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The Royal Mint's Spring Consignment Auction
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Consignment Auction
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Ruling from October 1760 to January 1820, George III saw many key moments during his time as king. As well as welcoming in a new century, he also reigned during the Acts of Union 1800, which made him the first King of Great Britain and Ireland as a united realm.

In 1816 a massive recoinage was undertaken to help stabilise the United Kingdom’s finances following the Napoleonic War. Under the stewardship of William Wellesley-Pole, production of new silver coins went into overdrive. Steam-powered technology transformed the production process at the new Royal Mint at Tower Hill. Coins of vastly superior quality were struck in record numbers, restoring faith in Britain’s currency and putting in place a system of coinage that survived almost unchanged until decimalisation. These coins are among the first to be struck following the currency reform.

Sixpences were common currency in the eighteenth century and in a time when £1 equalled 20 shillings and 1 shilling equalled 12 pence, the sixpence was effectively a half-shilling coin. In the eighteenth century, a minimum salary of £40 a year was required to support a family, and to live a comfortable life required around £100 a year. Average wages for a carpenter were around 3 shillings a day or £39 a year, renting a house would cost around £10 a year and a standard loaf of bread cost 5 pence.

Specification

Specification Value
Alloy .925 Sterling Silver
Weight 2.83 g
Diameter 19.00mm
Reverse Designer Thomas Wyon
Obverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Specification Value
Quality Circulating
Year 1816-1820
Pure Metal Type Silver
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