George III English Coinage

Started by Deeman, August 17, 2022, 07:58:18 PM

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Deeman

Soho Mint, 1798 pattern farthing

Even though it is in the 'cartwheel' style, it is the predecessor to the issued currency coin of 1799, which appeared without the large raised border and incuse inscriptions.

The obverse design is a laureate, draped bust of the king facing right inside a wide rim having an incuse circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, king' with the date below the bust. The initial 'K' (for Küchler) is on the lowest fold of the drapery. The reverse has Britannia within another wide rim facing left sitting on a rock next to a shield with waves in the foreground, clothed in drapery, right hand extended out holding an olive branch, left hand holding a trident, three-masted warship on horizon to left. The incuse rim inscription is BRITANNIA above and value below. SOHO can be seen to right of shield.





1798 Küchler pattern farthing, not adopted.
Obverse incuse inscription is GEORGIUS III·D: G·REX, 1798 below bust.
Reverse incuse inscription is BRITANNIA above with 1 FARTHING below, flower before and after.





1798 Küchler pattern bronzed farthing.





1798 Küchler pattern gilt farthing.





1798 Küchler pattern silver proof farthing, late Soho.
Flan about 1.65mm, only two specimens known.

Deeman

Soho Mint, 1799 pattern halfpenny

The obverse design is a departure from previous designs. It is a crowned, draped bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, king.' An italic style 'K' (for Küchler) with three dots is on the lowest fold of the drapery. The reverse has Britannia facing left sitting on a rock next to a shield with waves in the foreground, clothed in drapery, right hand extended out holding an olive branch, left hand holding a trident, three-masted warship on horizon to left. The inscription is BRITANNIA above and date below. On a rectangular tablet below the shield is the word SOHO reading diagonally down to the right and on the rock behind the shield there is a triangle of dots. Struck en médaille.





1799 Küchler pattern halfpenny, not adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIA above with 1799 below.





1799 Küchler pattern gilt halfpenny.

Deeman

Third issue, Soho Mint, halfpenny 1799

The halfpenny had a diameter of 30-31mm and weighed 12-13g. The mintage figure was 42,481,116.

For collectors with microscopes, variants relate to the ship:
5 incuse gunports, 6 relief gunports, 9 relief gunports, plain hull and raised line on hull.

The obverse design is a laureate, draped bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, king.' The initial 'K' (for Küchler) is on the lowest fold of the drapery. The reverse has Britannia facing left sitting on a rock next to a shield with waves in the foreground, clothed in drapery, right hand extended out holding an olive branch, left hand holding a trident, three-masted warship on horizon to left. The inscription is BRITANNIA above and date below. On a rectangular tablet below the shield is the word SOHO reading diagonally down to the right. The edge is plain with partial diagonal milling.





1799 halfpenny.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIA above with 1799 below.





1799 bronzed halfpenny.





1799 gilt halfpenny.

Deeman

Third issue, Soho Mint, farthing 1799

The farthing had a diameter of 23.5mm and weighed 6.3g. The mintage figure was 4,225,428.

The design is very similar to the 1799 halfpenny. There are two notable differences with the date appearing on the obverse and the value inscribed on the reverse. The laurel wreath has either 3 or 4 berries on the wreath. The 4-berry version has an extra one up from the base to the right on the top leaf.





1799 farthing.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX with 1799 below, 3 berries on wreath.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIA above with '1 FARTHING' flanked by rosettes below.





1799 bronzed farthing, 4 berries on wreath.

Deeman

Soho Mint, 1805 patterns

These were struck in the style of the 1799 halfpenny. The obverse design is a laureate, draped bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, king.' The initial 'K' (for Küchler) is on the lowest fold of the drapery. The reverse has Britannia facing left sitting on a rock next to a shield with waves in the foreground, clothed in drapery, right hand extended out holding a 10-leaf olive branch with 3 berries, left hand holding a trident, three-masted warship on horizon to left. The inscription is BRITANNIARUM above and date below. On a rectangular tablet below the shield is the word SOHO reading diagonally down to the right and the letter 'K' is between the end of the trident and the shield. The edge is diagonally milled. The images are not Taylor restrikes.





1805 pattern penny.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III·D: G·REX.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIARUM above Britannia.





1805 pattern bronzed halfpenny, late Soho, right hand not apparent, leaves on olive branch detached.

Deeman

Fourth issue, Soho Mint, penny 1806-07

The penny is one of three denominations of the fourth copper issue. Varieties exist throughout that are identifiable with the aid of a good amplification tool. These are with respect to the hair curl to the right of the tie knot – incuse or raised and to the dot after 'K' on the truncation – incuse or raised. Refer to the halfpenny for the only meaningful variety.

The penny is 35mm in diameter with a thickness of 3mm. The edge is grooved down the centre and milled with short wavy lines which lie diagonally across the groove so as to add to the difficulties of counterfeiting. The mintage figures were 19,355,480 and 11,290,168 for 1806 and 07 respectively. The design was based on the 1799 halfpenny issue with the main differences being the date on the obverse rather than the reverse and an exergue under Britannia.

The obverse design is a laureate, draped bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, king' with the date below the bust. The initial 'K' (for Küchler) is on the lowest fold of the drapery. The reverse has Britannia facing left sitting on a rock next to a shield with waves in the foreground, clothed in drapery, right hand extended out holding an olive branch, left hand holding a trident, three-masted warship on horizon to left. The inscription is BRITANNIA in the upper half. On a rectangular tablet below the shield is the word SOHO reading diagonally down to the right and the letter 'K' is between the end of the trident and the shield.





1806 penny.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III·D: G·REX.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIA.





1806 penny mule double-dated, 1805 pattern reverse (BRITANNIARUM).





1806 gilt penny.





1806 bronzed penny.





1807 penny.

Deeman

Soho Mint, 1808 penny

Thought to be unique. The reverse is from an ordinary current 1807 die. As the last figure of the date shows no sign of alteration from a 6 or a 7, a new working die must have been specially made, and this would explain the proof-like surface of the obverse. It is unlikely that it was intended to be a currency issue.



1808 penny.

Deeman

Fourth issue, Soho Mint, halfpenny 1806-07

The halfpenny is 29mm in diameter with a thickness of 1.5mm. The mintage figures were 87,893,526 and 41,384,394 for 1806 and 07 respectively. The design follows the penny. The 1806 issue has two varieties, either no berries and 3 berries on the olive branch.





1806 halfpenny.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III·D: G·REX.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIA, no berries on olive branch.





1806 bronzed halfpenny, no berries on olive branch.





1806 bronzed halfpenny, 3 berries on olive branch.





1807 halfpenny.

Deeman

Fourth issue, Soho Mint, farthing 1806-07

The farthing is 21mm in diameter with a thickness of 1.8mm. The mintage figures were 4,833,768 and 1,075,200 for 1806 and 07 respectively. The design follows the penny.





1806 farthing.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III·D: G·REX.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIA.





1807 farthing.

Deeman

'Great Recoinage' gold overview

The 'Great Recoinage' that commenced in 1816 was fundamentally concerned with the re-introduction of a silver coinage and a change in the gold coinage from the 21/- to the 20/- sovereign. The value of the shilling remained unchanged at 12d.

In the years 1816 and 1817 the British coinage changed dramatically. During the 18th century the silver coinage had lapsed into an increasingly wretched condition, while in the two decades from 1797 the economy had been convulsed by currency instability, the impact of war with France and a measure of uncertainty over government management of the money supply. After much deliberation in Parliament the Coinage Act of 1816 was introduced in which the involvement of Lord Liverpool was instrumental in making a commitment to adopt a gold standard, underpinned by the introduction of a new gold and silver coinage and the withdrawal of the old. A limit of 40 shillings was set upon payments made in silver, with gold remaining legal tender for payments of any size. This immediately helped the flow and ratio of gold and silver, and made the use of European and foreign coin illegal.

A newly anticipated 'recoinage' was in preparation and underway with development and proposals starting in 1816. The Chief Engraver was Thomas Wyon who submitted designs as well as the Italian Second Engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. The Master of the Mint was William Wellesley Pole, later Lord Maryborough, brother of the Duke of Wellington, was instrumental in bringing Pistrucci to the Mint and whose work was eventually adopted for the new coinage.

The modern gold sovereign was first issued on 5 Jul 1817 with a face value of one pound or twenty shillings. The gold half-sovereign followed later in the year in October. The sovereign design by Benedetto Pistrucci made first use of the 'St. George and dragon' and it is still employed. The weight of the sovereign was based on that of the guinea which had been coined at the rate of 44.5 to the troy pound, or approximately 125 grains per piece. The weight of the sovereign was fixed at 123 grains and this standard, 8g of 22ct gold for the sovereign, 4g for the half, is still maintained.

William Wellesley Pole was keen to fulfil the 1816 Order of Council and introduce the larger five and two sovereign pieces and set Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci as 'chief' in all but name to work on the project which seemed to be reaching its culmination as the sickly king neared the end of his long life on the evening of 29 Jan 1820. The Victorian writer Edward Hawkins says the Mint workers produced the coins through the night that the king passed away, effectively producing a limited edition as a 'momento mori' to the king.

During the new coinage manufacture in 1816 Pistrucci was employed at the mint as an outside assistant. On 22 Sep 1817 Thomas Wyon died and Pistrucci was offered the post of Chief-engraver. Since he was a foreigner, this was highly contested. While at the Mint he made a friend by the name of W.R. Hamilton who was a staunch defender of him. Pistrucci performed his duties as Chief Engraver, though the office was kept in abeyance at least until 1828 when a compromise was made. The second engraver at the mint, William Wyon, was made Chief Engraver and Pistrucci was designated as Chief Medallist.

Deeman

[b]Wyon 1816 pattern sovereign[/b]

The engraver was Thomas Wyon (a cousin of William Wyon) who had showed a lot of promise as a young engraver at the Mint and became Chief Engraver at only 23 years of age in 1815. His career was tragically cut short by consumption to which he succumbed in Sep 1817.

Struck in 22ct, weight 8g. The obverse design is a laureate bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, king of Britain, Defender of the Faith'. The reverse design is an ermine crowned, garnished square-topped quartered Shield of Arms with the Arms of the House of Hanover represented on an inescutcheon surmounted by an Electoral cap. The date, 1816, is below the shield. The circumscription, divided by the crown, repeats in part that of the obverse and translates to 'King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith'.



1816 Thomas Wyon pattern sovereign, not adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS: III D: G: / BRITT: REX FID: DEF:
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIARUM / REX FID: DEF:

Deeman

Wyon 1816 pattern half-sovereign

Struck in 22ct, weight 4g. The obverse design is a laureate, curly-haired bust of the king facing right within a circumscription in small lettering, divided by the head, translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God'. The reverse design is a garnished quartered Shield of Arms enclosed by the Order of the Garter belt with motto HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (Shame on he who thinks evil), crown above flanked by the date. The first and fourth quarters of the shield have the lions of England, the Scottish lion is in the second, the harp of Ireland in the third and the Arms of the House of Hanover are represented on an inescutcheon surmounted by an Electoral cap. A small-lettered circumscription continuing from the obverse, divided by the crown, translates to 'King of Britain, Defender of the Faith'. Plain edge.



1816 Thomas Wyon pattern half-sovereign, not adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS / III DEI GRATIA.
Reverse inscription is BRITT: REX / FID: DEF:

Deeman

Sovereigns 1817-20

Mintages: 1817 - 3,235,239; 1818 - 2,347,230; 1819 - 3,574 (about 11 known to exist); 1820 - 2,101,994.

Struck in 22ct, weight 8g. The obverse design is a laureate bust of the king facing right with a circumscription translating to 'George III by the Grace of God, King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith', date below the truncation. The reverse is without inscription and design depicts St George on horseback, rearing right, holding reins and broken lance after slaying the dragon, the end of the lance shown lying on the ground, below which appear the engraver's initials BP (Benedetto Pistrucci). It is placed within the Order of the Garter belt with motto HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (Shame on he who thinks evil).

The lance was replaced on the sovereigns in 1821 with a sword, but the broken part of the lance has never been removed and can still be seen laying on the ground to the left of the dragon.





1819 sovereign.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:





1820 sovereign, closed '2'.





1820 sovereign, open '2'.

Deeman

Half-sovereigns 1817-20

Mintages: 1817 - 2,080,197; 1818 - 1,030,286; 1819 - none issued; 1820 - 35,043.

Struck in 22ct, weight 4g. The obverse design is a laureate bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God', date below the truncation. The reverse design is a crowned, plain square-topped quartered Shield of Arms with the Arms of the House of Hanover represented on an inescutcheon surmounted by an Electoral crown. The circumscription continuing from the obverse, divided by the crown, translates to 'King of Britain, Defender of the Faith'.





1817 half-sovereign.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIARUM / REX FID: DEF:





1820 half-sovereign.

Deeman

Pistrucci 1820 pattern five pounds

Struck in 22ct, weight 40g. The obverse design is a laureate bust of the king facing right with a circumscription divided by the head translating to 'George III by the Grace of God, King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith' with the date below the truncation. The reverse design is without inscription and depicts St George on horseback, rearing right, holding reins and sword, slaying the dragon. The engraver's surname 'Pistrucci' appears under the truncation and in the exergue on the reverse.

Two versions were struck, one with an edge inscription and the other plain. Twenty-five pieces reportedly struck with edge inscription, only two plain.



1820 pattern five pounds.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III D: G: / BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Edge inscription is DECUS ET TUTAMEN · ANNO REGNI LX (An ornament and a safeguard · 60th year of reign).