In 1816 there was the Currency Reform Act, which allowed coins to be struck even
without the Monarch’s permission. This was put into place because of King George
III’s illness and the shortage of small change. From 1816 on, new designs, new
weights new everything.
These are the first of the new Sterling Silver Sixpences issued from 1816-1820.
You have the bull head of the King on one side and a crowned shield on the other side.
Even in this grade supplies are limited.
Every week we have someone bring in a Guinea or Half Guinea token and we have to tell them that
they are not real. It started in the 1800’s with a man called Kettle, who made gold looking brass
copies of the King George III Spade Guinea and Half Guinea. The story is that an actress used to throw
these to the audience at the end of her performance. The audience was to respond by throwing real
Gold Guineas back. Is this true or not, we just don’t know.
But over the years a vast number of imitations were made, none of which were meant to pass as
real Gold coins. A number even had advertising on them and were obviously given out as a sort of store
We have nice examples of the Guinea and Half Guinea from Victorian times and well over 100
years old. They have been gilded or even gold plated, but they are not real Gold. Wonderful conversation
pieces and today they are getting more and more difficult to find in any sort of quantity. The
designs may vary slightly.
In 1816 the government made all of the older coins no longer legal tender.
They then issued a whole series of new coins, which were of course legal
tender. This is the first type of Crown or Five Shillings to be issued for King
George III. They are struck in Sterling Silver and were issued only from 1818-
This coin is now proving very hard to get and it has been sometime since
we last had enough to offer them. Dates of our choice, but we offer them here in Very Good condition. A very important coin as it
was the first of the ‘new’ coinage to be struck.