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RMW Collection of England and Great Britain

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Just bought this today. 1811 Proof 18p, NGC 66 Cameo.

1811 proof eighteenpence, obverse.jpg

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Thanks Welsh Dragon. I found out after I bought it that it is the highest graded NGC Proof Eighteenpence of the entire type, all dates combined.

There was a really nice proof three shillings proof available as well, but my wallet intervened. Its going to need a real talking to!

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The history of bank token pieces are part and parcel of the great difficulties the British Government had during the Napoleonic Wars and the 1793-1817 period.

Several factors came into play

The War itself and the periodic threat of invasion from France caused great distrust of the paper money being issued. The paper money could be worthless if the French won the war.

At the same time, British coinage of silver had been virtually non-existent for the previous half century or more, except for the coins dated 1758 and 1787.

The public was conditioned as of old to only accept coinage with the metal value close or equal to the face value of the piece. The latter factor caused rampant counterfeiting of coins with less silver in them, and rapid melting of the coins by the public if the price of silver bullion rose above the face value of the coin, making the cash shortage even worse.

Due to the great demand, the governments own reserves of silver bullion to make coinage was nearly non existent.

Various remedies were tried and found wanting in the early 1800s.

First was the use of (largely) Spanish dollars, countermarked at first by an oval mark and then by an octagonal one, and proclaimed to be of a certain value. This solution was quickly demolished by counterfeiting of the countermarks, thereby raising the value of the original coin. Then , Matthew Boulton, whose Soho Mint had superior technology to the Royal Mint at that point with respect to the minting of coins using high powered steam coining presses, was authorized to take Spanish Dollars and superimpose portraits of the British King and the effigy of Britannia on the reverse (The Bank of England Dollar).

And finally in 1811, an effort began to manufacture token coinage (with a value greater than the bullion value to prevent melting ) in denominations of 3 shillings and 18 pence.

These were made in fairly large quantities at the time.

Proof examples of these types were also made, 

It was only in 1816, after the Napoleonic Wars were over, that a great silver recoinage was undertaken. This is why 1816 and 1817 sixpences, shillings and halfcrowns are common.

Most of the old types and coinages, if handed in, I believe, were melted down for the new coins.

I have examples of all of these types except for the octagonal counterstruck dollar (which I should have obtained yesterday but blew it).

All of these pieces are currency pieces rather than proofs and all are slabbed as MS 65 except for the counterstrike dollar.



1797 Counterstamp Dollar Obverse, Spanish Mint.jpeg

1797 Counterstamp Dollar Reverse, Spanish Mint.jpeg

1804 Bank of England Dollar, obverse.jpg

1804 Bank of England Dollar, reverse.jpg

1811 three shillings, obverse.jpg

1811 three shillings, reverse.jpg

1812 three shillings, obverse.jpg

1812 three shillings, reverse.jpg

1811 18P obverse.JPG

1811 18P reverse.JPG

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Thanks Chris B.

At some point I would like to set up a quality currency date set of the 18P and 36P Bank Tokens.

Really good ones appear to be more scarce than the books indicate.

Yeah I gotta say I like the proof.

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