The Linden Collection of Sovereigns
Bennie Linden was born in Rothesay, Scotland, in 1923. Educated in Scotland, he intended pursuing a career in catering when War intervened. He joined the Royal Air Force and trained as a wireless operator/air gunner.
His acute business sense and his wartime involvement with electrics and electronics stood him in good stead when, in 1947 and returned to civilian life, he bought 20,000 pairs of war-surplus binoculars for just £3 each and sold them for a profit of £15,000.
Bennie Linden's successful flair led to the formation of United Scientific Instruments. He sold the business in 1968 and formed a new company to distribute electronic components, particularly connectors, which, as Intel (a business name today reputed to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars), developed into one of the largest businesses of its kind in Britain. More than anyone else he was responsible for the development of Tottenham Court Road as London's 'hi-fi centre.'
He sold his interests in Intel UK in 1983 and moved to Jersey the following year, where he began to use his expertise and resources for the benefit of the island community he had joined.
A diabetic himself, he soon became very involved with the Jersey branch of the British Diabetic Association. He chaired and funded the meetings of an ad hoc committee of volunteers whose objective was to find and fund premises for a day care clinic for diabetes sufferers on the island. The project, which cost in excess of a quarter of a million pounds, came to fruition in 1991 and, since then, has transformed the lives of hundreds of local people of all ages. His own financial contribution towards this improvement in the quality of life of so many islanders is already in excess of £100,000.
Today, Bennie Linden is founder and patron of Diabetes Research Jersey, which is shortly to embark upon an island-wide screening project and other services for local diabetics, which will cost upwards of £250,000.
Throughout his business life the gold sovereign has been an abiding passion, and Bennie Linden's collection has rightly been described as one of the most significant in private hands. This passion also led to the publication of The Sovereign, a lavishly illustrated biography of one of the world's most desirable coins.