Twopence 1937 (Maundy), Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Twopence 1937 (Maundy), Coin from United Kingdom
CoinTwopence 1937 (Maundy)

The Maundy twopence (or two pence) coin is the second smallest 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.

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.

Note that there was also a short-lived circulating twopence denomination, the coins of which have identical designs to the Maundy twopence but were struck with a duller surface.

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 twopence.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage1,325
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Twopence 1937 (Maundy) - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the bare (uncrowned) head of King George VI facing left.

Below the neck truncation in small letters, the artist's initials HP (for [Thomas] Humphrey Paget).

Around, the monarch's legend: GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.. Translated from Latin: George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

Obverse Inscription GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Reverse
United Kingdom / Twopence 1937 (Maundy) - reverse photo

Within an open oak wreath, the numeral value 2 [pence].

Above the value, 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).

Divided by the value, the date of issue: 1937.

Reverse Inscription 2 1937
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Twopence 1937 (Maundy): Known varieties
Variety Proof
Mintage Issued: unknown
In Set Specimen Coins 1937, mintage 26,402
15 coins: Crown, Half Crown, Two Shillings, English Shilling, Scottish Shilling, Sixpence, Threepence Silver, Threepence Brass, Penny, Half Penny, Farthing, Maundy Fourpence, Maundy Threepence, Maundy Twopence, Maundy Penny
Variety Matte Proof
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

According to Spink, "of the highest rarity".

In Set Specimen Coins 1937 (Matte Proof), mintage unknown
15 coins: Crown, Half Crown, Two Shillings, English Shilling, Scottish Shilling, Sixpence, Threepence Silver, Threepence Brass, Penny, Half Penny, Farthing, Maundy Fourpence, Maundy Threepence, Maundy Twopence, Maundy Penny
Twopence 1937 (Maundy): References to Information Used
Showing 52 from a total of 152 coins of type: Maundy Twopence (Pre-decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Twopence 1919 (Maundy) 1,524 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1920 (Maundy) 1,460 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1921 (Maundy) 1,542 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1922 (Maundy) 1,609 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1923 (Maundy) 1,726 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1924 (Maundy) 1,672 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1925 (Maundy) 1,670 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1926 (Maundy) 1,762 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1927 (Maundy) 1,681 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1928 (Maundy) 1,642 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1929 (Maundy) 1,761 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1930 (Maundy) 1,724 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1931 (Maundy) 1,759 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1932 (Maundy) 1,835 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1933 (Maundy) 1,872 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1934 (Maundy) 1,887 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1935 (Maundy) 1,928 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1936 (Maundy) 1,323 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Twopence 1937 (Maundy) 1,325 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1938 (Maundy) 1,275 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1939 (Maundy) 1,234 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1940 (Maundy) 1,277 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1941 (Maundy) 1,253 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1942 (Maundy) 1,231 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1943 (Maundy) 1,239 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1944 (Maundy) 1,259 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1945 (Maundy) 1,355 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1946 (Maundy) 1,365 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1947 (Maundy) 1,375 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1948 (Maundy) 1,385 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Twopence 1949 (Maundy) 1,395 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Twopence 1950 (Maundy) 1,405 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Twopence 1951 (Maundy) 1,468 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Twopence 1952 (Maundy) 1,064 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Twopence 1953 (Maundy) 1,025 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F: D:
Twopence 1954 (Maundy) 1,020 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1955 (Maundy) 1,082 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1956 (Maundy) 1,088 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1957 (Maundy) 1,094 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1958 (Maundy) 1,164 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1959 (Maundy) 1,106 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1960 (Maundy) 1,112 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1961 (Maundy) 1,118 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1962 (Maundy) 1,197 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1963 (Maundy) 1,131 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1964 (Maundy) 1,137 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1965 (Maundy) 1,221 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1966 (Maundy) 1,206 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1967 (Maundy) 986 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1968 (Maundy) 1,048 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 1969 (Maundy) 1,002 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Twopence 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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Twopence 1937 (Maundy): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeMaundy Twopence (Pre-decimal)
Issued1937
MonarchKing George VI
EffigyKing George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget
ReverseSt Edward's Crown
Face Value2 (x Penny)
Total Mintage1,325
CurrentYes
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size13.000 mm
Mass0.940 g
OCC IDNRWK-ZOJN-CZNG-OXGL
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Twopence 1937 (Maundy): Photos
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Great Britain, George VI, Maundy Twopence 1937
Copyright: AJW Coins
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Great Britain, George VI, Maundy Twopence 1937
Copyright: AJW Coins
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Twopence 1937 (Maundy): Catalogue Reference IDs