Half crown (British coin)
The half crown was a denomination of British money, equivalent to two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound. The half crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1967; the half crown was demonetised on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency on Decimal Day. During the English Interregnum of 1649–1660, a republican half crown was issued, bearing the arms of the Commonwealth of England, despite monarchist associations of the coin's name; when Oliver Cromwell was made Lord Protector of England, half crowns were issued bearing his semi-royal portrait. The half crown did not display its value on the reverse until 1893. King Henry VIII 1526: the first English half crown was struck in gold. King Edward VI 1551: issued the first half crown in silver; the coin showed the king riding a horse.
Queen Mary I: the half crown was struck on Mary's marriage to Philip II of Spain in 1554 but was never issued for circulation. Three specimens exist. Http://www.petitioncrown.com/spare15_LK47.html Queen Elizabeth I: gold half crowns were issued again. At the end of the reign silver half crowns were issued. King James I: gold half crowns were issued again. During the reign silver half crowns were issued. King Charles I: silver half crowns were issued, including those struck as obsidional money, money of necessity during the Civil War period. Commonwealth of England: Oliver Cromwell silver half crowns were issued. During the years 1656 and 1658 milled half crowns were issued of Oliver Cromwell. King Charles II 1663–1685: silver half crowns were issued, this period saw the end of the hammered issue of half crowns. King James II 1685–1688: silver half crown. King William III & Queen Mary II 1689–1694: silver half crown. William III of England 1694–1702: silver half crown. Queen Anne 1702–1714: silver half crown.
King George I 1714–1727: silver half crown. King George II 1727–1760: silver half crown. King George III 1760–1820: silver half crown. King George IV 1820–1830: silver half crown. King William IV 1830–1837: silver half crown. Queen Victoria 1837–1901: silver half crown. King Edward VII 1902–1910: silver half crown. King George V 1910–1936: silver half crown, sterling silver until 1919 50% silver. King Edward VIII 1936: 50% silver half crown. Not issued for circulation. King George VI 1937–1952: 50% silver half crowns were issued until 1946 when the metal was changed to cupro-nickel. Queen Elizabeth II 1952–1970: the last half crown was issued in 1970 shortly before decimalisation. From George III, 1816, they had a diameter of 32 mm and a weight of 14.1 g, dimensions which remained the same for the half crown until decimalisation in 1971. The mintage figures below are taken from the annual UK publication COIN YEARBOOK. Proof mintages are indicated in italics. Half crown - View coins from the Commonwealth of England period, 1649–1660, including halfcrowns.
British Coins - Free information about British coins. Includes an online forum. Coins of the UK - A full history of the half crown. - Publishers of COIN YEARBOOK The History of the Half-crown
The Rose Ryal is a gold coin of the Kingdom of England issued in the reign of King James I and is now rare. The coin is a two-ryal coin worth thirty shillings and is a development of the earlier fine sovereign of Queen Elizabeth I; the Rose Ryal, so called because the rose appearing on the reverse, was introduced during James I's second coinage. The design of this first issue shows on the obverse the king enthroned with a portcullis beneath his feet, surrounded by the legend IACOBUS DG MAG BRIT FRAN ET HIBER REX; the reverse shows the royal arms over a rose surrounded by the legend A. DNO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET EST MIRAB IN OCULIS NRIS. During James' third coinage a new-style rose. On the reverse is the royal shield, with the value "XXX" over the shield and the whole surrounded by roses and lis, surrounded by the legend A. DNO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET EST MIRAB IN OCULIS NRIS, while the obverse shows a redesigned version of the enthroned king with a portcullis beneath, surrounded by the legend IACOBUS DG MA BRI FR ET HI REX
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A
History of the English penny (1485–1603)
The History of the English penny from 1485 to 1603 covers the period of the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor, who reigned as King Henry VII between 1485 and 1509, had a rather tenuous claim on the throne, being the Lancastrian claimant via an illegitimate descendant of Edward III when all the more senior candidates had been killed off in the Wars of the Roses, he brought the wars to a conclusion with his 1485 victory at The Battle of Bosworth and subsequently consolidated this power through a variety of means, including his marriage to Elizabeth of York Henry VII's reign was plagued by pretenders to the throne, whose existence was a result of the King's insecure grasp of power. He was able to subdue each of these attempted usurpers without particular difficulty; the whole style of Henry's coinage marked a break with what had gone before — the king's bust becomes much more lifelike, the shields on the reverse become much more detailed. Henry's first coinage is like that of Henry V and VI, minted at London, Canterbury and York the inscription is one of a variety of HENRIC DI GRA REX ANG — Henry by the grace of God King of England.
Soon, Henry introduced what is known as the Sovereign coinage, so-called because the king is depicted seated on a throne, while the reverse shows the royal shield over a cross. This issue is regarded as marking the division between the coins of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance in England; the Sovereign coinage was minted at London and York, inscribed with one of a variety of HENRICUS DI GRA REX ANG. Henry VIII is one of England's more interesting monarchs, not just for having married six times, but numismatically too. Henry's first coinage still used his father's portrait. With higher bullion prices on the continent, the weight of the silver coins was reduced again. Pennies were minted at the London and Durham mints. With the reformation starting in the 1530s, the principal effect as far as the coinage was concerned was the closure of the ecclesiastical mints of Canterbury and York — in future all mints would be Royal mints, under the control of the crown who would get all the revenue; the second coinage, of 1526–1544 had a different inscription, H.
D. G. ROSA SIE SPIA — Henry by the grace of God a rose without a thorn. At this time the pound standard for mintage was changed from the local Tower pound to the internationally known troy pound; the coins were minted at London, the Canterbury and York ecclesiastical mints. The Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s and the ratification of the First Act of Supremacy in 1534 resulted in a huge financial bonus for the king, but by 1544 Henry was running short of money, thanks to his own extravagant lifestyle and expenditure. Henry's solution was to drastically lower the fineness of the third coinage to only one-third silver and two-thirds copper; this was understandably not popular with the people, it resulted in Henry acquiring the nickname "Old Coppernose" as the silver rubbed off the high-relief part of the coin design. By this time there were two mints in London, at the Tower and in Southwark, both of them, together with mints in Bristol and York produced the debased coinage which bore the inscription H.
D. G. ROSA SINE SPINA; the debased coinage caused rampant inflation, so when Henry died in 1547 he left behind a country with a sickly nine-year-old king, religious turmoil, economic unrest. Moreover, the influx of silver and gold from Central and South America into Spain and thus to the rest of Europe was destabilising the price of bullion and making the situation worse; until 1551, what is known as the posthumous coinage was produced — these were coins which were the same as Henry's last issue, but with a different portrait of him. Inflation over the last thirty years had made the penny much less important, in fact for the next few reigns the most common coins would be shillings and groats; the reign of Edward VI though short was numismatically important for seeing the introduction of new denominations — the silver crown, half crown, shilling and Threepence — which were to survive until 1971, which were a reflection of the increasing wealth of the country. The new coins were struck with the aim of revitalising the economy.
Edward VI's pennies however, were still struck in debased metal at the Tower, Southwark and York, with the inscription E. D. G. ROSA SINE SPINA — Edward by the grace of God a rose without a thorn. In 1553 Edward died and was succeeded — after the nine-day rule of Lady Jane Grey — by his older sister, the Catholic Queen Mary. Pennies of her first year, bearing her head alone with the inscription M. D. G. ROSA SINE SPINA — Mary by the grace of God a rose without a thorn — are quite rare. In 1554 she married Philip, the Prince of Spain, put his portrait on the coinage as well as her own. Both fine silver and base metal pennies of this reign were issued from the Tower mint, with the legend P Z M D G ROSA SINE SPINA — Philip and Mary by the grace of God a rose without a thorn; when Elizabeth I ascended the throne in 1558, England was an impoverished country, in religious turmoil, with a coinage, in a poor state after Henry VIII's debasement, since when little had been done to improve either the quantity or quality of the coins in circulation.
The coinage system as a whole urgently needed reform, Elizabeth boldly set about doing this. Throughout her reign large quantities of gold and silver coins of many denominations were pro
Farthing (English coin)
A farthing was a coin of the Kingdom of England worth one quarter of a penny, 1⁄960 of a pound sterling. Such coins were first minted in England in silver in the 13th century, continued to be used until the Kingdom of England was merged into the new Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Early farthings were silver; the first copper farthings were issued during the reign of King James I, who gave a licence for minting them to John Harington, 1st Baron Harington of Exton. Licences were subsequently given out until after the Commonwealth, when the Royal Mint resumed production in 1672. In the late 17th century the English farthing was minted in tin. For farthings, minted in the 18th century and for use in Scotland as well as in England and Wales, in the 19th and 20th centuries for use in Great Britain and Ireland, see Farthing. Little is known of the medieval silver farthing; as the smallest denomination, it was hoarded – silver farthings have never been found in large hoards – and as it contained a quarter-penny's worth of silver it was extremely small, therefore lost.
Besides, farthings were not produced in anything like the quantities of the penny and halfpenny because, although they were useful to ordinary people, they were not so much used by the wealthy and powerful. Furthermore, the coins are so small, they are rare today. Until the 13th century, requirements for small change were met by "cut coinage" i.e. pennies cut into halves or quarters along the cross which formed a prominent part of the reverse of the coin. It was long considered that the first silver farthings were produced in the reign of King Edward I. However, in recent years five examples have been discovered dating from the reign of King Henry III. All are in the short-cross style of that period, produced between 1216 and 1247, are similar in design to the pennies, but only a quarter the size. Due to the lack of known examples and documentary evidence, these coins are thought to be trials rather than circulating coins; the production of farthings was authorised by the Patent Rolls of 1222, but actual examples have only been discovered.
The obverse shows a bust of the king holding a sceptre, with the inscription HENRICUS REX, while the reverse shows a small cross with three pellets in each quarter with the moneyer's inscription TERRI ON LUND – Terry of London – only two examples of Terri's and Ilger's work have been discovered, the identification of Adam is uncertain because only part of his coin has survived. Contemporary records show that over four million farthings were produced during the reign of King Edward I, but comparatively few have survived. By far the most prolific mint was London, identified on the reverse of the coin by LONDONIENSIS or CIVITAS LONDON or rarely LONDRIENSIS, but they were produced at Berwick, Lincoln and York, but most of the provincial mints' output is rare today; the weight and fineness of Edwards' farthings varies - the first three issues from the London mint weigh 6.85 grains / 0.44 grams, while the issues weigh 5.5 grains / 0.36 grams, but the value of the coins remained the same as the heavier coins had a lower fineness or silver content than the lighter coins.
Edward's farthings were of the long cross type reverse, the usual legend on the obverse was EDWARDUS REX, or E R ANGLIE, once ER ANGL DN. Only two mints and Berwick, produced farthings in the reign of King Edward II, their output is classed as "rare" and "very rare" respectively, they are similar to the coins of his father, in fact the combination of their rarity and poor condition means that there has not been much research done into the farthings of this reign, although it does seem that for much of the reign farthings of Edward I continued to be produced occasionally. Edward III's farthings, though similar to his predecessors, are easy to distinguish as the more common inscription on the obverse was EDWARDUS REX A. Three mints produced farthings in this reign: London is most prolific, Berwick is rare, only three examples are known of the output of the Reading mint. Edward III's farthings remain rare. Although the normal fineness of silver used at this time was.925, for the second coinage of 1335–1343 the London mint produced larger farthings of.833 silver.
King Richard II's are rare in any condition. They were all struck at the London mint and bear the inscription RICARD REX ANGL. Henry IV issued farthings in both the "heavy" and "light" coinages, although allowing for the prevalence of clipping it is quite difficult to distinguish between the two coinages at the size of the farthing. Both issues are rare and carry the obverse inscription HENRIC REX ANGL and the reverse inscription CIVITAS LONDON, although on the light coinage it appears as CIVITAS LOIDOI. Henry V's single issue of farthings is distinguishable from those of his fath
Byzantine currency, money used in the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the West, consisted of two types of coins: the gold solidus and a variety of valued bronze coins. By the end of the empire the currency was issued only in silver stavrata and minor copper coins with no gold issue; the East Roman or Byzantine Empire operated several mints throughout its history. Aside from the main metropolitan mint in the capital, Constantinople, a varying number of provincial mints were established in other urban centres during the 6th century. Most provincial mints except for Syracuse were lost to invasions by the mid-7th century. After the loss of Syracuse in 878, Constantinople became the sole mint for gold and silver coinage until the late 11th century, when major provincial mints began to re-appear. Many mints, both imperial and, as the Byzantine world fragmented, belonging to autonomous local rulers, were operated in the 12th to 14th centuries. Constantinople and Trebizond, the seat of the independent Empire of Trebizond, survived until their conquest by the Ottoman Turks in the mid-15th century.
Early Byzantine coins continue the late Roman conventions: on the obverse the head of the Emperor, now full face rather than in profile, on the reverse a Christian symbol such as the cross, or a Victory or an angel. The gold coins of Justinian II departed from these stable conventions by putting a bust of Christ on the obverse, a half or full-length portrait of the Emperor on the reverse; these innovations incidentally had the effect of leading the Islamic Caliph Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine styles but replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with only lettering on both sides. This was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. In the 10th century, so-called "anonymous folles" were struck instead of the earlier coins depicting the emperor; the anonymous folles featured the bust of Jesus on the obverse and the inscription "XRISTUS/bASILEU/bASILE", which translates to "Christ, Emperor of Emperors" Byzantine coins followed, took to the furthest extreme, the tendency of precious metal coinage to get thinner and wider as time goes on.
Late Byzantine gold coins became thin wafers. The Byzantine coinage had a prestige. European rulers, once they again started issuing their own coins, tended to follow a simplified version of Byzantine patterns, with full face ruler portraits on the obverse; the start of what is viewed as Byzantine currency by numismatics began with the monetary reform of Anastasius in 498, who reformed the late Roman Empire coinage system which consisted of the gold solidus and the bronze nummi. The nummus was an small bronze coin, at about 8–10 mm, weight of 0.56 g making it at 576 to the Roman pound, inconvenient because a large number of them were required for small transactions. New bronze coins, multiples of the nummus were introduced, such as the 40 nummi, 20 nummi, 10 nummi, 5 nummi coins; the obverse of these coins featured a stylized portrait of the emperor while the reverse featured the value of the denomination represented according to the Greek numbering system. Silver coins were produced; the only issued silver coin was the Hexagram first issued by Heraclius in 615 which lasted until the end of the 7th century, minted in varying fineness with a weight between 7.5 and 8.5 grams.
It was succeeded by the ceremonial miliaresion established by Leo III the Isaurian in ca. 720, which became standard issue from ca. 830 on and until the late 11th century, when it was discontinued after being debased. Small transactions were conducted with bronze coinage throughout this period; the gold solidus or nomisma remained a standard of international commerce until the 11th century, when it began to be debased under successive emperors beginning in the 1030s under the emperor Romanos Argyros. Until that time, the fineness of the gold remained consistent at about 0.955–0.980. The Byzantine monetary system changed during the 7th century when the 40 nummi, now smaller, became the only bronze coin to be issued. Although Justinian II attempted a restoration of the follis size of Justinian I, the follis continued to decrease in size. In the early 9th century, a three-fourths-weight solidus was issued in parallel with a full-weight solidus, both preserving the standard of fineness, under a failed plan to force the market to accept the underweight coins at the value of the full weight coins.
The 11⁄12 weight coin was called a tetarteron, the full weight solidus was called the histamenon. The tetarteron was only sporadically reissued during the 10th century; the full weight solidus was struck at 72 to the Roman pound 4.48 grams in weight. There were solidi of weight reduced by one siliqua issued for trade with the Near East; these reduced solidi, with a star both on obverse and reverse, weighed about 4.25 g. The Byzantine solidus was valued in Western Europe, where it became known as the bezant, a corruption of Byzantium; the term bezant became the name for the heraldic symbol of a roundel, tincture or - i.e. a gold disc. Former money changer Michael IV the Paphlagonian assumed
Sovereign (English coin)
The English gold sovereign was a gold coin of the Kingdom of England first issued in 1489 under King Henry VII. While the coin had a nominal value of one pound sterling, or twenty shillings, the sovereign was an official piece of bullion and had no mark of value on its face; the name derives from the large size and majestic portrait of the monarch, with the obverse of the first sovereigns showing the king full face, sitting on a throne, while the reverse shows the Royal Arms of England and a Tudor double rose. The first sovereigns weighed 240 grains, or half a troy ounce. King Henry VIII lessened the gold content to 22 carats, or 91.67%, under the name of crown gold this became the gold coin standard in both the British Isles and the United States. The coin's weight was reduced several times until it was last minted in 1604. Unites, Laurels and guineas took its place; the inscription reads A DNO' FACTU' EST ISTUD ET EST MIRAB' IN OCULIS NRS - abbreviation for A DOMINO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET EST MIRABILE IN OCULIS NOSTRIS.
Sovereign Sovereign coins