and now legendary engravers – Benedetto Pistrucci and William Wyon. However, in 1820, Frenchman Jean Merlen arrived at the mint. He’d been recommended as “a skillful engraver on steel, and particularly in the arms and ornamental work usually struck on the reverse of coins.” Merlen’s is one of the most highly rated yet strangely least well-known reverse designs to grace a British coin. A facet that makes it particularly desirable to knowledgeable collectors.

Add this sought-after sovereign to your collection.

The ‘Crowned Shield’ has only been seen a handful of times, so your William IV sovereign will really stand out in your collection. It really is an exceptional coin and a coin to cherish both today and in the future by your children and grandchildren.

You can be one of the very few collectors to own this special coin by ordering today.


  • Metal: 22 Carat Gold
  • Diameter: 22mm, Weight: 7.98g
  • Obverse: William Wyon
  • Reverse: Johann Baptiste Merlen”

What’s Wrong?

It is dishonest and unethical to knowingly pirate and steal other people’s work by using high quality copyright photographs without the owner’s consent. We can partially understand why some people may do it; it is quick and easy (but then so is robbing people).

  • First, and most obvious; The Westminster Collection have taken and used our copyright images without our consent or prior knowledge. This is a clear breach of our Intellectual Property Rights. It is certainly also unprofessional.
    If the company is an important well established bullion dealer, then surely it could afford to take its own photographs, buy them from an image library, or commission them from a professional photographer. Instead it appears to have chosen to source their images by copying ours. It is unfair competition.
  • There is no indication of the grade of the coin, meaning the potential buyer may believe the condition of the coin is the same or similar to the photograph shown. If they do not have their own photograph, then how can a potential customer be sure of what they are buying?
  • The Westminster Collection expect their customers to trust them with the purchase of high value assets, yet they cannot be trusted not to copy images from competitors.

2013 £5,000 Plus Legal Costs

In January 2013, we served a notice before legal action against Westminster Collections, a coin marketing company, now owned by 288 Group. for copyright infringement. We indicated that we would settle for £5,000 plus a number of undertakings, and that this figure was not negotiable. They made what we consider to be a paltry offer of £2,000. Good try!, but we were not amused, and passed the file to our solicitors, Pannone of Manchester, with instructions to proceed. We have now received £5,000 compensation, plus our legal fees of about £1,250; we presume that Westminster’s legal fees came to a similar amount, putting their total cost up to between £7,000 and £7,500; they should have taken us more seriously to start with and saved themselves a few thousand pounds!


  • Westminster William IV Gold Sovereign
  • 1832sovereignefobv400[1]
  • 1832sovereignefrev400[1]
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