Silver coin; Denomination: Halfcrown
Royal Mint, London
King George III (1760-1820)

A severe deficiency of silver coins in circulation in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was addressed from 1816 with the introduction of a silver coinage which did not contain metal to the value of the denomination. Gold coins were made the standard measure of value. Silver coins were only legal tender under the value of two pounds.

Some coins, particularly those that made their way to Australia, remained in circulation for a long time and became very worn. In Australia there was no mechanism for the withdrawal of worn coins until late in the nineteenth century as neither the British nor the Colonial governments wanted to be first to address the matter, fearing that the first would be stuck with an on-going problem. This worn coin reflects that political issue.

The first bust of the King, with its broad bare shoulders was not well accepted and was discontinued after 1817, being replaced by a simpler head.

Obverse Description

Laureate bust of the King facing left, undraped, around, GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA, below, 1817

Reverse Description

Garnished shield bearing Royal arms within the Garter, crowned, and Collar of the Order; motto on Garter, HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE; around, BRITANNIARUM REX FID: DEF:

Edge Description


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