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The Gold Coins of England

Robert Lloyd Kenyon, 1884
George II (1727-1760)

Table of Contents

GEORGE II, 1727 TO 1760.

The coinage of George II was conducted on the same principles as that of his father, and his coins were of the same denominations and value, except that no quarter guineas were made. In 1732-3 all hammered gold coins, hitherto current by the name of broad pieces at the rates of 25s and 23s, with their halves and quarters, having become much diminished by wear and clipping, were called in and declared to be no longer current, a measure which had been adopted with respect to the hammered silver money by William III. And a practice having been discovered of filing the edges of the milled money and imitating the milling with a file, in 1739 new dies were made for every species of coin, and the graining, which had hitherto been by diagonal strokes, was now on the two-guineas and guineas made with curved lines, so as to be more difficult to imitate with a file. The dies up to this time had been engraved by Croker; those for these new coins were made by Tanner, and the head is older in appearance, and becomes older still after 1745. On all the gold coins of this reign the armorial bearings are emblazoned upon one shield, as on William and Mary’s coins, instead of upon separate shields placed crosswise, as they had been on all other milled money and on all the silver coins of this reign. On some of the coins the letters E I C are placed under the king’s bust, indicating that they were made for the East India Company, or from gold sent by them to the mint. LIMA, in the same position, occurs on coins dated 1745 and 1746, which, according to Pollet, were made from bullion captured by the Prince Frederick and Duke privateers, but, according to others, from the gold taken by Lord Anson in the great Acapulco galleon, which traded between Manilla, in the Philippine Islands, and Acapulco, in Mexico, exchanging at the latter place the merchandize of Manilla for the ore of Peru. This vessel was captured in June, 1743; but Anson did not arrive with the treasure in England till June, 1744, having previously, during the same voyage, captured a considerable quantity of bullion in a ship bound from Callao, which is the port of Lima, to Valparaiso, and a much larger quantity in the Peruvian town of Paita. On all the bullion so captured the name of Lima, the capital of Peru, might not inappropriately be inscribed.

FIVE GUINEAS. Bust to left, laureate, young head, two ends of the tye appear behind, hair long and curly, no drapery. GEORGIVS. II DEI. GRATIA Rev. Shield garnished, crowned, bearing in the first quarter England and Scotland impaled, second France, third Ireland, fourth Electorate, M. B. F. ET. H. REX. F. D. B. ET. L. D. S. R. I. A. T. ET. E. with the date. For the meaning of this legend see ante, p. 186. On the edge DECVS ET TVTAMEN ANNO REGNI, &c. Dates 1729 TERTIO; some with this date have E I C under the bust for East India Company (156). Rud. xviii. 5. 1731 QVARTO; 1738 DVODECIMO; 1741 DECIMO QVARTO. The young head is retained on this coin, though an older one had been substituted for it on the two-guinea pieces in 1739. Rud. xviii. 1. The following have an old head, but resemble the previous coins in other respects, except that a lock of hair is brought forward over each of the king’s shoulders, and that a loop as well as ends of the tye appear behind. 1746 DECIMO NONO, with LIMA under the bust, Rud. xviii. 13. 1748 VICESIMO SECUNDO; 1753 VICESIMO SEXTO. Rud. xviii. 9, 17. All in MB.

TWO GUINEAS. Type like the five-guinea pieces, but edge milled, not inscribed. Like the earliest five guineas, with young head, edge milled with diagonal straight lines, dates 1735, 1738, 1739. With edge milled with curved lines, and head older, similar to but not so old as that on the later five guineas, 1739, 1740. (157) Rud. xviii. 10. With edge as the last and head older, like that on the later five guineas, 1748, 1753. All in MB. Ruding gives also one dated 1727, stated to have been in Dr Walker’s collection, Rud. xviii. 2, and others dated 1729 with ETIC under the bust, 1746 with LIMA, and 1747, all of which may be imaginary. Rud. xviii. 6, 14, 18.

GUINEAS. Like the two-guinea pieces. With young head, and edge milled with. diagonal straight lines, 1727, of this there are two varieties, one having the shield larger, and being altogether a broader coin than the other; 1729 with EIC under the bust, 1731, 1731 with EIC, 1732 with EIC, 1733, 1734, 1735, 1736, 1737, 1738. With old head and curved milling, 1739, 1739 with EIC, 1740, 1745, 1745 with LIMA, 1746. Similar but older head, the letters on the obverse of these are larger, and are placed nearer the edge in order to show whether the, coin has been diminished by clipping. 1747, 1748, 1749, 1750, 1752, 1753, 1755, 1756, 1758, 1759, 1760. (158) Rud. xviii. 11, 15, 19. All in MB.

HALF-GUINEAS. Like the two guineas, except that the edges of all of them are milled with diagonal straight lines, being perhaps too narrow for the curved lines. With young head, 1728, 1729, 1729 with EIC, 1731, 1732, 1734, 1736, 1737, 1738, 1739. Rud. xviii. 4, 8. With old head, 1740, 1745, 1745 with LIMA, 1746. (159). With older head, 1753, 1755, 1756, 1758, 1759, 1760. Rud. xviii. 12, 16, 20. All in MB.

5 guas. 2 guas. 1 gua. ½ gua.
1727 Young head Rud. ++
1728 Young head, straight milling* +
1729 Young head, straight milling + +
1729 Young head, straight milling, EIC + Rud. + +
1731 Young head, straight milling + + +
1731 Young head, straight milling, EIC +
1732 Young head, straight milling +
1732 Young head, straight milling, EIC +
1733 Young head, straight milling +
1734 Young head, straight milling + +
1735 Young head, straight milling + +
1736 Young head, straight milling + +
1737 Young head, straight milling + +
1738 Young head, straight milling + + + +
1739 Young head, straight milling + +
1739 Old head, curved milling* + +
1739 Old head, curved milling, EIC +
1740 Old head, curved milling + + +
1741 Young head, curved milling +
1745 Old head, curved milling* + +
1745 Old head, curved milling, LIMA + +
1746 Old head, curved milling + +
1746 Older head, curved milling*, LIMA   + Rud.
1747 Older head, curved milling Rud. +
1748 Older head, curved milling + + +
1749 Older head, curved milling +
1750 Older head, curved milling +
1752 Older head, curved milling +
1753 Older head, curved milling + + + +
1755 Older head, curved milling + +
1756 Older head, curved milling + +
1758 Older head, curved milling + +
1759 Older head, curved milling + +
1760 Older head, curved milling + +
* The edges of the five guineas are not milled. Those of the half-guineas
are throughout the reign milled with diagonal straight lines.

George I (1714-1727) | Table of Contents | George III (1760-1820)

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