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BM02044

George III oval countermark Dollar 1792

George III (1760-1820), oval countermark upon Spanish Eight Reales of King Charles IIII (1788-1808), 1792 FM, struck in Mexico City, Mexico, small oval hallmark of George III right at centre of obverse, bust of Spanish King laureate and draped right, date below, legend and toothed border surrounding, CAROLVS.IIII. DEI. GRATIA, rev. crowned quartered shield of arms, pillar with ribbon motto either side PLUS ULTRA, legend surrounding, .HISPAN. ET IND. REX. M. 8R.F.F. weight 26.92g (ESC 129; Bull 1852; S.3765A). A number of bagmarks and tiny nicks mainly in obverse fields, spot under countermark almost extremely fine, host coin good very fine.

These emergency countermarked coins 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 each with an oval countermark valued at 4s and 9d for currency. 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 Spanish Dollars with the Bank of England design.

Provenance:

This coin illustrated in "Coinage and Currency in Eighteenth Century Britain, The Provincial Coinage" by David W Dykes, page 39, number 35a.

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