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GM24187

George I 1723 SSC Shilling French arms at date in error extremely rare

George I (1714-27),silver Shilling, 1723, South Sea Company issue, error variety with French arms at date, first laureate and draped bust right, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, GEORGIVS. D. G. M. BR. FR. ET. HIB. REX. F. D.,rev.crowned cruciform shields in wrong order, garter star at centre, initials of the South Sea Company in alternating angles, date either side of top crown, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, BRVN. ET L. DVX S.R.I.A TH ET. EL., weight 5.84g (Bull 1586; ESC 1176; S.3647).Toned fine, bolder on reverse, an extremely rare error coin.

The Latin legends translates as on the obverse "George, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith" and on the reverse "Duke of Brunswick and Luneberg, High Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire."

The South Sea Company famously known for the economically disastrous "South Sea Bubble" of over-speculation by the public in its shares which occurred 300 years ago in 1720, subsequently managed to recover successfully with careful debt management from this low point and later supplied much silver bullion from South America to the Mint in exchange for the right to export money overseas. The silver supplied up to 1723 produced a large coinage of Crowns, Halfcrowns, Shillings and Sixpences all dated 1723. For further reading see "The Metal in Britains Coins" by Graham Birch and for an account of the ship that brought the silver back from Cartagena, the Royal George on the British Numismatic Society blog article 295.

A very small number of the Shillings used this reverse die in error where the shields were engraved in the wrong order in relation to the date and legend, which are displayed in the correct format in relation to the dies axis. This shield error renders the French arms of the fleur de lis at the date position, instead of the usual dimidiated English and Scottish arms. The shields are all then ninety degrees out of rotational sync from their usual positions. A similar error was also recently discovered on the gold Guineas of 1716 and others occurred on some of the silver in the Great Recoinage of William III. They are all very rare and in states of preservation better than circulated or fine condition, extremely rare.

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