Petition Crown 1663, Coin from England - detailed information

Petition Crown 1663, Coin from England (demonetised 1707)
CoinPetition Crown 1663

The English Crown was a large silver coin with a value of five shillings (at twelve pence per shilling, equal to 60 pence, or one quarter of a pound - the pound being twenty shillings). Originally known as the "crown of the double rose", the denomination was introduced as part of King Henry VIII's monetary reform of 1526, and was initially made of gold. The first silver crowns were produced in 1551 during the brief reign of King Edward VI.

The Petition Crown was a pattern coin produced in 1663 by Thomas Simon, a celebrated English medallist and coin designer. The coin was submitted directly by the artist to King Charles II as a personal "petition" against the contemporary coins designed by the Flemish brothers John and Joseph Roettiers, and for the further Royal consideration that only Simon's designs be used for all future specie now that machine-made currency had been adopted universally for the production of British coinage.

The rivalry between the Roettiers brothers and Thomas Simon resulted from a Royal competition to design this new milled coinage. For unclear reasons, Simon did not submit his trial design in time, resulting in the Flemish engravers winning by default and their coinage being issued for circulation in 1662. However Simon's desire to win back the King's affections resulted in the development of this trial piece the following year. Not only did it dramatically differ from the coins produced by the Roettiers brothers, but also bore his "petition" engraved in 200 letters in two lines around the coin's edge:
THOMAS SIMON MOST HVMBLY PRAYS YOVR MAJESTY TO COMPARE THIS HIS TRYALL PIECE WITH THE DVTCH AND IF MORE TRVLY DRAWN & EMBOSS'D MORE GRACE; FVLLY ORDER'D AND MORE ACCURATELY ENGRAVEN TO RELEIVE HIM [sic].
Even more impressive than the two lines is the fact that the inscription is not all around the edge but only a small part of it, the rest being covered with the kings' monogram of two crossed letters C, crowned.

The reverse of the coin is slightly convex and the obverse concave to show the King as a stronger feature of the coin. Ultimately however the Roettier brothers continued to produce the dies for the crowns, albeit from 1664 with subtle corrections as a result of the influence of Simon's pattern.

The adoption of edge lettering on British coinage began under Oliver Cromwell, when Thomas Simon was engraver of dies at the Royal Mint and where he also produced the State Seal of the Commonwealth. The markings were intended to guard against the contemporary practice of clipping or the shaving of precious metal off the edges of a coin for illicit personal gain. At the time of production, Charles II's coinage bore the Latin phrase DECVS ET TVTAMEN (An Ornament and a Safeguard) in relation to this practice. This phrase was still being used on British coins until the revision of the pound coin in 2015.

Whilst the market price for examples has fluctuated dramatically over the centuries, the coin's spectacular artistry and noted rarity have gained it a passionate following amongst numismatists. Today the coin is known from only a handful of examples and is extremely sought after. Consequently copies of the coin known as electrotypes have been made for collectors who were otherwise unable to afford the artist's original. In March 2023 the Royal Mint released a range of modern commemorative coinage inspired by the 1663 "petition crown", celebrating 360 years since the original pattern coin was struck.

MintTower Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage 12 , Rarity: R5 (9 to 14 examples known)
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Obverse
England / Petition Crown 1663 - obverse photo

Within a beaded border, the obverse of the coin shows the draped bust of King Charles II facing right, his hair flowing, held by a laurel wreath, with his celebrated "love lock" over his right shoulder. The intricacy of the engraving portrays even the shadows of the King's veins on his neck, and the texture of his clothes.

Below the bust, the signature of the designer: Simon.

Around the rim, the monarch's legend CAROLVS II · DEI · GRA (translated from Latin: Charles the Second, by the Grace of God).

Obverse Inscription CAROLVS II · DEI · GRA
Reverse
England / Petition Crown 1663 - reverse photo

Within a beaded border, the reverse design of the coin features the crowned cruciform shields of the Kingdom of England (three lions), Kingdom of Scotland (one lion, rampant), Kingdom of France (three fleurs-de-lis), and the Kingdom of Ireland (harp), with the order of the Garter at the centre - showing Saint George slaying the dragon, and surrounded by the Garter inscribed with the royal motto HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE (from old French: "May he be shamed who thinks badly of it" ).

There are two C's interlinked in each angle - the monogram of the King (from CAROLVS CAROLO - Charles, son of Charles).

Around the rim, the continuation of the monarch's legend from the obverse: · MAG · BRI FR ET · HIB REX · (of Great Britain, France and Ireland king; the reference to France reflects the king's claim to the throne of France, which he did not actually rule).

Around above, interrupted by the crown on top of the shield of England, the date 1663.

Reverse Inscription 1663 · MAG · BRI FR ET · HIB REX ·
EdgePlain, InscribedEdge InscriptionTHOMAS SIMON MOST HVMBLY PRAYS YOVR MAJESTY TO COMPARE THIS HIS TRYALL PIECE WITH THE DVTCH AND ...
Notes

It is not known how many of the coins were minted. No more than twelve survive.

See also

The Petition Crown design has been issued and re-issued as:
- Petition Crown 1663 (the original pattern)
- Reddite Crown 1663 (the original pattern, with different edge lettering)
- 1 kg Gold Proof, Petition Crown - Reverse, 2023
- 1 kg Gold Proof, Petition Crown - Obverse, 2023
- 5 oz Gold Proof, Petition Crown - Reverse, 2023
- 5 oz Gold Proof, Petition Crown - Obverse, 2023
- 2 oz Gold Proof, Petition Crown - Reverse, 2023
- 2 oz Gold Proof, Petition Crown - Obverse, 2023
- 10 oz Silver Proof, Petition Crown - Reverse, 2023
- 10 oz Silver Proof, Petition Crown - Obverse, 2023
- 5 oz Silver Proof, Petition Crown - Reverse, 2023
- 5 oz Silver Proof, Petition Crown - Obverse, 2023
- 2 oz Silver Proof, Petition Crown - Reverse, 2023
- 2 oz Silver Proof, Petition Crown - Obverse, 2023

Petition Crown 1663: Known varieties
Variety Pewter
Mintage Issued: unknown
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Petition Crown 1663: Details
CountryEngland
CurrencyPound Sterling (England)
PeriodPound Sterling (Late Medieval) (1158 - 1707)
Coin TypeCrown (Pattern)
Issued1663
MonarchKing Charles II
EffigyKing Charles II by Thomas Simon
Face Value60 (x Penny)
Total Mintage12, Rarity: R5 (9 to 14 examples known)
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerThomas Simon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size40.0000 mm
Mass33.0000 g
OCC IDBYNK-EDDC-WAAA-EPQM
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Petition Crown 1663: Photos
ImageDetails
Petition Crown 1663: Photo Silver coin-pattern; the 'Petition crown' / thumbnail Silver coin-pattern; the 'Petition crown'
Copyright: British Museum, CC BY-NC-SA
Source
Petition Crown 1663: Photo Silver coin-pattern; the 'Petition crown' / thumbnail Silver coin-pattern; the 'Petition crown'
Copyright: British Museum, CC BY-NC-SA
Source
Petition Crown 1663: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Spink, Coins of England and the United KingdomSp# 3354A
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# PnB33, PnC33 (pewter)