GOLDThe Current coins are Guineas, fig. 3, and half Guineas, fig. 4. The Quarters, fig. 1, seem to have disappeared, although a large quantity were at one time in circulation; but from the inconvenience of their small size, and frequently becoming light, were after a few years circulation, disused.
There have been of the two larger, a coinage in most of the years of his present Majesty's reign, and in greater quantities than in any preceding one; though less of silver, the gold is common.
In the year 1776, a coinage of seven shilling pieces in gold was proposed, and a pattern made; fig. 2, but an objection was suggested, in the consultation of the council, that the same inconvenience might be experienced in these pieces as had been in the five and three-pences. This is not frequently to be met with.
A pattern was also made for a two guinea piece which is now scarce. And very scarce is a pattern for a five guinea piece struck in the year 1770.
SILVERThe first Silver of this reign is the shilling of 1763, fig. 5, of which it is said, only one hundred pounds worth was hastily struck, as is supposed for the Earl of Northumberland to distribute amongst the populace when he went Vice Roy to Ireland. The addition of the laurel round the head, was made to the die of the guinea of 1790, for the purpose of dispatch in striking this shilling, which is now rather scarce.
In 1762, one penny, two penny, three penny, and four penny pieces were coined; the head of each piece was similar to the specimen of the three pence described, fig. 6, and on the reverse of each piece the figure of its respective value. They are frequently to be met with.
The next shilling is of the year 1764, and we believe only patters were struck; it is much more scarce than the former. The head is nearly the same.
The very beautiful shilling of the year 1775, is also a pattern, and very rare to be met with; as is the shilling of 1778, which is but indifferently executed.
We are at a loss to account for the reason of no coinage of shillings being issued, after so many dies had been engraved; the coinage of 1787, of shillings and sixpences, fig. 7, and 8, which was made for the use of the Bank of England, is very beautiful, and though frequently to be met with, is not in common currency; and we can but lament, that a nation so great in its commercial and mercantile affairs, abounding with manufacturers and merchants, should suffer so base an imposition as the present silver currency appears to be; for few, very few indeed, of the shillings and sixpences now in use, appear ever to have been legally coined.
In this present year 1792, there has been a coinage of one penny, two penny, and three penny pieces.
There has been no crowns or half crowns since the year 1751.
COPPERThe first Copper coin of this reign was half pence in the year 1770, and from thence to 1775 inclusive, a large quantity were coined, and are very common, fig. 9.
Farthings also, of the date 1775, fig. 11, and the two following years, are frequently to be met with.
There is an half penny of the year 1770, in which by mistake a letter is left out in the name of his Majesty; standing GEORIUS instead of GEORGIUS; it is seldom to be met with.
There has been a one penny piece struck, with a Negroes head on one side, and a pine apple on the other, with the words I SERVE, and on the reverse, BARBADOES PENNY. We do not know that this was struck by order of government for the currency of that island; or for some merchants going there, but we esteem it a neat performance.
There is at this time, and for a few years past have been, a number of towns in the kingdom striking half pence. They have in general the arms of the town, and various devices analagous to the places they were struck at. Some have taken this method on account of the large number of base half pence now in circulation, and with which they are much annoyed. Most of these coins are neatly executed, and make no small addition to the collector's cabinet; they are much heavier than our national currency, and we hope it will be the means of government attending to an improvement in that part of the coinage.
ISLE OF MANN.There is a penny and half penny of this place, of the present reign, since the sovereignty has been purchased by government of the Duke of Athol; it is a neat dye, with the King's bust on the one side, on the other three legs joined, being the arms of the Isle of Man; they have each neat grainery on the edge.
There has been Copper half pence for Ireland, fig. 10, of several years of the present reign, but we believe no farthings.