BUSINESS is booming for British coin dealers and currency lovers as the advent of the Euro sparks renewed interest in collecting vintage cash.

As the Euro becomes commonplace many feel it is only a matter of time before Britain's traditional coins and notes go the same way.

The last time our coinage underwent such a major change was in 1971 with decimation.

That brought a flood of new enthusiasm for coins like the penny and six pence which were due to vanish.

Hundreds of people avidly checked their change hoping to find rare dates which could be worth big money.

Stephen Fenton, chairman of the British Numismatic Trade Association, said that the British coin industry was flourishing and suggested the reason for it was the currency changes as 12 European Union countries began to use the new-style notes and coins this week.

He said, "People are collecting coins more than ever and this could be due to the currency changes and people realise what the importance of payment means. Some British coins particularly hammered early British gold and silver, have increased by 30-40 percent this year and we are getting some really good prices."

Barrovian Neil Honeyman who has shops selling coins and collectables in Ulverston and Hawkshead said: "There is a lot of interest in coins from the Roman era right through to boxes of old pennies, farthings and half crowns.

"The kids are interested as the majority of them don't know anything about the old pre-decimal money."