Sir Isaac Newton was appointed Warden of The Royal Mint in 1696 on the recommendation of Charles Montague, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and would go on to become Master of the Mint in 1699, a position he held until his death in 1726.
Generally regarded as one of the greatest Masters of the Mint in our 1,100-year history, this coin was struck in 1726, the year that Newton died.
Derived from a gold coin introduced by Henry VIII in 1526 to replace the sovereign, crowns have a long history. The composition of sovereigns from that period was deemed too soft, so hard-wearing ‘crown gold’ was introduced. This has been the standard of British gold coins ever since. In 1551, coins of the same size and weight, but made from silver, were brought in. They adopted the name crown from the gold version and became the sole carrier of the title after 1662, when gold crowns were no longer produced.
The obverse of this silver crown shows a portrait of George I by John Croker. The Latin legend translates as ‘George, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith’ and on the reverse: ‘Duke of Brunswick and Luneberg, High Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.’ The reverse features roses and plumes in alternate angles and with a garter star at the centre.