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BM02043

George III 1804 Bank of England Dollar

George III (1760-1820), silver Bank of England Dollar, 1804, struck by the Soho Mint entirely over a Spanish Empire Eight Reales, engraved by C H Kuchler, laureate and draped bust right, C.H.K on truncation, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX, top leaf points to centre of letter E, no stop at end of legend, undertype of Eight Reales visible both sides, host coin is Mexico City Mint, rev. Britannia seated left with spear and shield, K in relief under shield, holding olive branch, cornucopia below, beehive of industry to left, all within castellated garter, English legend on garter FIVE SHILLINGS DOLLAR, and surrounding with toothed border, BANK OF ENGLAND, date at bottom, weight 27.07g (ESC 164 dies E/2; Bull 1951; S.3768). Toned good extremely fine with some under-type apparent around perimeter, a delightful example.

The Bank of England Dollar was the successor to the emergency countermarked coins that were struck in relation to a crisis with the silver coinage at the end of the 18th Century, where the supply of silver in commerce and for the Mint had dwindled due to the Wars in France after the Revolution in 1797. From March 1797 the Bank of England therefore released stocks of its Spanish dollars and halves each with an oval countermark. They did not really alleviate the problem of smaller change and were issued on an off with the oval countermark, until a more complex larger octagonal mark replaced them from January to May 1804, as the oval pieces were being counterfeited. Eventually the octagonal replacements were also copied widely and the ultimate solution was to have the Soho Mint totally overstrike the remaining stocks of Spanish Dollars with the Bank of England design like we have offered here.

Provenance:

Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, November 1995, item 8036.

This coin illustrated in "Coinage and Currency in Eighteenth Century Britain, The Provincial Coinage" by David W Dykes, page 308, number 347.

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