British Empire & C/W: a parade of pre-decimal denominations

Started by <k>, October 21, 2011, 09:26:27 PM

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<k>

From Wikipedia:

The crown, originally known as the "crown of the double rose", was an English coin introduced with the value of 5 shillings as part of King Henry VIII's monetary reform of 1526. The first coins were minted in 22 carat crown gold, and the first silver crowns were produced in 1551 during the reign of King Edward VI. The crown is one of many silver coins that appeared in various countries from the 16th century onwards (the most famous example perhaps being pieces of eight), all of which were of a similar size and weight (approx 38mm in diameter and containing approx 25 grams of fine silver) and interchangeable in international trade. Crowns were minted in all reigns between Elizabeth I of England and Elizabeth II.

The British exported their pre-decimal pounds, shillings and pence system to various parts of their empire, so the crown or five shillings coin was to be found in various colonies and dominions. My focus is not primarily on the UK itself (these coins have too long a history for a single topic), but on the Commonwealth and Empire, so in this topic I will be concentrating mainly on the 20th century.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

I'll start with a few examples from Britain.






From Wikipedia: The Queen Victoria 'Gothic' crown from 1847 (mintage just 8,000 and produced to celebrate the Gothic revival) is considered by many to be the most beautiful British coin ever minted.






Another well known British crown is Percy Metcalfe's 1936 art deco version of St. George and the dragon.






This is my own favourite: exactly how a crown should look. The lion represents England, while the unicorn represents Scotland.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



This is Australia's only crown. This version, which is also found with the date of 1937, was originally minted to celebrate the coronation of George VI. Because of its popularity, and because the Australian treasury hoped it would become a regular circulation coin, it was minted again in 1938, though with much less success.






It is interesting to compare the Australian crown with this wreath crown, issued in the UK from 1927 to 1936. The reverse of both coins was designed by Royal Mint engraver George Kruger-Gray.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



New Zealand issued its first crown in 1935. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Maori chiefs. For some reason, the New Zealanders chose to commemorate this event on a crown dated 1935. The reverse design for the crown was created by James Berry, who went on to design the reverses of New Zealand's first decimal circulation coins of 1967.






New Zealand's next crown famously commemorated the proposed visit by King George VI, which never took place. It features a fern leaf.




New Zealand's final crown was minted to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



From 1947 to 1951, South Africa issued a crown with a reverse featuring a Springbok.





In 1952, South Africa issued a crown commemorating the 300th anniversary of Capetown.

Jan van Riebeeck's three-master, Dromedaris, sails into Table Bay on April 6, 1652, to establish a new colony.




From 1953 until 1959, the springbok design was again used, this time with Elizabeth II on the obverse.



South Africa's final crown, before independence and adoption of the Rand, commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Union of South Africa.

The reverse features the South African parliament building, while the obverse replaces Elizabeth II with the coat of arms.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

ZAR5shillings1892.jpg

Paul Kruger's South African Republic had also issued a five shillings coin.

I do not know whether it was intended as a circulation coin.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>






Southern Rhodesia issued its only crown in 1953. It commemorates the birth centenary of the British imperialist, Cecil Rhodes. The reverse was designed by Humphrey Paget, who had also designed the uncrowned effigy of King George VI.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Cyrpus issued its only crown in 1928, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of British rule. 9 piastres were equal to one shilling, so 45 piastres were the exact equivalent of a crown, and coin also had the proportions of a crown.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>





Bermuda issued its first crown in 1959. It commemorates the 350th Anniversary of the founding of the colony. The reverse design was the work of Royal Mint engraver, Norman Sillman.







Bermuda's second and final crown features the coat of arms on the reverse.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Jersey issued its only five shillings coin in 1966, to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest of England. When in Jersey, Queen Elizabeth II is known by the title of "the Duke of Normandy" ("Duke" - never "Duchess").
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



The Isle of Man issued its only crown in 1970, depicting a Manx cat. It later issued many crown-sized collector coins with a value of 25 decimal pence, but I am defining a crown here as strictly five shillings or its pre-decimal equivalent.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



Gibraltar issued a collector crown from 1967 to 1970, featuring its coat of arms on the reverse.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



In 1966 Jamaica issued its only 5 shillings coin, to celebrate its hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



Zambia released its only five shillings coin in order to celebrate its independence.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



Malawi issued a crown celebrating its independence in 1966.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.