British Silver Shillings

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Mammothtooth, May 15, 2021.

  1. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Does anyone collect Silver Shillings? I have been thinking of buying some. Is there a good reference for values etc.
    Thanks, Mammothtooth is out....
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  3. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    I used to, but I've since sold that set. There is not a really good book solely dedicated to shillings, but the standard reference is Spinks "Coins of England and the United Kingdom." It's kind of like the Red Book for US coins.

    How are you planning on arranging your set? Are you sticking to a single monarch and doing a date set? I did a type set by monarch. Here are a couple of my favorites:

    JPW638 obverse.jpg JPW638 reverse.jpg JPW586 obverse.JPG JPW586 reverse (2).jpg JPW612 obverse.jpg JPW612 reverse (2).jpg JPW623 obverse.JPG JPW623 reverse.JPG
  4. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Those are great! I am doing the Monarchs in gold sovereigns, so I thought I could do a few in silver. I love Victoria for instance. I am afraid they will get expensive the further you go back in time.
  5. derkerlegand

    derkerlegand Well-Known Member

    Somewhere in all of this mess, I've got a few Victoria die numbered shillings.
  6. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Please show me the Victoria’s...
  7. Antonius Britannia

    Antonius Britannia Well-Known Member

    I've got a few shillings . Spinks is a good reference. Davissons is a great auction house, and their prices realized are a good reference too.
  8. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    These are the Victoria's I had:

    JPW654 obverse.jpg JPW654 reverse.jpg JPW622 obverse.JPG JPW622 reverse.jpg JPW623 obverse (2).jpg JPW623 reverse (2).jpg
  9. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

  10. AuldFartte

    AuldFartte Supporter! Supporter

    I've just started collecting them by Monarch along with a few varieties of the later ones. Spink's is an extremely valuable resource for identification and grading (British system). And you're correct - the further back you go, the pricier they are, typically.
  11. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

  12. PaddyB

    PaddyB Eccentric enthusiast

    I agree with the advice so far.
    If you want to get into the detail of variations, proofs and patterns for shillings you would probably need "English Silver Coinage" by Maurice Bull - the latest version is still in print, so not difficult to get hold of. The detail though is extreme!
    For most Monarchs there are easier dates and more difficult, so if all you want is one of each, there is no need to spend huge amounts.
    So for the 18th century and back, the easy ones to get are:
    George III - 1787
    George II - 1758, 1746, 1745
    George I - 1723 SSC
    Anne - 1711, 1708 (often with the E for Edinburgh)
    William III - 1696 (often with a range of letters for different mints)
    William & Mary - none easy
    James II - none easy but 1686 probably your best chance
    Charles II - none really easy and many almost impossible but 1668 and 1663 turn up more often
    Charles I, James I and Elizabeth I - endless varieties, low grade easy but pay a big premium for a good portrait.
    Mary and Philip & Mary - difficult
    Edward VI - surprisingly easy, but pricey for a good portrait. Beware of numerous forgeries around.
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  13. AuldFartte

    AuldFartte Supporter! Supporter

    @PaddyB - Thanks for posting that list! That is extremely helpful for me, too.
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  14. Mister T

    Mister T Member

    English Silver Coins by Peter Davies is also good and I think goes into more detail with varieties.
    PaddyB likes this.
  15. QuintupleSovereign

    QuintupleSovereign Well-Known Member

    I started to a while back; used a Whitman folder to hold a short set from 1902-1936. Not too difficult, though I still haven't found an affordable 1905.
  16. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Affordable 1905 sounds like an oxymoron. I found one that was affordable, but man, it's not pretty


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  17. PaddyB

    PaddyB Eccentric enthusiast

    Mine is not much better:
    1905 S 1-side.JPG
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  18. Milesofwho

    Milesofwho Omnivorous collector

    Thank you for this excellent information. Is there a particular reason the mid to late 17th century shillings are so uncommon? Also, how do the 1696 shillings range on rarity by mintmark? For context, multiple mints (Bristol, Chester, Exeter, Norwich, and York) opened to assist with the Great Recoinage.
  19. PaddyB

    PaddyB Eccentric enthusiast

    I know of no official answer why shillings and sixpences were so much scarcer in the second half of the 17th century. I would hazard a guess that the demand was lower as they fell between two stools: the rich could afford to carry half crowns and crowns, the poor used the coppers or the small denomination silver. (1, 2, 3 and 4 pence silver coins were all issued for circulation at this time, though today we tend to think of them as Maundy.)

    On the mint marks on the 1696 coinage - London, with no mint mark, is the commonest. All the letters seem to be equally common to each other at 2 to 3 times the value of the London coins. Much more emphasis in price comes from the varieties found, of which there are lots! So, for example, the commonest London shilling might be listed at £30 in Fine, the standard letter (mostly 1st bust) coins at £70 or £80, but turn up a third bust with letter "y" for York or "E" for Exeter and we are over the £1000 mark.
  20. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    Thanks for the information
  21. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Unwell Unknown Unmembered Supporter

    Actually there is a reason, the older coins were called in and melted much later on in the very early 19th century when another great re-coinage happened ca. 1816. Back then anything from the milled coinage beginning in 1662 onwards circulated a long time - so early in the 19th century the Royal Mint finally got off their duffs and decided it was time to stimulate the economy during the Napoleonic wars with all new coinage - silver and gold. Sterling and gold values were then fixed in 1816 and the new coins struck on steam powered presses were cranked out - oft struck on smelted earlier coinage.

    Small change is an interesting tale in of in itself, the Royal Mint had rather neglected minting much in the way of bronze coinage for quite sometime until 1797 with Matthew Boulton's steam powered presses striking the ounce pennies and two ounce tuppence coinages. Even that wasn't satiating the needs of commerce as obviously the Conder Tokens in bronze and silver were struck through the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. It is impressive that even gold tokens in the value of 20/- and 40/- were struck in 1812.

    I own a book that details surveys of coinage in Scotland and Yorkshire in 1840 - quite a fascinating study on what actually was in circulation - actually quite a number of the 1797 Boulton coins were still serving valiantly for their country.
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