George V was king during World War I. The cost of war saw his nation’s coins change dramatically as gold Sovereign production dwindled in a bid to support the war effort, and the purity of silver coins was reduced to meet cost and supply shortages. This 1924 nickel trial shilling weighs half a gramme less than its .500 silver currency counterpart in an attempt to test the viability of a coin struck in a base metal with an intrinsic value below its face value.
The obverse includes George V’s portrait by Bertram Mackennal. The Latin legend translates as ‘George the Fifth, by the grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.’