Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal), Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal), Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1817 - 1970)
Coin TypeMaundy Threepence (Pre-decimal)

The Maundy threepence (or three pence) coin is the second highest denomination of Maundy money - coins specially minted in varying (but always small) mintage for ceremonial purposes and not intended as circulating currency. They are usually handed by the British monarch in person to selected deserving individuals once every year. They are issued in "prooflike" condition and usually remain in it, especially the more recent ones. Each recipient receives two purses: a red one with ordinary coins, and a white purse containing a particular amount (which varies every year) made up of one, two, three and four pence Maundy coins. Since the amounts are not always divisible by ten, the number (and mintage) of the respective denominations differ; in other words, they cannot always all be cleanly combined into a number of full sets. Note also that the coins are initially in purses; the sets that appear on the market are made from these later, and are not issued as sets by the Royal Mint.

The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which has its origin in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples on the day before Good Friday. The commandment (also known as a "mandatum" from which the word Maundy is derived) "that ye love one another" (John XIII 34) is still recalled regularly by Christian churches throughout the world. The ceremony of washing the feet of the poor which was accompanied by gifts of food and clothing can be traced back to the fourth century.

Maundy money has remained in much the same form since 1670, and the coins used for the Maundy ceremony have traditionally been struck in sterling silver, save for the brief interruptions of King Henry VIII’s debasement of the coinage and the general change to 50% silver coins in 1920. The sterling silver standard (92.5%) was resumed following the Coinage Act of 1946. The current reverse was designed by Jean Baptiste Merlen in 1822 and has been issued every year since then with only minor modifications.

As there is no record of any denomination higher than one penny (then struck for circulation in silver) being used in the Maundy gift before 1731, sets from before then are most likely ordinary circulation strikes. At that time, coins used for the Maundy money distribution were indistinguishable from those struck for circulation. It was not until 1752 that coins not struck for circulation were used for the Maundy distribution. In a time when little silver was being struck by the Royal Mint, the coins distributed might bear a previous year's date.

To evade statutory prohibitions on the striking of silver coin during the Napoleonic Wars, all Maundy pieces issued from 1800 to 1815 bear the date 1800, though most were struck later. When the date was finally changed in 1816, after the prohibition ended, the size of the coins was slightly reduced, as the Royal Mint implemented a change from striking 62 shillings of silver coin from one troy pound of sterling silver to 66 shillings.The last year in which no Maundy coins were struck was 1821.

In 1689, the Royal Mint began using a design for the reverse of the four low-denomination silver coins depicting a crowned numeral. The designer is unknown (Richard Lobel, in his catalogue of British coins, suggests the artist was George Bower, an employee of the Royal Mint whose medals bear similar characteristics), but his work has endured, in a revised form, for over three hundred years. In 1822 an amended reverse was introduced, and has been struck every year since then in all four denominations.

The 1822 reverse design, which places the crowned numeral within an oak wreath was done by Jean Baptiste Merlen. This design is still struck each year, though the crown was altered in 1888, as was the appearance of the numeral "2" on the twopence. These changes were made by Royal Mint engraver Leonard Charles Wyon. A proposal by the Royal Mint in 1950 to return to the pre-1888 "2" as more artistic was refused by King George VI, who felt the current numeral was stylistically similar to the numerals on the other coins, and the pre-1888 "2" was not.

Beginning in 1834, threepence pieces were also struck for circulation bearing the same design as the Maundy threepence. The circulation pieces were initially struck for use in the West Indies, but beginning in 1845, were coined for use in Britain as well. Many of the threepences presented to impoverished Maundy recipients were spent and are rarer than the other denominations today.

Maundy threepences may sometimes be distinguished from currency threepences as dies with a more polished field were used for the Maundy pieces. The design of the circulation threepence remained the same as that of the Maundy threepence until 1928, when a new design was introduced for the circulating coins. Twopence coins identical to Maundy pieces, intended for colonial use, were struck in 1838, 1843, and 1848.

The original composition of the coins was sterling (0.925) silver. In common with all British silver coins, the fineness was reduced to 0.500 in 1921. In 1947 silver was removed from all circulating British coinage in favour of cupronickel, but as it was felt to be inappropriate to strike Maundy coins in base metal, their fineness was restored to 0.925.

On Decimal Day 15 February 1971, the pound sterling became decimalised, with 100 new pence instead of 20 shillings of 12 pence (240 pence) in a pound. No change was made to the design of the Maundy pieces, and all Maundy pieces, both pre- and post-Decimal Day are deemed denominated in new pence, more than doubling the face value of the pre-1971 pieces. The series continues as a decimal threepence.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal) - obverse photo

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend (in Latin).

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal) - reverse photo

Within an open oak wreath, the numeral value 3 [pence].

Above the value, the Royal Crown, depicted as St. Edward's crown until 1887, and as the Tudor Crown thereafter - indicating a change to the "Imperial Crown" after Queen Victoria became Empress of India. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, it was again supposed to stand for St. Edwards Crown, but the depiction remained that of the Tudor Crown.

Divided by the value, the date of issue: [year].

Reverse Inscription 3 [year]
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal) - (152) Coins (Page 2 of 2)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Threepence 1919 (Maundy) 1,524 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1920 (Maundy) 1,460 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1921 (Maundy) 1,542 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1922 (Maundy) 1,609 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1923 (Maundy) 1,726 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1924 (Maundy) 1,672 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1925 (Maundy) 1,670 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1926 (Maundy) 1,762 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1927 (Maundy) 1,681 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1928 (Maundy) 1,642 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1929 (Maundy) 1,761 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1930 (Maundy) 1,724 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1931 (Maundy) 1,759 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1932 (Maundy) 1,835 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1933 (Maundy) 1,872 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1934 (Maundy) 1,887 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1935 (Maundy) 1,928 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1936 (Maundy) 1,323 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1937 (Maundy) 1,325 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1938 (Maundy) 1,275 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1939 (Maundy) 1,234 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1940 (Maundy) 1,277 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1941 (Maundy) 1,253 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1942 (Maundy) 1,231 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1943 (Maundy) 1,239 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1944 (Maundy) 1,259 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1945 (Maundy) 1,355 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1946 (Maundy) 1,365 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1947 (Maundy) 1,375 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1948 (Maundy) 1,385 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1949 (Maundy) 1,395 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1950 (Maundy) 1,405 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1951 (Maundy) 1,468 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1952 (Maundy) 1,012 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1953 (Maundy) 1,078 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1954 (Maundy) 1,076 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1955 (Maundy) 1,082 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1956 (Maundy) 1,088 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1957 (Maundy) 1,094 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1958 (Maundy) 1,100 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1959 (Maundy) 1,172 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1960 (Maundy) 1,112 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1961 (Maundy) 1,118 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1962 (Maundy) 1,125 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1963 (Maundy) 1,205 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1964 (Maundy) 1,213 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1965 (Maundy) 1,221 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1966 (Maundy) 1,206 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1967 (Maundy) 986 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1968 (Maundy) 964 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1969 (Maundy) 1,088 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1970 (Maundy) 980 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Showing 101 to 152 of 152 Coins.
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Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
From1817
To1970
Face Value3 (x Penny)
CurrentYes
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size16.0000 mm
Mass1.4100 g
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photos
ImageDetails
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence, George III, Great Britain, 1818 Coin - Threepence, George III, Great Britain, 1818
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: George III reverse (1817 - 1820).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence (Maundy), William IV, Great Britain, 1831 Coin - Threepence (Maundy), William IV, Great Britain, 1831
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Great Britain 1911 3 pence Great Britain 1911 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence, George III, Great Britain, 1818 Coin - Threepence, George III, Great Britain, 1818
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George III (1817 - 1820).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence, George IV, Great Britain, 1827 Coin - Threepence, George IV, Great Britain, 1827
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George IV (1822 - 1830).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence (Maundy), William IV, Great Britain, 1831 Coin - Threepence (Maundy), William IV, Great Britain, 1831
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King William IV (1831 - 1837).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence (Maundy), Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1877 Coin - Threepence (Maundy), Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1877
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, young head (1838 - 1887).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Great Britain 1893 3 pence Great Britain 1893 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, old head (1893 - 1901).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Great Britain 1907 3 pence Great Britain 1907 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King Edward VII (1902 - 1910).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence (Maundy), George V, Great Britain, 1932 Coin - Threepence (Maundy), George V, Great Britain, 1932
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George V (1911 - 1936).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Great Britain 1953 3 pence KM-887 Great Britain 1953 3 pence KM-887
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Elizabeth II, Queen of all the Britains (1953).
Source
Maundy Threepence (Pre-decimal): Photo Coin - Threepence (Maundy), Elizabeth II, Great Britain, 1957 Coin - Threepence (Maundy), Elizabeth II, Great Britain, 1957
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II (1954 - 1970).
Source