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Celebrating the crowns - the best coins of the British series


GregH
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Crowns - very collectible, huge coins that have seen a lot of capital growth recently (not my primary reason for collecting, but nice to have). I'm working on a collection of silver crowns from Edward VI to Elizabeth II (excluding Mary who didn't issue this denomination). They become particularly artistic around the reign of George III with the Benedetto Pistrucci's iconic St George & the dragon reverse designs. For me, the crown is the my favourite denomination across all coin types; and my favourite coin of all is my own George III crown pictured below.

Yes, it has a few scratches, and maybe it was cleaned by a previous owner, but the detail is glorious! Post your favourite crowns everybody!

IMG_4850.jpg.8f650e9259a6b844ab2dd11765519d2c.jpgIMG_4847.jpg.518f419950600e528449a98d3dc54d23.jpg

 

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Some of my favourite crowns from the UK and Australia. Even though the Australian crowns were short lived, only for those two years below, I wish they'd been a bit more creative on the reverse than having that namesake crown.

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1 minute ago, JayAg47 said:

Some of my favourite crowns from the UK and Australia. Even though the Australian crowns were short lived, only for those two years below, I wish they'd been a bit more creative on the reverse than having that namesake crown.

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I love the Victoria Jubilee head crown - another of my favourite crown types.

I understand the 1937 Aussie crown was originally intended to commemorate Edward VIII's coronation, but that never happened, so it was minted for George VI instead. The 1938 Aussie crown is the rarer one, i believe. I wouldn't mind owning one.

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Some really nice crowns there. Looking through my records it appears I have two crowns only. Winston Churchill 1965 and one that probably doesn't belong here

1979 Isle of Man Sterling Silver commemorative of 3 hundred years of Manx coinage

 

 

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1 hour ago, Topcat7 said:

Crowns are my favourite coin, too. Here are some (about half) of mine.

James II 1690 (Gun Money)

2100387211_1685-1688JamesIICrownGunMoney1690.png.ad07bf64ab8656e919f13c1935641d09.png

1822 GEORGE IIII Crown.jpg1890 Victoria Crown Sp.'98 3921.jpg

1935 GEORGE V Crown.jpg

1937 GEORGE VI Coronation Crown.jpg

1951 George VI Festival of Britain Crown.jpg

1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Crown.jpg

1960 ELIZABETH II New York Exhibition Crown.jpg

1965 WINSTON CHURCHILL Crown.jpg

1972 ELIZABETH AND PHILIP Silver Wedding Crown.jpg

1977 ELIZABETH II Silver Jubillee Crown.jpg

1980 ELIZABETH Queen Mother 80th Birthday Crown.jpg

1981 CHARLES and DIANA Wedding Crown.jpg

1993 ELIZABETH II 40th Anniversry Crown.jpg

2000 Elizabeth Queen Mother 100th Birthday Crown.jpg2003 Elizabeth 50th Anniversary Crown.jpg

Of these I love the art-deco style “rocking horse” crown of George V. Some pretty cool stuff here. I’ve get to explore James II’s gunmoney coinage, but I’m sure I’ll get there.

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19 minutes ago, GregH said:

Of these I love the art-deco style “rocking horse” crown of George V. Some pretty cool stuff here. I’ve get to explore James II’s gunmoney coinage, but I’m sure I’ll get there.

James II was 'turfed out' in 1688 and replaced by William and Mary, so he headed to Ireland where he tried to build a 'force' to retake the throne. He started a mint at Limerick and made coins from old cannons and church bells, melted down, to pay his troops. All coins were dated 1690.

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3 minutes ago, Topcat7 said:

James II was 'turfed out' in 1688 and replaced by William and Mary, so he headed to Ireland where he tried to build a 'force' to retake the throne. He started a mint at Limerick and made coins from old cannons and church bells, melted down, to pay his troops. All coins were dated 1690.

… Turfed out because he wanted to make England Catholic again. James II is a good contender (from a very strong field) for England’s worst ever ruler. I have a 1688 half-crown from his “actually ruled England” period. I need a crown, and I’ll probably get into the gun-money after that. 
 

 

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12 hours ago, GregH said:

… Turfed out because he wanted to make England Catholic again. James II is a good contender (from a very strong field) for England’s worst ever ruler. I have a 1688 half-crown from his “actually ruled England” period. I need a crown, and I’ll probably get into the gun-money after that. 
 

 

How about Edward VIII? 

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Stunning coin Greg!

I'm seeing all these "ugliest coins ever made" with Churchill and am turning very green. 

Here's one with the lovely princess Diana (my the Roman goddess), from the year I was born:

20220822_153939.jpg.2eebaf74a7b1462107005b4f8e1e4d59.jpg20220822_153955.jpg.e3205b53cb61c3ee6f605b3c5640a5f1.jpg

 

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I've never got into crowns because they weren't really a circulation coin, especially later on. But they can be spectacular, especially the older ones.

I only have a worn one of Victoria and this...

George VI Five Shillings, 1951image.png.02c7ff12e02e36f1e732466c925854ab.pngLondon. Copper-nickel, 39mm, 28g. Uncrowned portrait of King George VI left; GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX F:D: FIVE SHILLINGS. St George slaying the dragon right, date and engraver's initials in exergue, 1951 B.P (Benedetto Pistrucci). Edge: Incuse legend MDCCCLI CIVIUM INDUSTRIA FLORET CIVITAS MCMLI (S 4111). Legal tender at 25 pence.

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1 hour ago, DonnaML said:

How about Edward VIII? 

As far as i know, there are no existing crowns of Edward VIII, although patterns were probably struck (and then destroyed) by the Royal Mint. My hole-filler is this fantasy piece, with a cool art-deco style St George reverse. At some point i'll swap this piece for one with the Humphrey Paget designed Edward VIII portrait from the original patterns, although it still will be, alas, a fantasy.

IMG_4854.jpg.04a84810190dc280e60f8986fedca978.jpg IMG_4853.jpg.51d7f665f7f4cf6ce081ce7072b3ee19.jpg

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3 minutes ago, GregH said:

As far as i know, there are no existing crowns of Edward VIII, although patterns were probably struck (and then destroyed) by the Royal Mint. My hole-filler is this fantasy piece, with a cool art-deco style St George reverse. At some point i'll swap this piece for one with the Humphrey Paget designed Edward VIII portrait from the original patterns, although it still will be, alas, a fantasy.

 pl IMG_4853.jpg.51d7f665f7f4cf6ce081ce7072b3ee19.jpg

I meant to propose him as being among the "worst" monarchs! I have several of the various medals struck in anticipation of his coronation, which never took place.

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1 minute ago, DonnaML said:

I meant to propose him as being among the "worst" monarchs! I have several of the various medals struck in anticipation of his coronation, which never took place.

Ah hahaha... Yes, he's certainly a strong contender with his Nazi views, which led to his appointment as Governor of the Bahamas, where his ability to embarrass Great Britain could be minimised during World War II.

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1 hour ago, John Conduitt said:

I've never got into crowns because they weren't really a circulation coin, especially later on. But they can be spectacular, especially the older ones.

Generally i only collect circulation pieces, and i detest artificial rarities struck only for collectors. But i make an exception for British crowns (which were originally intended for circulation until, I think, some time in the late 19th century). It's my OCD - i need the whole portrait set!

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Nice crowns, everybody.  This post inspired me to photograph one of mine...after thirty-plus years, it was probably time.  This is an 1804 Bank Dollar "token".  These were struck over Spanish-Colonial 8 reales.  The workmanship at the Soho mint was usually pretty good, so undertypes are usually mostly obliterated (unlike the 960 Reis overstrikes in Brazil, where full undertypes are often identifiable).  This one has a full date - 1799 - based on the numerals, I'm guessing Mexico or Lima mint - the Potosi mint used a more conventional (to modern eyes) numeral 9.  

image.jpeg.6e40c82f9b143cdde3504e32d3b6a326.jpeg

Here is an "enhanced" view of the undertype 8 reales:

1012295504_UK-1804BankDollar(0det3).jpg.470c9911abae39e737104a77243e446e.jpg

Great Britain Bank Dollar 1804 (Struck 1804-1811) George III Soho Mint, Birmingham GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX, laureate draped bust right / BANK OF ENGLAND FIVE  SHILLINGS DOLLAR 1804 Britannia seated left, shield, etc. KM Tn1; S-3768 (27.00 grams / 39 mm) Dealer c. 1990           

Overstrike:  Partial undertype visible.  These were struck over Spanish-American 8 reales, dated 1799 here, probably from Mexico or Lima, based on style of numeral 9's ( Potosi, used a more "modern" style 9). 

"Overstruck Spanish American 8 Real coin issued by the Bank of England with a value of 5 shillings to supplement a deficiency in British regal coinage. The coins were struck by the Soho Mint, Birmingham between 1804 and 1811 though all bear the date 1804. Initially valued at 5 shillings, they were re-valued at 5 shillings 6 pence in 1811 and were withdrawn in 1817-1818. Often found with undertype still showing which adds around 10% of the value dependent upon grade (a couple of examples below)."

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces16742.html  

 

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9 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Nice crowns, everybody.  This post inspired me to photograph one of mine...after thirty-plus years, it was probably time.  This is an 1804 Bank Dollar "token".  These were struck over Spanish-Colonial 8 reales.  The workmanship at the Soho mint was usually pretty good, so undertypes are usually mostly obliterated (unlike the 960 Reis overstrikes in Brazil, where full undertypes are often identifiable).  This one has a full date - 1799 - based on the numerals, I'm guessing Mexico or Lima mint - the Potosi mint used a more conventional (to modern eyes) numeral 9.  

image.jpeg.6e40c82f9b143cdde3504e32d3b6a326.jpeg

Here is an "enhanced" view of the undertype 8 reales:

1012295504_UK-1804BankDollar(0det3).jpg.470c9911abae39e737104a77243e446e.jpg

Great Britain Bank Dollar 1804 (Struck 1804-1811) George III Soho Mint, Birmingham GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX, laureate draped bust right / BANK OF ENGLAND FIVE  SHILLINGS DOLLAR 1804 Britannia seated left, shield, etc. KM Tn1; S-3768 (27.00 grams / 39 mm) Dealer c. 1990           

Overstrike:  Partial undertype visible.  These were struck over Spanish-American 8 reales, dated 1799 here, probably from Mexico or Lima, based on style of numeral 9's ( Potosi, used a more "modern" style 9). 

"Overstruck Spanish American 8 Real coin issued by the Bank of England with a value of 5 shillings to supplement a deficiency in British regal coinage. The coins were struck by the Soho Mint, Birmingham between 1804 and 1811 though all bear the date 1804. Initially valued at 5 shillings, they were re-valued at 5 shillings 6 pence in 1811 and were withdrawn in 1817-1818. Often found with undertype still showing which adds around 10% of the value dependent upon grade (a couple of examples below)."

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces16742.html  

 

 

Yes that's an awesome and historic type. I won one of these George III bank dollars in the recent Leu auction. I'll share mine when it arrives.

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Posted (edited)

I know I'm tempting fate by posting this before I have it (and before it's even been sent out), but because this thread is current, I'll do it anyway:

Edward VII AR Crown 1902 (only year of issue). Obv. EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP, Bare head of Edward VII to right / Rev. St. George on horseback right slaying the dragon, 1902 below. S. 3978, Davenport 109. 38 mm, 28.27 g, 12 h. Nicely toned. Extremely fine. Purchased from Leu Numismatik AG, Web Auction 22, 21 Aug. 2022, Lot 781; ex Collection of Dr. Max Blaschegg (1930-2021, with collector's ticket), privately acquired from E. Dietrich on 15 February 1988.

Does anyone know anything about the Blaschegg Collection?

image.jpeg.b62ff7df5aa36625582bf4d17f71ee82.jpeg

(I don't know yet if that spot on the obverse behind Edward's ear is just discoloration, in which case I'll leave it alone, or some sort of dirt that can be removed. My guess is the former.)

Here are the other crowns I still have after selling my better specimens of pre-George V crowns back around 2015 (including an Edward VII), plus a few types I've re-acquired in the last couple of years.  The Charles II and James II are not in a condition I'd ordinarily be willing to collect, but I bought them very cheaply 50 years ago or so when I was in my teens, so they have sentimental value.

Charles II AR Crown 1676, 3rd bust, edge OCTAVO, S. 3358

image.jpeg.d94b2433757e98e305b9792e4dda2758.jpeg

James II AR Crown 1687, 2nd bust, edge TERTIO, S. 3407

image.jpeg.4ffd3be57a6adea965224624abaf25c1.jpeg

William III AR Crown 1696 (First bust, round collar, first harp, edge OCTAVO), S. 3470. Purchased from Frank S. Robinson, Auction 115, Jan. 2021, Lot 291; ex Asta 18 E-Auction, 9 Nov. 2020, Lot 1454. 30.15 g.

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George I AR Crown 1723, Rev. SSC [South Sea Company]  in angles, edge DECIMO, S. 3640.

image.jpeg.016bec18c3019622ab590cf6a1aea5ec.jpeg

George III AR Crown 1818, edge LIX, S. 3787. Purchased from Dix Noonan Webb [now Noonans], Auction 251, 8 March 2022, Lot 334.

image.jpeg.7ac1a61cf36a10bb5bc9566c1bebffc2.jpeg

George IV AR Crown 1822, edge TERTIO, S. 3805.

image.jpeg.1c9ebebd9daaa71376185a79690efdf1.jpeg

Victoria AR Crown 1845, Young Head, edge VIII, S. 3882. Purchased from Dix Noonan Webb [now Noonans], Auction 251, 8 March 2022, Lot 413.

image.jpeg.5c6740e7ca1ad0b72facd5e4464fa35f.jpeg

Victoria AR Crown 1897, Old Head, edge LX, S. 3937

image.jpeg.395f5fefc7785547386902eece6e6ca3.jpeg

George V AR Crown 1935, edge XXV (incuse), S. 4048 (St. George & Dragon reverse, 25th anniversary Jubilee Crown) [“Rocking Horse” Crown].

image.jpeg.5d8d89d9aa96e90dff424531752e733f.jpeg

George VI AR Crown 1937, S. 4078 (Coronation commemorative).

image.jpeg.37b0f6d8076bea72d614f1a903980f4d.jpeg

George VI Crown 1951 (Cupro-Nickel), S. 4111 (“Festival of Britain” crown).

image.jpeg.f01c4ecc9877db68bafe14b70ebe160b.jpeg

Elizabeth II Crown 1953 (Cupro-Nickel), S. 4136 (Coronation Crown, Obv. Queen on horseback).

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Elizabeth II Crown 1960 (Cupro-Nickel), Young laureate Head, S. 4143.

image.jpeg.1222914bb9f720fe83c92e77bb306bb2.jpeg

Elizabeth II Crown 1965 (Cupro-Nickel), Young laureate Head, S. 4144, Churchill Rev. (“Churchill Crown”).

image.jpeg.8969eefb52a247d13b2e9680575ffd96.jpeg

Note the absence of any crowns of William & Mary, Anne, and George II, as well as the Victoria "Gothic" crown. I once had examples of all of them, but the prices for decent specimens have gone up way beyond my means since I sold them, removing any realistic prospect of re-acquiring those types. Perhaps especially the Gothic crown.

Elizabeth II Decimal Coinage Crowns:

Elizabeth II 1972 (Cupro-Nickel) Twenty-five pence (Crown), Arnold Machin Portrait, S. 4226 (Silver Wedding Commemorative, Elizabeth & Philip).

image.jpeg.24d531922796fbccf2519f642e111a0f.jpeg

Elizabeth II 1977 (Cupro-Nickel) Twenty-five pence (Crown), Obv. Queen on Horseback, S. 4227 (Silver Jubilee Commemorative).

image.jpeg.5b946fc233890893af8a584d06d6c9b3.jpeg

Elizabeth II 1980 (Cupro-Nickel) Twenty-five pence (Crown), S. 4228 (Queen Mother’s 80th Birthday Commemorative).

image.jpeg.5ba3c350d720f4a64e62dcc319b8a889.jpeg

Elizabeth II 1981, Twenty-five pence (Crown), S. 4229, Rev. Charles & Diana Jugate heads left (Royal Wedding Commemorative). [I'm actually not sure if this is the cupro-nickel version or the silver proof: I can't find the case or container it came in. If anyone has any idea how to tell the difference, please let me know.]

image.jpeg.6605c980e20abe609c9d3172a6b13b71.jpeg

[See Spink Standard Catalogue of British Coins, 2011 single-volume edition, p. 548: “Before decimalization in 1971, crowns had a nominal denomination of five shillings and this was then changed to twenty-five pence [i.e., retaining the ¼ pound face value] in 1972 when the Silver Wedding commemorative was issued. Over time with increasing metal, manufacturing and distribution costs, the production of coins with such a low face value was not economic and the decision was taken to change to a higher value that would last for many years. The first of the five pound coins was issued in 1990 to mark the ninetieth birthday of The Queen Mother.”]

Elizabeth II 1990 AR Proof Five pounds (Crown), Raphael Malouf Portrait, S. 4301 (Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday Commemorative).

Elizabeth II 1998 AR Proof Five pounds (Crown), Ian Rank-Broadley Portrait, S. 4550 (Prince Charles 50th Birthday Commemorative).

Elizabeth II 1999 AR Proof Five pounds (Crown), S. 4551 (Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial).

Elizabeth II 1999/2000 AR Proof Five pounds (Crown), S. 4552 (Millennium commemorative, edge “WHAT’S PAST IS PROLOGUE”).

image.jpeg.27825dbf159f0adf2245a948a955321d.jpeg

image.jpeg.390991931403d9b6f2530e1dc1b5fba8.jpeg

I usually keep these in the capsules they came in, together with their cases of issue, but took them out to photograph them.

At some point, I stopped buying the Royal Mint commemorative crowns, either in silver or cupro-nickel. There were so many issued (not to mention all the commemoratives in other denominations, such as the two-pound coins) that it was just too much for me.

 

Edited by DonnaML
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Posted (edited)

I asked in my post above showing my British crowns if anyone could help me figure out if my 1981 Charles & Diana Wedding crown is silver proof or cupro-nickel, because I can't find any case or container from the Royal Mint:

image.jpeg.6605c980e20abe609c9d3172a6b13b71.jpeg

No need for anyone to try to answer, because I found the receipt from when I bought it (in 1986), showing that it is, in fact, the silver proof. Because I bought it from a dealer rather than directly from the Royal Mint, I'm pretty sure that it didn't come with the original case or certificate:

image.jpeg.0f3ba0aef294d7817502a4560f59e1c2.jpeg

As I recall, I made quite a few purchases from Great Britain Coins in Michigan. I remember the proprietor (whose name I forget) as an old-fashioned dealer who sold through mailing lists.  I don't know if he ever transitioned to the Internet.

Here, for the record, are the Royal Mint COAs for my four silver proof crowns (all with a face value of 5 pounds) issued from 1990-2000, posted above in two photos showing them together in a tray:

image.jpeg.f434d3a7b9d44f9939a7b9c896f606cf.jpeg

I realized today that I also have the crowns of 5 pounds issued in 1993 (40th anniversary of coronation), 1996 (Queen's 70th birthday), 1997 (Elizabeth & Philip Golden Wedding Anniversary), and 2002 (Golden Jubilee commemorative), although these are all in cupro-nickel. I had forgotten about them before because I didn't buy them individually; they came in the "proof sets" issued by the Royal Mint in those years. I'll post them when I have a chance to take photos.  The 2002 crown was the last one I bought. I imagine that they've managed to find something to commemorate every year since then, and have continued to issue them annually.  But 15 different crowns issued by one monarch over her first 50 years on the throne were enough for me!

Edited by DonnaML
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