Twopence 1817 (Circulating), Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Twopence 1817 (Circulating), Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1971)
CoinTwopence 1817 (Circulating)

The pre-decimal twopence (2d), also known as a "half groat", was a coin worth one one-hundred-and-twentieth of a pound sterling, or two pence. It was a very short lived denomination.

A large copper piece was issued in 1797 only (before the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established on 1 January 1801, so technically belonging to Great Britain and not the UK). In 1817, silver twopence coins were issued for circulation, then again in 1818 and 1820, after which it was decided the coin was too tiny to be practical. During Queen Victoria's reign, they were issued again in three separate years, mainly for use in the colonies.

Coins of the same size and virtually the same design (but with proof-like finish) have been issued regularly since 1817 and continue to be released every year as part of Maundy sets; these are listed separately under Maundy Twopence. Apart from the surface quality, they are indistinguishable.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintageunknown
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Within a beaded border, the laureate head of King George III facing right.

Below, the date of issue 1817. Around left and right, part of the monarch's legend: GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA (translated from Latin: George the Third, by the Grace of God).

Obverse Inscription GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA 1817
United Kingdom / Twopence 1817 (Circulating) - reverse photo

At centre, the numeral value 2 [pence] below a St Edward's Crown; named after Saint Edward the Confessor, 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).

Within a beaded border around, divided by the crown, the rest of the monarch's legend: ยท BRITANNIARUM REX FID. DEF. (translated from Latin: King of Britain, Defender of the Faith).

Reverse Inscription 2 BRITANNIARUM REX FID: DEF:
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone

Spink only lists Maundy coins in this year.

Twopence 1817 (Circulating): References to Information Used
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mint
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Twopence 1817 (Circulating): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeTwopence (Circulating)
MonarchKing George III
EffigyKing George III - Small Laureate Head
Face Value2 (x Penny)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1971
Material0.925 silver
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size13.0000 mm
Mass0.9400 g
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Twopence 1817 (Circulating): Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 669