Coin - Emergency Half-Dollar, George III (oval stamp), Great Britain, 1797-1804 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 845

Silver Emergency coin; Denomination: Half-Dollar
George III (1760-1820)

Counterstamped Spanish American 4 Real coin issued by Treasury with a value of 2 shillings 4 1/2 pence to supplement a deficiency in British silver coins (Grueber p. 150). The original coin a 1773 J.R. 4 Real from the Potosi Mint, Bolivia (KM#54)
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 35 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 13.315 g (Weight)

More information

Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection
Primary Classification: COINS
Secondary Classification: Great Britain
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Treasury Issue
DateEra: 1797-1804
Denomination: Emergency 1/2 Dollar
Obverse Description: At the centre of the original coin obverse a small oval counterstamp bearing a laureate bust of George III facing right. The original coin has a laureate and draped bust of Charles III facing right; around, CAROLUS III DEI GRATIA 1773
Reverse Description: Crowned square topped shield quartered with lions and castles between two pillars; incuse on ribbon draped around pillars, PLUS ULTRA; around HISPAN ET IND REX PTS (monogram) 4R JR
Edge Description: raised circles and rectangles
Shape: Round
Material: Silver
Issued By: Bank of England, England, Great Britain, 1797-1804
Person Depicted: King George III, England, Great Britain
Person Depicted: King Carlos III, Spain

Also responsible for the original issue of the coin
  1. [Book], Philip Skingley - Spink & Sons Ltd., Coins of England and the United Kingdom, Spink & Son Ltd., London, 2007, Spink 2767 Pages


Eric Hodge Posted on 03 Apr 2013 2:01 AM
There is no known documentary evidence to support your contention that this countermarked host coin was issued at value 2 shillings 4 1/2 pence.
Discovery Centre Posted on 05 Apr 2013 9:29 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Eric - we passed this comment on to our Numismatics staff, who have replied as follows: According to the Catalogue of the Coins etc in the Museum of the Royal Mint by William John Hocking, London 1906, “ the Government authorised the Bank to put into circulation a quantity of Spanish silver coin held in its vaults. Before issue, these coins – consisting of pillar dollars, halves, quarters, and eighths – were counterstruck at the Royal mint ... by public notice dated 9th March, 1797, these coins were made current at the rate of 4s. 9d. per dollar” (p.168). At that quoted rate the half dollar (at 4s. 9d. per dollar) was 2 s. 4 1/2d.

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