The Coinage of the Mad King

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George III. (1760-1820)

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of Faith, King of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, was the Title which King George III held during the last part of his reign. Before that he held the title Arch Treasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. And until 1801 he also claimed the French throne.

King George III is mostly known for the thirteen colonies of America who gained their independence from England during his reign. However, that is not the only big accomplishment he had; his granddaughter Queen Victoria and his great-great-great-great-great granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II had a longer reign. But he is the longest reigning king of Britain.

In the last two decades of his reign, the first two of the nineteenth century, he started suffering from Porphyria, also known as the ‘’madness of King George III.’’ His disease became so severe that his son, George IV, became Prince Regent. King George III died in 1820. His disease branched through the royal family, also towards Queen Victoria, who spread haemophilia through royal families across Europe.

King George III early British Coinage
During the second half of the 18th century very little silver and copper were minted into coins, therefore particulars were able to create their own copper “change” coins. From the sixties until the nineties of the 18th century mostly gold guineas were minted by the Royal Mint. In 1797 the first copper one and two pence coins were minted, also known as the ‘’cartwheels.’’The Cartwheel two pence is one of the biggest coins who have ever been into circulation with a diameter of 41mm! These copper coins are often found with commercial inscriptions or are made in some sort of a love token by into which letters are carved. Between the start of his reign and 1797, nine silver maundy sets have been minted.

Great Britain 1797 George III Cartwheel Penny

1,799.00 US$

Catalog: KM618, S-3777
Soho mint. Rather SCARCE to be encountered in this Near Gem state of preservation, this exceptionally impressive specimen offers tremendous luster and problem free surfaces and rims.

Emergency Issues
Because of the start of the Napoleonic wars, guineas were withheld from circulation between 1799 and 1813. Paper currency became the norm in general use. As an emergency measure for silver in circulation, Spanish dollars were placed into British circulation for a brief period and countermarked with the bust of King George III. The coins were mostly from the Madrid, Potosi, Santiago, Lima, Seville and Mexico City mint.

Great Britain 1804 George III countermarked dollar on Mexico 1798 – 8 Reales Host

1,730.00 US$

Catalog: S.3766
Material: Silver
Weight: 27.00 g
Very nicely toned, large octagonal countermark.

The New Coinage
In 1816, the era of ‘’new coinage’’ began. During this coinage, guineas were changed into a sovereign, with the standard of 22 carat fineness. A sovereign was 20 shillings. During this coinage King George III had different portraits on the different denominations. As an example, the bust on a sovereign was different than the bust on a shilling. This was something that rarely seen on modern coins. The new coinage was also the last coinage of King George III, who died in 1820 making his son King George IV.

Great Britain 1819 George III Crown NGC

5,999.00 US$

Catalog: S.3787; ESC-215; Dav-103; KM-675.
A beautifully toned uncirculated coin with great eye appeal. LIX in raised letters on edge.
This example has a rare double bar in ‘H’ of ‘HONI’ and is possibly struck from a proof obverse die.

Hanoverian Coins
King George III was also King of Hanover; therefore, he also was depicted on numerous Hanoverian coins. These coins are also collected by British coins collectors, due to the relation with the monarch. These coins are rare.

1/6 Thaler Brunswick Lüneburg Hannover George III

425.00 US$

Catalog: KM#400
Material: Silver
Weight: 4.66 g
Grade: NGC MS-61
Catalog: KM. 400
Composition: Silver
Weight: 4.66 g

2020 Commemorative Coin
In 2020 the Royal mint struck a commemorative 5 pounds coin for the 200th anniversary of the death of King George III. The King is shown at the obverse of the coin, with different ornamentations around his portrait.

G.Britain 2020 George III 200th Anniversary NGC

18,250.00 US$

Weight: 62.20 g
Mintage: 125
Extremely rare new issue
2 ounce pure gold
125 mintage only

Written by Joël van Dam, Owner of Joëlnumismatics.

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