British crown coin
The name crown comes from the French gold couronne, issued by Philip of Valois about 1339, which featured as its obverse design, a large crown; and the ?cu ? la couronne issued by Charles VI of France about 1384, which had a shield surmounted by a crown. The first crown (that of the double rose) of Henry VIII had a reverse similar design to the "ecu d'or au soleil", a shield topped by a large crown, and for its obverse, had a double rose also topped by a large crown. "Crown" had become the common English name for the French ?cu, and for other Euro-pean coins of similar value. The Crown first appeared as a British coin denomination in 1544 under Henry VIII. This was a gold coin with a value of five shillings. The "Crown of the Rose" was issued in 1526. Its reverse design was a rose. It was not popular, and was discontinued within a few months, and replaced with another coin known as the "Crown of the Rose", with a value of five shillings. The reverse design was a Tudor double rose. This coin is historically interesting in being the first British gold coin to be made from gold of "only" 22 carat, rather than the previous standard of 23 carat. 22 carat is, of course, the standard now used for all British gold coins.
Gold crowns continued to be issued until 1662 under Charles II, when all the previous denominations of gold coins were replaced by milled guineas. The first silver crown was produced in 1551 under Edward VI. It was one of the first British coins to bear a date, which was in Arabic numerals. Since then the silver crown has always been the largest regularly issued British silver coin. From 1551, crowns were issued in both gold and silver, until the gold crown was discontinued after 1662. In 1839 appeared Victorian crown. The main detail of Victorian crown was initial letter V of Victoria. In 1887 the crown was changed to the new design for Victoria's golden jubilee, and this design continued until 1892. The final design change for Victoria was to the "Old" or "Widow" head design in 1893, and this continued until the final year of her reign 1901. Unusually, no crowns were issued in 1911, George's Coronation year. Because of the first world war created massive inflation, and most countries reduced their issue of silver and gold coinage about this time. From 1920, the silver content of British "silver" coins was reduced from standard or sterling silver to half silver. It was not until 1927, when a redesign of the entire coinage was in progress, that a Crown was issued. With a coronation of George VI in 1937 a crown was again struck. This was the first crown to be issued in cupro-nickel, which had replaced silver in the "silver" coinage from 1947. Again a Coronation crown was issued in 1953 for Elizabeth's Coronation. This had the unusual design of the Queen on horseback, but reflects the first silver crowns issued for Edward VI in 1551, through to Charles I.
A new Five Pounds coin was introduced from 1990, and as this has inherited the same dimensions as the crown, it also is known as a crown. The future of the crown appears to be secure. Since 1996, crowns, in various versions have appeared every year, and in 1999 and 2000, there have been two different crowns designs in each year.
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