News:

Sign up for the monthly zoom events by sending a PM with your email address to Hitesh

Main Menu

George III English Coinage

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

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Deeman

Pistrucci 1820 pattern two pounds

Struck in 22ct, weight 16g. Same designs as the five-pound coin, but the obverse inscription is not divided by the king's head and the engraver's initials BP (Benedetto Pistrucci) only appear in the exergue on the reverse.
Two versions were struck, one with an edge inscription and the other plain. Sixty pieces reportedly struck with edge inscription, only two plain.



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

Deeman

Wyon 1820 pattern half-sovereign

Struck in 22ct, weight 4g, 23.6mm diameter, plain edge. 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 date, 1820, is under the truncation. The reverse design is a motif of the rose, thistle and shamrock on branches from a single trunk, with leaves behind and crown above. The circumscription, divided by the crown, repeats in part that of the obverse and translates to 'King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith'.





1820 William Wyon pattern half-sovereign, not adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEOR: III D: G: / BRITT: REX F: D:
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIARUM / REX FID: DEF:





1820 William Wyon pattern silver half-sovereign.

Deeman

'Great Recoinage' silver overview

In 1717, Britain established a de facto gold standard resulting from the fixing of the value of a guinea 21/-. This act led to a severe overvaluation of gold relative to silver, and caused drastic changes to coinage production. Silver was sent abroad to be used for payments, whilst gold was used domestically to pay for export goods, meaning that, by the early 19th century, production of silver coinage had effectively halted. The imbalance of metals continued until the 'Great Recoinage' was initiated in 1816, at which point the weight of silver coinage was reduced to below face value, rendering it a 'token coinage' and effectively halting its widescale export.

In 1816 the euphoria of victory at the Battle of Waterloo wore off and Britain entered a period of unrest. Corn prices were set at an artificially high level by the Importation Act (1815), or Corn Laws as they became known, benefitting wealthy landowners at the expense of the poor. A bad harvest, the return of thousands of soldiers from Europe, and demonstrations against working conditions combined to increase tension, leading to repressive counter-measures from the Government. Against this backdrop, the Coinage Bill was passed on 22 Jun 1816, and Wellesley-Pole was ordered to draw up a plan to replace the silver coinage.

Wellesley-Pole's schedule detailed how he proposed to design, manufacture, and distribute the new coinage. It also outlined a system for recovering the old money for the Bank of England. The key problem was how to undertake an operation of this magnitude without alerting the nation as to what was afoot and, once the coinage was manufactured, how to distribute it to the four corners of Britain so that it might appear simultaneously on a specified 'recoinage' day. He had to do this at a time of immense social unrest, using the most rudimentary of transport and communication systems. Some boxes of coin were shipped to northern ports but the vast majority went by carriage up and down Britain's roadways with accompanying detailed instructions to be acted upon at each and every destination. Getting the new coinage to these outlets was one thing, but Wellesley-Pole was also tasked with rounding up all the old silver currency in exchange for new crowns, shillings and sixpences. This redundant money had to return to the Mint by the same arduous process after a two-week exchange period had expired.

He submitted his plan on 16 Sep 1816. He confirmed an agreement with the Governor of the Bank of England that banks throughout Britain would assist in the transfer without remuneration. He further curtailed costs by creating accounts with every participating bank for the money distributed to and collected from them. A week later Wellesley-Pole received approval from the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, subject to proceeding in complete secrecy until the money was ready to be circulated.

Each coin was approved by the Prince Regent prior to manufacture. Coins were labelled and bagged in sums of £100. Bags were then packed into a sturdy box containing £600 comprised of one bag of halfcrowns, four bags of shillings and one of sixpences. The destination of each box was labelled and arrangements were made for them to be re-used for the return of old coinage after the exchange was completed. Fifty-seven million coins were ready for distribution by 17 Jan 1817. A few days later Wellesley-Pole called a meeting of the bankers of London. He proposed that all 72 London banks should open all their premises with inspectors from the Mint to be established in each location by which means bankers would be exonerated from any responsibility. Similarly, all provincial banks to do likewise with each to recommend such persons for inspectors as they conceive to be trustworthy. Bankers were concerned about civil unrest fearing that their property would be endangered. So, the Master of the Mint was hastily compelled to arrange alternative locations for public distribution, ensuring that a comprehensive network of outlets was created in every principal town. The new money reached the outlets by 3 Feb 1817.

Under the stewardship of William Wellesley-Pole, production of new silver coins had gone into overdrive. Steam-powered technology transformed the production process at the new Royal Mint at Tower Hill. Coins of vastly superior quality were struck in record numbers, restoring faith in Britain's currency. The new silver coinage began with halfcrowns, shillings and sixpences, followed by a crown in 1818.

Deeman

Wyon 1817 pattern 'Three Graces' crown

Probably never intended as currency, but rather a way of demonstrating the engraver's skill. Fifty produced.

The obverse design is a laureate and draped bust of the king facing right, signed 'W. Wyon:' below truncation, within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith', date below bust. The reverse design is three wreathed women standing together, holding hands, representing from left to right Ireland, England and Scotland, their attributes of harp, shield and thistle at their feet, signed 'W. Wyon' behind the harp. In the exergue below the figures there is a rudder and palm frond, the connotation being the palm indicates both victory and peace and the rudder indicates British naval supremacy. The inscription translates to 'An unbreakable treaty'. Plain edge.





1817 William Wyon pattern 'Three Graces' crown, not adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEORIUS III D: G: BRITANNIARUM REX F: D:
Reverse inscription is FOEDUS INVIOLABILE.



Inspiration for the design taken from Antonio Canova's sculpture, The Three Graces, which depicts three daughters of Zeus: Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia.





1817 William Wyon pattern gold 'Three Graces' crown, only 3 specimens struck.

Deeman

Wyon 1817 pattern shield crown

The obverse design is a laureate and draped bust of the king facing right, signed 'W. Wyon' below shoulder, within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God, King of the Britons', date below bust. The reverse design is a crowned plain quartered Shield of Arms with the Arms of the House of Hanover represented on an inescutcheon surmounted by an Electoral crown with a circumscription translating to 'An untarnished faith'.

The change of the Electoral cap into a crown surmounting the Arms of the House of Hanover was in consequence of the 1815 Congress of Vienna, by which Hanover became a kingdom.



1817 William Wyon pattern shield crown, not adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEORIUS III D: G: BRITANNIARUM REX
Reverse inscription is INCORRUPTA FIDES VERITASQUE

Deeman

Crowns 1818-20

Issued in each of the three years. The mintage figures are: 1818 – 155,232; 1819 – 683,496; 1820 – 448,272.

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, surrounded by the Order of the Garter belt with motto HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (Shame on he who thinks evil). The engraver's surname 'Pistrucci' appears under the truncation and in the exergue on the reverse.

The first portrayal of St George slaying the dragon was by Pistrucci on the 1817 sovereign. St George was shown armed with a lance that had broken; the end of the lance shown laying on the ground to the left of the dragon. In the crown design the lance is replaced by a sword but the design still depicts the broken part of the lance. The lance was replaced on the sovereigns in 1821 by a sword, but the broken part of the lance can still be seen in present-day sovereigns.





1818 pattern crown, not fully adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIARUM REX F: D:
Edge inscription is DECUS ET TUTAMEN · ANNO REGNI LVIII (An ornament and a safeguard · 58th year of reign).





1818 crown.
Similar to the pattern version, but with different borders. The pattern features larger lettering in the obverse legend and the back of the truncation is chamfered sharply. The pattern reverse differs from the currency issue by having fine horizontal lines within the garter.

Deeman

'Bull' head halfcrowns 1816/17

The halfcrown, known as the 'bull head', lasted just two years. With its broad bare shoulder and ferocious expression of the king's countenance the portrait was not considered satisfactory and new designs were ordered.

The obverse design is a large laureate, curly-haired bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God' and the date below the truncation. The reverse design is a garnished quartered Shield of Arms surrounded by the Order of the Garter belt with motto HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (Shame on he who thinks evil), surmounted by a crown. 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 crown. The collar of the Garter surrounds the belt. The collar is composed of heraldic knots alternating with medallions, each showing a rose encircled by the Garter, and suspended from the collar is the figure of St George slaying a dragon. The reverse circumscription, divided by the crown and a continuation of the obverse, translates to 'King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith'. On the lower left of the shield there is 'WWP' incuse for Mint Master William Wellesley Pole. The lower right has 'W' incuse for engraver Thomas Wyon. Edge is milled.

The change of the Electoral cap into a crown surmounting the Arms of the House of Hanover was in consequence of the 1815 Congress of Vienna, by which Hanover became a kingdom.





1816 'bull' head halfcrown.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III / DEI GRATIA.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNARIUM / REX FID: DEF:





1817 'bull' head halfcrown.

Deeman

Wyon 1817 pattern halfcrown

This pattern was the result of the unsatisfactory 'bull' head issue and, in making some change in the obverse type, an opportunity was taken to modify, but not to improve, the reverse also.

The obverse design is a small laureate, curly-haired bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God' and the date below the truncation. The reverse design is a crowned, garnished quartered Shield of Arms surrounded by the Order of the Garter belt with motto HONI SOIT Q[UI] MAL Y PENSE (Shame on he who thinks evil). 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 crown. A circumscription continuing from the obverse, divided by the crown, translates to 'King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith'. On the left garnish there is 'WWP' incuse for Mint Master William Wellesley Pole. The right garnish has 'W' incuse for engraver Thomas Wyon. Edge is milled.

The change of the Electoral cap into a crown surmounting the Arms of the House of Hanover was in consequence of the 1815 Congress of Vienna, by which Hanover became a kingdom.



1817 Thomas Wyon pattern halfcrown, reverse not adopted.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNARIUM / REX FID: DEF:

Deeman

Small head halfcrowns 1817-20

Issued each year from 1817 to 1820. The obverse of the 1817 pattern was adopted, but the reverse was modified to remove the garnishing around the shield for the currency issue. The mintage figures are: 1816/17 – 8,092,656 (includes 'bull' head issue); 1818 – 2,905,056; 1819 – 4,790,016; 1820 – 2,396,592.

The obverse design is a small laureate, curly-haired bust of the king facing right within a circumscription translating to 'George III, by the Grace of God' and the date below the truncation. The reverse design is a crowned, plain quartered Shield of Arms surrounded by the Order of the Garter belt with motto HONI SOIT Q[UI] MAL Y PENSE (Shame on he who thinks evil). 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 crown. A circumscription continuing from the obverse, divided by the crown, translates to 'King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith'.





1817 Thomas Wyon proof halfcrown.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNARIUM / REX FID: DEF:





1820 halfcrown.

Deeman

Shillings 1816-20

Issued each year from 1816 to 1820. The mintage figures are: 1816/17 – 23,031,360; 1818 – 1,342,440; 1819 – 7,595,280; 1820 – 7,975,440.

The obverse design is a laureate, curly-haired 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' and the date below the truncation. The reverse design is without inscription and features a crowned, garnished quartered Shield of Arms surrounded by the Order of the Garter belt with motto HONI SOIT Q[UI] MAL Y PENSE (Shame on he who thinks evil). 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 crown. On the left garnish there is 'WWP' incuse for Mint Master William Wellesley Pole. The right garnish has 'W' incuse for engraver Thomas Wyon. Edge is milled.





1816 shilling.
Obverse inscription is GEOR: III D: G: / BRITT: REX F: D:





1820 shilling.

Deeman

Sixpences 1816-20

Issued each year from 1816 to 1820. The mintage figures are: 1816/17 – 10,921,680; 1818 – 4,284,720; 1819 – 4,712,400; 1820 – 1,488,960.

The design is the same as the shilling.





1816 sixpence.
Obverse inscription is GEOR: III D: G: / BRITT: REX F: D:





1820 sixpence.

Deeman

Small silver issue 1817-20

All four denominations were struck en médaille in 1817, 18 and 20.

Fourpence 18mm diameter, weight 1.9g.
Threepence 16mm diameter, weight 1.42g.
Twopence 13mm diameter, weight 0.95g.
Penny 11mm diameter, weight 0.47g.

These diameters and weight are slightly less than pre-recoinage issues. The pre-coinage issues had their dates on the reverse.

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 reverse design is a crowned value numeral with a circumscription continuing from the obverse, divided by the crown, translating to 'King of the Britons, Defender of the Faith'





1818 fourpence.
Obverse inscription is GEORGIUS III / DEI GRATIA.
Reverse inscription is BRITANNIARUM / REX FID: DEF:





1820 threepence.





1818 twopence.





1817 penny.

Deeman