Shilling, King George III, Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Shilling, King George III, Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1816 - 1820)
Coin TypeShilling, King George III

The pre-decimal shilling (1s), also abbreviated in sums as e.g. 1/- for one shilling, was a unit of currency equalling one twentieth of a pound sterling, or twelve pence sterling; the "s" in the abbreviation is not from "shilling" but from "sestertius" - the Roman coin which was the ancestor of the denomination. It was used in the United Kingdom, and earlier in Great Britain and England.

Shilling coins issued during the reign of King George III have a reverse design which is the same as the sixpence coins issued at the same time; they only differ by their size and weight (the shilling is exactly twice the weight of the sixpence). This shilling type was struck between 1816 and 1820 and features the bust of George III, by then subject to the regency of his son the Prince of Wales (the future King George IV).

The composition is Sterling Silver (0.925 silver) and the coins have 0.1682 oz ASW (ounce of Absolute Silver Weight). When the currency became decimal in 1971, shillings were re-denominated as five new pence; they remained legal tender until 1990, when a smaller type of five pence replaced them.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Shilling, King George III - obverse photo

Within a beaded border, the obverse of the coin shows the laureate head of King George III facing right.

Around left and right, the monarch's legend: GEOR: III D: G: BRITT: REX F: D: (abbreviated from Gerogius III, Dei Gratia Brittaniarum Rex, Fidei Defensor); translated from Latin: George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of the Britains, Defender of the Faith.

Below, the date of issue [year].

Obverse Inscription GEOR: III D: G: BRITT: REX F: D: [year]
Reverse
United Kingdom / Shilling, King George III - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin shows the crowned and garnished shield bearing the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom within the Garter of the Order of the Garter, with the motto HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE · inscribed on it, partly obscured by the crown.

"Honi soit qui mal y pense" is an Anglo-Norman maxim which means "Shame on whosoever would think badly of it," or "May he be shamed who thinks badly of it". Its literal translation from Old French is "Shame be to him who thinks evil of it."

The shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland. At centre, an escutcheon of the arms of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Electorate of Hanover), of which King George III was Elector as Georg III. Wilhelm Friedrich, and later king when it was elevated to a kingdom; the shield is crowned with the Crown of Charlemagne - reflecting the King's role as Arch-Treasurer of the Holy Roman Empire.

The crown on top is St Edward's Crown, named after Saint Edward the Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England. It has been traditionally used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronations since the 13th century, with a two-century gap between 1689 and 1911 so King George III was not himself crowned with it.

Reverse Inscription HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE ·
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
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Shilling, King George III: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-type ofShilling
From1816
To1820
Face Value1 (x Shilling)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1990)
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerThomas Wyon Jr.
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size24.000 mm
Mass5.655 g
Shilling, King George III: Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - Shilling, George III, Great Britain, 1816
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Coin - Shilling, George III, Great Britain, 1816
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source