On nearly every excursion I am lucky to find at least one “modern” coin, these can range from current 1p and 2p’s to the giant Georgian “Cart Wheel” pennies from the late 1700’s and sometimes if I am lucky enough even earlier “moderns”. These forgotten treasures are usually put into my “post Med Coin” box, and rarely see the light of day, but I took them all out the other day and gave them a second look, took some photo’s and thought they made an attractive display.
As I mentioned there are some really interesting older coins here so I thought I would pick out a few examples. In the photos below running from top to bottom left to right:
1) Charles II Half Penny – The first copper halfpenny was minted in 1672 during the reign of Charles II, and the coin was also minted in 1673 and 1675. Though worn this example may be worth up to £30.
2) Charles II Penny (?) – Bust facing left – Legend and features worn Can make out the profile and the inscription: ….II REX.
3) Forged Georg III Shilling 1818 – It is generally well documented that forgery was very big business during the reign of George III (1760 – 1820). With shortages of small change and of most silver denominations there was a massive demand for coins, and the forgers just filled this void. Arguably, the forgers probably made it possible for smaller transactions to take place and provided a well needed service, although at the expense of the treasury!
It is thought that during certain times of the reign a very high proportion of the coins in your pocket were probably not genuie In comparison with a real shilling of the period it would seem this coin was either struck in inferior metal with the original (stolen) Royal mint dies or copied by a very very talented engraver. Someone was suspicious as to the nature of the coin however as the coin shows signs of scratching on the reverse…I wouldnt have wanted to have to explain what I wa doing trying to pass off a forgery!
4) George III Penny (1760-1820) – No date visible
5) George III Cart Wheel Penny 1797 – The first copper coins that Mathew Boulton minted for the British Government are know as ‘cartwheels’, because of their large size and raised rims. The Soho Mint struck 500 tons of these penny and twopenny pieces in 1797, and issued further copper coins for the Government in 1799, 1806 and 1807. All together the Mint produced over £600,000 worth of copper official English coinage
6) George III Cart Wheel Penny – Date Illegible
7) Victorian Half Penny 1877 – In 1860 all the copper coins were redesigned in a smaller size and were made of bronze rather than copper, as the latter did not wear well. For the first time the denomination appeared on the reverse. The design lasted until 1894, with issues every year. This coin features the classic Bun portrait of Victoria facing left, with the inscription VICTORIA D:G: BRITT:REG:F:D: . On the reverse Britannia seated facing right holding a trident and shield, with a lighthouse behind and ship in front, with the inscription HALF PENNY, and the date below in the exergue.
8) Edward VII Half Penny – 1906. Obverse: Head right, EDWARDVS DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP around. Reverse: Britannia seated facing right, HALF PENNY around, date below, as for the Victoria Old Head design.
9) George V Farthing – 1926: Issued from 1911 to 1936, all have the following basic design: Overse shows, Head left, GEORGIVS V DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP around and the reverse has Britannia seated facing right, FARTHING around, date below, initially as for Edward VII.
10) George V Farthing – 1931. As above but in much better condition 🙂
11) Edward VII Half Penny – 1910. Obverse: Head right, EDWARDVS DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP around. Reverse: Britannia seated facing right, HALF PENNY around, date below, as for the Victoria Old Head design. This coin has a beautiful patination a wonderful dark olive green and the detail is almost perfect.
12) Edward VII Penny – 1910. In absolutely awful condition! But at least you can read the date….!
13) George V Half Penny – 1929. An unremarkable little coin….Head left, GEORGIVS V DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP around. Reverse shows Britannia seated facing right, HALF PENNY around, date below.
14) George V Penny – 1929. During the reign of George V a number of rare and therefore now valubale versions of the penny were made. This example…sadly…isnt one of those 😦
15) George VI Penny – 1937. There are two years with design varieties. In 1937 the reverse was changed first: the right limbs of the second N in PENNY points either at a tooth (Rev.A), or between teeth (Rev.B). Then the obverse was changed slightly, so that the upright of P in IMP changed from pointing directly at a tooth (Obv.1) to pointing slightly to the right (Obv.2).
16) George VI Silver Shilling 1939: The issues of George VI and Elizabeth II are unusual in that two different designs were issued each year (except 1952), an English and a Scottish version. They were not distributed solely in the relevant countries, but circulated equally alongside each other.
The standard English Shilling of George VI has the lion standing left on a large crown, while on the shilling from Scotland the lion is facing, holding a sword & sceptre flanked by St Andrews Cross and a thistle.
The metal used changed to cupronickel in 1947. In 1939 a design change occurred with the removal of the words IND IMP on India becoming an independent republic., so we know that this coin was minted before that event
Because of the high demand for nickel in the Korean War no 1952 shillings were issued, although extremely rare Proofs of the English version do exist.
17) George VI Three Pence 1942: In 1937 a new brass threepence was introduced using an alloy of 79% copper, 20% zinc and 1% nickel. It was 12 sided to make it more distinguishable to the touch, and weighed 6.8g. It measures 21mm across between the flat edges. The 12-sided design and thickness made the coin easy to identify, and it became very popular – the silver threepence being considered too small, a lesson not learnt when it came to introducing the present small fivepence piece. At first the coins had sharp corners, but during 1941 a more rounded collar was used, as failure of the collars was occurring too frequently.
18) George VI Half Penny 1943: the reverse shows Golden Hind, the ship used by Sir Francis Drake, the noted Elizabethan sailor. This was only made as a pattern. There are minor variations in the design from one year to another which specialist collectors are interested in. However, the changes did not take place during any particular year’s issue.
19) George VI Half Penny-1949: As above…except dirtier and bent!
20) Elizabeth II Half Penny -1957: Unremarkable…maybe not This may be a collectible TYPE D: The Ship measures 18.75 mm from tip of mainmast to base of sea. Border teeth further apart (1957)….Any collector who wishes to pay me squillions please get in touch!
21) Elizabeth II Penny -1962: A bog standard penny from 1962, its in good order and pink brown in colour…the last of the old style pennies as they were demonetised on 31st August 1971.
23) ELizabeth II Two Shilling Piece or Florin – 1963: There were two types of the florin issued during the reign of Elizabeth II. The first was issued only in 1953, with a change in inscription the following year.The denomination continued to be struck until 1967, when it was superseded by the modern 10p coin in 1968 in preparation for decimalisation in 1971. The florin was demonetised on 1st July 1993 after their replacement by a new small 10p coin first issued in the previous year.