Printed Auction 38 Lot 9

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Printed Auction 38 Lot 9

Commonwealth. 1649-1660. AV unite. 8.79 gm. 33 mm. Sun i.m. (obverse). 1651. English shield of St. George within palm and laurel wreath. THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND around / English and Irish shields conjoined, XX (mark of value) above. 1651 GOD WITH VS around. S. 3208. N. 2715. Good Very Fine; minor waviness; attractive red-gold tone.

Ex CNG Triton I (December 1997), lot 2260.

The only coins struck in English history without royal sanction or proclamation, money of the Commonwealth exhibits a simple style, the result of the Puritans' dislike of ostentation. Unlike the previous coinage under Charles I, it bears no monarch's portrait, and it is the only British issue with only English legends; the Latin legends were replaced by "THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND" and "GOD WITH US." The coinage was demonetized in 1661 by order of the restored king Charles II and was subject to melting over the succeeding centuries. Gathered by the Bank of England, it was delivered to the Royal Mint to be turned into milled gold coins. By the end of George III's reign, nearly all hammered gold coins had been destroyed, making any Commonwealth coin a rarity today.

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