UK George III Shilling 1787AD

Started by Ancientnoob, July 30, 2012, 01:37:47 AM

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Hello All,
This piece is a little out of my collection sphere. I was wondering if someone could comment on my coin here. Maybe tell me a little more about it. It was purchesed as authentic. I bought it not because I collect this ruler but the portiture of the George III was quite remarkable. Could someone give me a grade on this, is it ok to handle like an Ancient coin. What is it worth. The coin is silver and 5.98 grams. Comment regardless is always appreciated.

"Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it."

- Publius Syrius


There are two varieties of this type but with the same value (semee of hearts in 4th shield or not).

This looks to be close to EF but I am certainly not an expert. Very nice coin. Valuation from a dealer is best or research.


Very well preserved coin. The high points are the curl on the ear and the eyebrow. What may have attracted you is the "classical garb" of the king. No coincidence, just as it was no coincidence that Napoléon went to Egypt, only so that his ships could be blasted out of the sea by Nelson's ships: Egypt, Greece and Rome were fashionable in art, though they were given a contemporary twist. That is why George looks like a Roman emperor with a diet problem.

The DEI GRATIA is a medieval thing that set British coins apart from contemporary French coins, where legends changed from ROI de FRANCE to ROI DES FRANÇOIS during the early stages of the revolution. Medieval class theory held that nobles and especially kings were anointed by god. Resistance to them (such as taking a Stuart's head off) was heresy. The church put its full weight behind the nobility. In return, nobility would burn people at the stake if the church decided they needed roasting. The French legend puts the sovereignty with the people, who choose to have a king. Chopping his head off is not heresy, but justice.

The reverse is completely feudal, with crowns, orders and arms, all paraphernalia of high nobility. However, what takes the cake is the legend M. B. F. ET H. REX. F. D. B. ET. L. D. S. R. I. A. T. ET. E. This is an extreme case of "not enough place for all his titles". Here's an analysis:

M. B. F. ET H. REX. : king of Great Britain, France and Ireland. France? Well, that claim originated in the 100 years war and had no content after a couple of centuries, but one of the rules of nobility was that you don't lose a title just because you lose the land.
F. D. Defender of the faith, amounts to sticking your tongue out at the pope - a major medieval nono, but his legitimacy depended on it. Ater all, there were all these Stuart rotters who wanted the throne and all the Scottish and Irish rabble and even quite a few tories ready to support them
B. ET. L. D. duke of Braunsweich and Lüneburg. That's where the Battenberg family came from. George III was the first of them who could actually communicate in English. Victoria separated them from this title again, just in time to prevent Britain from becoming involved in German unification. In the first world war, the family name was changed from Battenberg to Mountbatten.
S. R. I. A. T. arch treasurer of the Holy Roman Empire. In the middle ages, the pope mediated a peace in the German empire with the golden bulla (1356). The peace document divided the tasks of government among all the important nobles of that time. Those tasks became hereditary titles and function. In that sense, the dukes of Brunswick and Lüneburg could call themselves minister of finance of the Holy Roman Empire (Germany). It got them an extra stipend and a good place at official functions and someone else did the work.
ET. E. elector of the Holy Roman Empire was a great job. Whenever the emperor died, you got to vote for the next Habsburg. After receiving the usual bribe, of course.

Looking at this coin, you'd never guess that power was shifting from the king to the parliament.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


I would grade it as a Good VF. There is too much high-point wear for EF (IMHO)