United Kingdom: Coin Type Quarter Sovereign (Pre-decimal) - detailed information

United Kingdom: Coin Type Quarter Sovereign (Pre-decimal) (issued 1853 - 1853)
Coin TypeQuarter Sovereign (Pre-decimal)

The coinage reform in the reign of George III made no provision for a quarter-sovereign, the denomination of five shillings being satisfactorily served by the large silver crown piece. By 1853, however, there was a perceived need for a more conveniently-sized coin of five shillings and, in initial trials, attractive little quarter-sovereigns were struck as pattern pieces.

The quarter-sovereign pattern pieces of 1853 bore the lovely Young Head portrait of Queen Victoria while two different reverse designs were considered.

The first reverse design features a Crowned Royal Shield of Arms with the text 'QUARTER SOVEREIGN 1853' around the edge.

The second reverse design features the text of the proposed denomination and text in the center - 'FIVE SHILLINGS 1853' whilst a crown features at the top and a thistle, rose and clover features at the bottom of the reverse.

The proposal was abandoned probably because the coin was so small it could far too easily be lost between a thumb and forefinger. There was also likely to be the problem that it would wear too fast in circulation as was indeed the case with the half sovereign.

Obverse

Head of Queen Victoria facing left wearing ribbon in her hair; around, VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:.

Obverse InscriptionVICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Reverse

Reverse Inscription
EdgePlain
Edge InscriptionNone
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Quarter Sovereign (Pre-decimal): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
From1853
To1853
Face Value1/4 (x Pound)
CurrentNo
MaterialGold
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationSame (Medal Alignment, Axis 0 / Axis 12)
Size (mm)13
Mass (g)2.0810
Quarter Sovereign (Pre-decimal): Photos
ImageDetails
Gold 1/4 Sovereign, Great Britain, 1853
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
Notes: Quarter Sovereign (1853).
Source
Gold 5 shillings, Great Britain, 1853
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
Notes: Five Shillings (1853).
Source
Gold 1/4 Sovereign, Great Britain, 1853
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
Notes: Queen Victoria (1853).
Source