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
Legal tender is a medium of payment recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency and coins are common forms of legal tender in many countries. Legal tender is variously defined in different jurisdictions. Formally, it is anything. Thus, personal cheques, credit cards, similar non-cash methods of payment are not legal tender; the law does not relieve the debt obligation. Coins and banknotes are defined as legal tender; some jurisdictions may restrict payment made other than by legal tender. For example, such a law might outlaw the use of foreign coins and bank notes or require a license to perform financial transactions in a foreign currency. Designation of a particular form of money as legal tender means "that the designated money is valid payment for all debts unless there is a specific agreement to the contrary". In some jurisdictions legal tender can be refused as payment if no debt exists prior to the time of payment. For example, vending machines and transport staff do not have to accept the largest denomination of banknote.
Shopkeepers may reject large banknotes: this is covered by the legal concept known as invitation to treat. The right, in many jurisdictions, of a trader to refuse to do business with any person, means a purchaser may not insist on making a purchase and so declaring a legal tender in law, as anything other than an offered payment for debts incurred would not be effective. Under U. S. federal law, cash in U. S. dollars is a legal offer of payment for antecedent debts when tendered to a creditor. By contrast, federal statutes do not require that someone, not a pre-existing creditor must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses may formulate their own policies on whether to accept cash unless state law requires otherwise; the term "legal tender" is from French tendre, meaning to offer. The Latin root is tendere, the sense of tender as an offer is related to the etymology of the English word "extend". Demonetization is the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender.
It occurs whenever there is a change of national currency: The current form or forms of money is pulled from circulation and retired to be replaced with new notes or coins. Sometimes, a country replaces the old currency with new currency; the opposite of demonetization is remonetization, in which a form of payment is restored as legal tender. Coins and banknotes may cease to be legal tender if new notes of the same currency replace them or if a new currency is introduced replacing the former one. Examples of this are: The United Kingdom, adopting decimal currency in place of pounds and pence in 1971, Banknotes remained unchanged. In 1968 and 1969 decimal coins which had precise equivalent values in the old currency were introduced, while decimal coins with no precise equivalent were introduced on 15 February 1971; the smallest and largest non-decimal circulating coins, the half penny and half crown, were withdrawn in 1969, the other non-decimal coins with no precise equivalent in the new currency were withdrawn in 1971.
Non-decimal coins with precise decimal equivalents remained legal tender either until the coins no longer circulated, or the equivalent decimal coins were reduced in size in the early 1990s. The 6d coin was permitted to remain in large circulation throughout the United Kingdom due to the London Underground committee's large investment in coin-operated ticketing machines that used it. Old coins returned to the Royal Mint through the UK banking system will be redeemed by exchanging them for legal tender currency with no time limits; the successor states of the Soviet Union replacing the Soviet ruble in the 1990s. Currencies used in the Eurozone before being replaced by the euro are not legal tender, but all banknotes are redeemable for euros for a minimum of 10 years. India demonetised its 500 and 1000 rupee notes on 8 November 2016; this action affected 86 percent of all cash in circulation. The demonetisation action was intended to curb black money, the hoarding of unaccounted cash, sponsorship of terrorism, but led to long queues from bank runs, leaving more than 30 people dead.
The old notes are now being replaced by new 2000 rupee notes. The Philippines has ceased 2 peso and 50 centavo coins of Flora and Fauna Series in 2000, due to overminting of the coins of BSP Series that has not included the 2 peso and 50 centavo coins of that series. Individual coins or banknotes can be demonetised and cease to be legal tender, but the Bank of England does redeem all Bank of England banknotes by exchanging them for legal tender currency at its counters in London regardless of how old they are. Banknotes issued by retail banks in the UK are not legal tender, but one of the criteria for legal protection under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act is that banknotes must be payable on demand, therefore withdrawn notes remain a liability of the issuing bank without any time limits. In the case of the euro, coins an
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was educated at home, her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; when her father died in February 1952, she became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa and Ceylon, became republics.
Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992 and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy has been and remains high, as does her personal popularity. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.
Her father, the Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, Mary after her paternal grandmother. Called "Lilibet" by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery. Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930; the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Lessons concentrated on history, language and music. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family; the book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, her attitude of responsibility. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character, she has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant." Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved". During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young. Many people believed he would have children of his own; when her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father.
That year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth's father became king, she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed so she could socialise with girls her own age, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger. In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured the United States; as in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Elizabeth "looked tearful", they corresponded and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.
In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War. Lord Hailsham suggested that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada to avoid the frequent aerial bombing; this was rejected by Elizabeth's mother. I won't leave wit
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality, it has been a focal point for the British people at times of national mourning. Known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site, in private ownership for at least 150 years, it was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837; the last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East Front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds.
The palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II. The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House; the palace has 775 rooms, the garden is the largest private garden in London. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring. In the Middle Ages, the site of the future palace formed part of the Manor of Ebury; the marshy ground was watered by the river Tyburn, which still flows below the courtyard and south wing of the palace. Where the river was fordable, the village of Eye Cross grew.
Ownership of the site changed hands many times. William gave the site to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who bequeathed it to the monks of Westminster Abbey. In 1531, Henry VIII acquired the Hospital of St James, which became St James's Palace, from Eton College, in 1536 he took the Manor of Ebury from Westminster Abbey; these transfers brought the site of Buckingham Palace back into royal hands for the first time since William the Conqueror had given it away 500 years earlier. Various owners leased it from royal landlords and the freehold was the subject of frenzied speculation during the 17th century. By the old village of Eye Cross had long since fallen into decay, the area was wasteland. Needing money, James I sold off part of the Crown freehold but retained part of the site on which he established a 4-acre mulberry garden for the production of silk. Clement Walker in Anarchia Anglicana refers to "new-erected sodoms and spintries at the Mulberry Garden at S. James's". In the late 17th century, the freehold was inherited from the property tycoon Sir Hugh Audley by the great heiress Mary Davies.
The first house erected within the site was that of a Sir William Blake, around 1624. The next owner was Lord Goring, who from 1633 extended Blake's house and developed much of today's garden known as Goring Great Garden, he did not, obtain the freehold interest in the mulberry garden. Unbeknown to Goring, in 1640 the document "failed to pass the Great Seal before King Charles I fled London, which it needed to do for legal execution", it was this critical omission that helped the British royal family regain the freehold under King George III. The improvident Goring defaulted on his rents. Arlington House rose on the site—the location of the southern wing of today's palace—the next year. In 1698, John Sheffield the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, acquired the lease; the house which forms the architectural core of the palace was built for the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby in 1703 to the design of William Winde. The style chosen was of a large, three-floored central block with two smaller flanking service wings.
Buckingham House was sold by Buckingham's natural son, Sir Charles Sheffield, in 1761 to George III for £21,000. Sheffield's leasehold on the mulberry garden site, the freehold of, still owned by the royal family, was due to expire in 1774. Under the new Crown ownership, the building was intended as a private retreat for King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, was accordingly known as The Queen's House. Remodelling of the structure began in 1762. In 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte, in exchange for her rights to Somerset House, 14 of her 15 children were born there; some furnishings were transferred from Carlton House, others had been bought in France after the French Revolution of 1789. While St James's Palace remained the official and ceremonial royal residence, the name "Buckingham-palace" was used from at least 1791. After his accession to the throne in 1820, King George IV continued the renovation with the idea in mind of a small, comfort
Commemorative coins are coins that were issued to commemorate some particular event or issue. Most world commemorative coins were issued from the 1960s onward, although there are numerous examples of commemorative coins of earlier date; such coins have a distinct design with reference to the occasion. Many coins of this category serve as collectors items only, although some countries are issuing commemorative coins for regular circulation. Vast numbers of thematic coins are continuously being issued, highlighting ancient monuments or sites, historical personalities, endangered species etc. While such thematic coins may or may not commemorate any particular event or jubilee, the distinction between commemorative coins and thematic coins is blurred or ignored. Coins can be seen as being of one of three types: Regular issue coinage are the normal coins intended to be used in commerce every day and are issued with the same design for several years, e.g. euro coins. Circulating commemoratives are intended to be used for commerce, but the design will only be issued for a limited time, is intended to draw some attention to a specific event or person.
Examples include the €2 commemorative coins, or U. S. 50 State Quarters. Non-circulating legal tender are coins which are legal tender, thus can in theory be used to purchase goods or services, but are not intended to be used in such a manner. Rather, they are intended to be used only as souvenirs, are produced in gold or silver with a proof finish; the coins issued by any state have always reflected the current political or economic situation. Many ancient and pre-modern coins commemorate events in contemporary times. For instance, Roman coins have references to military campaigns and the defeat of foreign powers; these reverse types symbolically represent the subordination of conquered territories to Roman authority. Such coins are examples of ancient political propaganda; the Roman Empire may be represented by a proud warrior'raising' an undersized figure, representing the defeated enemy. Throughout history, coins have been issued on special occasions, without citing that occasion explicitly.
In some cases, emergency money have been issued under unfavourable conditions, such as a city under siege. Such emergency coins were issued in Vienna in 1529, while the city was besieged by the troops of the Ottoman Empire. Due to the conditions at the time, such coins are minted on square flans, rather than round ones. European square coins of this era are known by their German name'klippe'. Coins might be issued with the specific purpose of financing a military campaign, or for the payment of tribute or war indemnity by a feudal lord to his sovereign. During recent centuries, specially prepared coins have been issued to proclaim the coronation of a new monarch; such coins are known as'largesse' coins. This type of coins were issued in India during the Mughal era, in Europe in the age of absolutism. In Europe, such coins were scattered from the royal chariot, to achieve attention and applause from the public. In Sweden, coins of this type were issued as late as 1873. During the era of the formation of the European nation states, the issuance of special coins explicitly commemorating various events became common.
These coins were devised to establish a public notion of nationhood, to honor the ruling monarch and his dynasty. During the economically exhaustive Napoleonic wars, a one sixth rigsdaler was issued in Denmark from voluntary contributions from the public, intended to finance the creation of a new fleet. Another notable coin is the Prussian thaler of 1871, commemorating the victory of the Franco-Prussian war, opening the gates for the Prussian king to be crowned as Emperor of the unified German nation. After the unification of Germany, some German states continued issuing separate coins on special occasions, such as the jubilee of a ruling monarch; the issuance of these royal jubilee coins became common throughout Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century. In some cases, these became collector items at the time of their minting. Before World War II, commemorative coins were always made of precious metals; the base metal coins were not considered appropriate for, or worthy of, honoring the nation or the ruling dynasty.
However, during the 20th century, the use of precious metals for circulating currency became scarce. World War I and the world economic crisis of the 1930s brought about temporary or permanent abolition of the convertibility of bank notes to silver and gold coins; the issuance of precious metal coins became restricted, definitively abandoned about 1970. While the commemoratives of these decades continued to be issued predominantly in precious metals, their use as circulating currency became scarce or ceased entirely. Thus, the commemoratives developed into a separate class of coins with no recognisable link to the coins and notes used in everyday transactions; this class of coins were collectors items, or in some cases objects for economic investment. With the ascendance of coin collecting as a hobby for larger numbers of people in the decades after World War II, commemorative coins came to be seen as treasured items, their beauty and impressive appearance appealing to many. From this point in time, we can distinguish quite between two classes of commemorative coins.
Apart from the non-circulating medal-like coins referred to above, increasing numbers of circulating base metal commemorative coins have been issued in rece
Sovereign (British coin)
The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling. Struck from 1817 until the present time, it was a circulating coin accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world. In most recent years, it has borne the well-known design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reverse—the initials of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci, may be seen to the right of the date; the coin was named after the English gold sovereign, last minted about 1603, originated as part of the Great Recoinage of 1816. Many in Parliament believed a one-pound coin should be issued rather than the 21-shilling guinea struck until that time; the Master of the Mint, William Wellesley Pole, had Pistrucci design the new coin, his depiction was used for other gold coins. The coin was unpopular as the public preferred the convenience of banknotes, but paper currency of value £1 was soon limited by law. With that competition gone, the sovereign not only became a popular circulating coin, but was used in international trade and in foreign lands, trusted as a coin containing a known quantity of gold.
The British government promoted the use of the sovereign as an aid to international trade, the Royal Mint took steps to see that lightweight gold coins were withdrawn from circulation. From the 1850s until 1932, the sovereign was struck at colonial mints in Australia, in Canada, South Africa and India—they have been struck again in India since 2013 for the local market; the sovereigns issued in Australia carried a unique local design, but by 1887, all new sovereigns bore Pistrucci's George and Dragon design. Strikings there were so large that by 1900, about 40 per cent of the sovereigns in Britain had been minted in Australia. With the start of the First World War in 1914, the sovereign vanished from circulation in Britain, replaced by paper money, it did not return after the war, though issues at colonial mints continued until 1932; the coin was still used in the Middle East, demand rose in the 1950s, which the Royal Mint responded to by striking new sovereigns in 1957. It has been struck since both as a bullion coin and, beginning in 1979, for collectors.
Though the sovereign is no longer in circulation, it is still legal tender in the United Kingdom. There had been an English coin known as the sovereign, first authorised by Henry VII in 1489, it had a diameter of 42 millimetres, weighed 15.55 grams, twice the weight of the existing gold coin, the ryal. The new coin was struck in response to a large influx of gold into Europe from West Africa in the 1480s, Henry at first called it the double ryal, but soon changed the name to sovereign. Too great in value to have any practical use in circulation, the original sovereign served as a presentation piece to be given to dignitaries; the English sovereign, the country's first coin to be valued at one pound, was struck by the monarchs of the 16th century, the size and fineness being altered. James I, when he came to the English throne in 1603, issued a sovereign in the year of his accession, but the following year, soon after he proclaimed himself King of Great Britain and Ireland, he issued a proclamation for a new twenty-shilling piece.
About ten per cent lighter than the final sovereigns, the new coin was called the unite, symbolising that James had merged the Scottish and English crowns. In the 1660s, following the Restoration of Charles II and the mechanisation of the Royal Mint that followed, a new twenty-shilling gold coin was issued, it had no special name at first but the public soon nicknamed it the guinea and this became the accepted term. Coins were at the time valued by their precious metal content, the price of gold relative to silver rose soon after the guinea's issuance. Thus, it came to trade at 21 shillings or sixpence more. Popular in commerce, the coin's value was set by the government at 21 shillings in silver in 1717, was subject to revision downward, though in practice this did not occur; the term sovereign, referring to a coin, fell from use—it does not appear in Samuel Johnson's dictionary, compiled in the 1750s. This economy was disrupted by the Napoleonic Wars, gold was hoarded. Among the measures taken to allow trade to continue was the issuance of one-pound banknotes.
The public came to like them as more convenient than the odd-value guinea. After the war, Parliament, by the Coinage Act 1816, placed Britain on the gold standard, with the pound to be defined as a given quantity of gold; every speaker supported having a coin valued at twenty shillings, rather than continuing to use the guinea. The Coinage Act did not specify which coins the Mint should strike. A committee of the Privy Council recommended gold coins of ten shillings, twenty shillings, two pounds and five pounds be issued, this was accepted by George, Prince Regent on 3 August 1816; the twenty-shilling piece was named a sovereign, with the resurrection of the old name promoted by antiquarians with numismatic interests. William Wellesley Pole, elder brother of the Duke of Wellington, was appointed Master of the Mint in 1812, with a mandate to reform the Royal Mint. Pole had favoured retaining the guinea, due to the number extant and the amount of labour required to replace them with sovereigns.
Formal instruction to the Mint came with an indenture dated February 1817, directing the Royal Mint to strike gold coins weighing 7.988 grams, to say, the new sovereign. The Italian sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci came to London early in 1816, his talent opened the doors of
Crown (British coin)
The British crown, the successor to the English crown and the Scottish dollar, came into being with the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707. As with the English coin, its value was five shillings. Always a heavy silver coin weighing around one ounce, during the 19th and 20th centuries the crown declined from being a real means of exchange to being a coin spent and minted for commemorative purposes only. In that format it has continued to be minted following decimalisation of the British currency in 1971. However, as the result of inflation the value of the coin was revised upwards in 1990 to five pounds; the coin's origins lay in the English silver crown, one of many silver coins that appeared in various countries from the 16th century onwards, the most famous example being the famous Spanish pieces of eight, all of which were of a similar size and weight and thus interchangeable in international trade. The kingdom of England minted gold Crowns in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The dies for all gold and silver coins of Queen Anne and King George I were engraved by John Croker, a migrant from Dresden in the Duchy of Saxony. The British crown was always a large coin, from the 19th century it did not circulate well. However, crowns were struck in a new monarch's coronation year, true of each monarch since King George IV up until the present monarch in 1953, with the single exception of King George V; the Queen Victoria "Gothic" crown of 1847 is considered by many to be the most beautiful British coin minted. The King George V "wreath" crowns struck from 1927 through 1936 depict a wreath on the reverse of the coin and were struck in low numbers. Struck late in the year and intended to be purchased as Christmas gifts, they did not circulate well, with the rarest of all dates, 1934, now fetching several thousand pounds each; the 1927 "wreath" crowns were struck as proofs only. With its large size, many of the coins were commemoratives; the 1951 issue was for the Festival of Britain, was only struck in proof condition.
The 1953 crown was issued to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, while the 1960 issue commemorated the British Exhibition in New York. The 1965 issue carried the image of Winston Churchill on the reverse, the first time a non-monarch or commoner was placed on a British coin, marked his death. According to the Standard Catalogue of coins, 19,640,000 of this coin were minted, a high number at the time, making them of little value today except as a mark of respect for the national war leader. Production of the Churchill Crown began on 11 October 1965, stopped in the summer of 1966; the crown was worth five shillings until decimalisation in February 1971. The last five shilling piece was minted in 1965; the crown coin was nicknamed the dollar, but is not to be confused with the British trade dollar that circulated in the Orient. In 2014, a new world record price was achieved for a milled silver crown; the coin was issued as a pattern by engraver Thomas Simon in 1663 and nicknamed the "Reddite Crown".
This was presented to Charles II as the new crown piece but was rejected in favour of the Roettiers Brothers' design. Auctioneers Spink & Son of London sold the coin on 27 March 2014 for £396,000 including commission. After decimalisation on 15 February 1971, a new coin known as a 25p piece was introduced. Whilst being legal tender, having the same decimal value as a crown, the 25p pieces were issued to commemorate events, such as: the 1972 piece was for the Silver Wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. All of these issues were struck in large mintages, in plastic cases, in cupro-nickel, an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel. However, in addition to this, limited numbers of collectors' coins of these modern issues were struck to proof quality separately by the Royal Mint in sterling silver and presented with certificates of authenticity in boxes; the mintages for the silver proof 25p coins issued are as follows: 1972: 100,000 1977: 377,000 1980: 83,672 1981: 218,142Further issues continue to be minted to the present day with a value of twenty-five pence, from 1990, with a value of five pounds.
The legal tender value of the crown remained as five shillings from 1544 to 1965. However, for most of this period there was no denominational designation or "face value" mark of value displayed on the coin. From 1927 to 1939, the word "CROWN" appears, from 1951 to 1960 this was changed to "FIVE SHILLINGS". After decimalisation in 1971, the face value kept its five shillings equivalent at 25 new pence simply 25 pence, although the face value is not shown on any of these issues. From 1990, the crown was re-tariffed at five pounds in view of its large size compared with its face value, taking into consideration its production costs, the Royal Mint's profits on sales of commemorative coins. While this change was understandable, it has brought with it a slight confusion, the popular misbelief that all crowns have a five-pound face value, i