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Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth

Started by Galapagos, October 03, 2009, 12:30:56 PM

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Dear Andy.. I was searching high and low for information on which portraits are featured on which coins.. this thread completes my search.. you have made my day.. Thanks a ton!


Two more thoughts. First, Edward VIII had bad political taste. Wiki says: His attitudes towards many of the Empire's subjects and various foreign peoples, both during his time as Prince of Wales and later as Duke of Windsor, were little commented upon in their time but have soured his reputation subsequently. He said of Indigenous Australians: "they are the most revolting form of living creatures I've ever seen!! They are the lowest known form of human beings & are the nearest thing to monkeys." He was also embarrassing enough to be moved to the Bahamas under pressure, as he was thought to be way too nice to Hitler. In 1936, racism did not have the highly negative connotation it has today, but the anti-slavery movement had opened at least some minds. On balance, I think he could probably have gotten away with making a racist difference as long as he didn't explain his motives in public.

However, the expression that came to my mind is "rump commonwealth". The expression was widely used among British civil servants when I was young and innocent, but faded away, probably because it could easily be construed as racist and was in fact used as such. In principle, the term referred to the (former) British empire minus the parts in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean (negative definition), in practice, it meant something like "more loyal", "more likely to vote with us", "more conservative", "more royalist", "more like us", "more willing to support" or in hard data Canada, Australia and New Zealand (positive definition.) Maybe this concept provided the basis for the distinction?

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


Quote from: andyg on October 03, 2009, 11:49:23 PM
Edward VII

1) UK, India, Sailana

2) Australia, British Guyana, British Honduras, Canada, Ceylon, Cyprus, East Africa, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Jersey, Newfoundland, Straits Settlements.

1)                                     2)

The crowned effigy of Edward VII was indeed used on India's 1anna coin


Quote from: andyg on October 04, 2009, 12:04:46 AM
Victoria ('Gothic Head')

1) UK

2) Alwar, Bikanir, Dewas, Dhar, Hong Kong, India

1)                                    2)

May I point out that this is actually the Godless florin not the Gothic; the latter design shows the complete crown and seems to fit the flan in a slightly better manner.

Here is the Gothic...
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


thanks both for comments -
India 1 Anna I missed completely,

The Florin I always thought was the same portrait by William Wyon?
In the revised thread I dropped the name "Gothic" as I realised that it didn't apply to the Godless Florin.  There were some additional portraits I missed of Victoria too....
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....


A once only portrait used for the Royal visit to Australia in 2000, fifty cent coin by Royal Mint designer, Vladimir Gottwald who also designed the reverse. The Queen graciously approved the one-off use and took the dies home with her!
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.


Just to point out you've mentioned Malaya...but perhaps more accurate as "Malaya & British Borneo" ?


Two more new Effigies of QE II have been released by Great Britain - on the new 2012 Diamond Jubilee 5 pound Coin.

Interestingly, a single coin has two different portraits - one each on Reverse and obverse.



Malj1 - the Australian portrait was in the revised thread - but I didn't have the designer (thanks :))
Paisepegal - Have amended

Engipress- there are an ever increasing number of portraits being issued on NCLT, for some more we already have a thread,12029.0.html, of which you coin will be a nice addition. :)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....



Based on the information available on this forum pertaining to use of crowned and uncrowned effigies, I have prepared the attached summary presentation document using for illustration the coins I have.  I have scanned the coins in one go, to allow for comparative size and views.

Feedback appreciated.  Best seen/read at 200% zoom :-)



Yes, that pretty much sums it up, Rahul. I think probably the original reason for the division was simply to distinguish overseas coinages from "homeland" issues (British), for when the time came to withdraw the British coins. However, this practical reason acquired a hierarchical symbolism (in the eyes of the dominions) that was never originally intended. The other mystery is why George V was so dead against the dominions getting the uncrowned effigy. I have never read what his reasons for this might have been.

But yes, a nice succinct summary.  ;)
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.