Part 6
Twelve Pence to a Shilling
King George V

From the Shield on a 1931 One Twelfth of a Shilling


From the Shield on a 1931 One Twelfth of a Shilling

     During the reign of George V, for their coins Jersey had one obverse design and three reverse designs.  The bust on the obverse was modeled and engraved by Edgar Bertram Mackennal.  As typical for the times, this design appears on other Colonial coinages.  The Royal Style and Titles of His Majesty King George V in Latin were “GEORGIVS V D[EI] G[RATIA] BRIT[ANNIARUM] [ET TERRARUM TRANSMARINARUM QUAE IN DITONE SUNT BRITANNICA REX], F[IDEI] D[EFENSOR] IND[IAE] IMP[ERATOR].”  Or in English, “George V, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.”  In the correct Latin form the rendering was too long to be suitable for coinage and the Latin abbreviation “OMN[IUM]” takes the place of the words “ET TERRARUM TRANSMARINARUM QUAE IN DITONE SUNT BRITANNICA.”  On these coins, the spelling “BRITT” for “BRITANNIARUM” is correct.  Of special interest is the 1933 penny, which has two interesting obverse die varieties.  These varieties are described later in this section. 

     Because there was a coin shortage during World War I, French coins gradually infiltrated the island and were accepted for change.  On February 7, 1923 the States passed a law to ban the import of foreign copper coinage in sums exceeding one shilling.  This law was confirmed by Order in Council March 12, 1923 and registered in the Royal Court April 7, 1923.  The States then proceeded to take steps to remove French copper coinage from circulation.  On August 2, 1923, the States authorised the Finance Committee to exchange French copper coins for Jersey copper coins.  Between August 27 and September 8, the Treasury carried out at their office the exchange of 1 and 2 sous French coins for Jersey half penny and penny coins and placed advertisements in the press to that effect with an additional reminder that French coinage remained not legal tender1.  Approximately 500,000 French coins were recalled and sent to the Royal Mint for production of new coinage. 

     A new design was desired for this recoinage and the States suggested adding a star to the reverse.  George Kruger-Gray, the Royal Mint designer suggested two designs.  The first design depicted William the Conqueror on horseback.2  The second design was a modification of the coat of arms and was adopted.  Since they were struck in late 1923, the new coins did not enter into circulation until 1924.  McCammon states that because of the metal content, these new coins are typically darker than other Jersey coins.3  In contrast, I have several mint state 1923 coins and they are brilliantly red-orange.  In 1930, the States once again requested the Royal Mint to supply a new design for the reverse of the Jersey coinage.  Once again Mr. Kruger-Gray was commissioned to prepare the design and his basic shield design was so popular that it lasted until a complete redesign of the coinage appeared in the 1980s. 

     There are several factors to learn in grading these coins.  Visit my site, “Grading the George V Series”, to learn how to quickly and properly grade these coins.

The three different reverses for the One Twelfth of a Shilling
issued during the reign of King George V



One Twenty-Fourth of a Shilling
1911, 1913, and 1923

One Twenty-Fourth of a Shilling
1911-1923

    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1911    46    11     72,000   25.55           
    1913    47           72,000   25.55         
    1923    48           72,000   25.55           





This medal commemorates the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Jersey in July 1921 aboard the Royal Yacht “Victoria and Albert”.  The purpose of the trip was to visit Elizabeth College and the Royal Agricultural Show at Guernsey.  The medals were ordered by the States of Jersey from a local jeweler who had them struck at the Birmingham mint.



One Twentyfourth of a Shilling
1923 and 1926

One Twentyfourth of a Shilling
1923 and 1926

    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1923    49    13     72,000   25.55           
    1926    50          120,000   25.50          
     The order for the 1926 half pence started on March 3, 1926 and was completed on March 17, 1926 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £58/15/9.4 

Things to note:


One Twentyfourth of a Shilling
1931, 1933, and 1935

One Twentyfourth of a Shilling
1931, 1933, and 1935

    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1931    51    15     72,000   25.50           
    1933    52           72,000   25.50           
    1935    53           72,000   25.50           
     The order for the 1931 half pence started on May 27, 1931 and was completed on June 3, 1931 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £92/11/2. 

     The order for the 1933 half pence started on December 20, 1933 and was completed on January 3, 1934 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £51/19/11. 

     The order for the 1935 half pence started on June 19, 1935 and was completed on July 12, 1935 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £51/1/2.4

Things to note:

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1911, 1913, and 1923

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1911, 1913, and 1923

    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1911    17    12    204,000   30.85         
    1913    18          204,000   30.90          
    1923    19          204,000   30.80         





From the Shield on a 1923 One Twelfth of a Shilling

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1923 and 1926

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1923 and 1926

    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1923    20    14    301,200   30.80         
    1926    21           82,800   30.80          
     If you review the Royal Mint documents concerning the 1923 and 1926 issues, you will determine the reason for the mintage of only 82,800 coins for the 1926 penny.  On October 31, 1922 the States authorize an issue of copper coins to not exceed £3000.  Using recalled French coins, the Royal Mint produced £1255 in pence and £150 in halfpence.  Three years later the States requested, “whether it would be possible to have minted £595 of Jersey Copper similar to that of 1923.  This amount represents the balance of £3000 ...”5  However doing the math £1255+£150+£595 = £2000 and not £3000.  It seems that the Finance Committee of the States of Jersey didn't do their math correctly.  The 1926 Jersey penny is one of the key coins of this series because of a math error! 

     The order for the 1926 pence started on February 24, 1926 and was completed on March 10, 1926 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £82/4/6.4

Things to note:

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1931, 1933, and 1935

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1931, 1933, and 1935

    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1931    22    16    204,000   30.80          
    1933    23          204,000   30.80          
    1935    24          204,000   30.80          
     The order for the 1931 pence started on May 13, 1931 and was completed on June 3, 1931 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £224/6/8.

     The order for the 1933 pence started on December 20, 1933 and was completed on January 3, 1934 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £202/19/11.

     The order for the 1935 pence started on June 12, 1935 and was completed on July 12, 1935 at a cost to the Royal Mint of £198/13/2.4

Things to note:      The 1933 issue includes the well known “English” and “Indian” obverse dies of George V pennies. The following letter is from Jon Saxton, an expert in the field of Australian pre-decimal coins, concerning the connection between this penny and Australian numismatics. 

The History of the Calcutta Penny Obverse in Australia

by Jon Saxton

     “It all started in 1916 when the branch mints in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth were not yet prepared for striking bronze coins and the Royal Mint was too busy with its WWI commitments to bother with Australian pennies and halfpennies.  Melbourne started striking silver coins while the minting of pennies and halfpennies was contracted out to the better-equipped Calcutta branch mint.  The Royal Mint supplied the master tools but for some reason as yet unknown elected to make new obverse and reverse tools for the penny.  The halfpenny tools were identical to those which had been used in England for striking Australian halfpennies 1911-1915.  Only the pennies were favoured with specially recut tools.

     In due course the war ended and by 1919 Melbourne Mint started striking pennies and halfpennies using working dies supplied from London.  Not enough penny dies were supplied and Melbourne actually created a derivative punch from an unused working die and thus was able to prepare more working dies in-house.  Meanwhile there were moves afoot replace the large bronze coins with smaller squarish coins struck in a nickel alloy and the Melbourne Mint did not order any 1920 dies.  Procrastination on the part of the government of the day in authorising the nickel coins put the Melbourne Mint under considerable pressure when it had no approval for the new coins and no dies for bronze coins.  In the interest of expediency, the Royal Mint suggested that Australia order dies from Calcutta and on 19th May 1920 an order for twenty pairs of (penny) working dies was cabled to Calcutta.  When the Calcutta Mint informed the Melbourne Mint that it could only supply soft unturned dies because it did not know the fittings for the Australian presses, Melbourne also added a request for a pair of punches.  Thus it was that the Melbourne Mint ended up with a set of penny obverse and reverse master tools in the “Calcutta” pattern as well as five “London” obverse dies left over from the 1919 production.  The result was that all 1920 pennies were struck with a Calcutta reverse and most of them had a Calcutta obverse. 

     New working dies were supplied in 1921 and 1922.  In 1923 the Royal Mint supplied master dies and hubs for the first time.  All the obverses were London pattern, the 1921 and 1922 reverses were Birmingham pattern and the 1923 reverse was again London. 

     In 1923 Melbourne began making its own working dies and doing the redating for subsequent years and throughout the twenties a mixture of die types was used.  By 1927 the Calcutta tools had all been used and destroyed but at least one of the two new hubs shipped from London in 1928 and 1929 was derived from the Calcutta obverse penny master die.  This was used until 1931 after which Australia standardised on the London obverse and the Birmingham reverse for its pennies. 

     Now the interesting thing from the Jersey perspective is that presence of Calcutta obverse tools in the 1927/28 shipments to Australia showed that the Royal Mint still had the Calcutta pattern master tools at that time, and presumably also in 1933 when the Calcutta obverse appeared on Jersey 1/12 shilling coins.  Why 1933 should be the year that Jersey got Calcutta pattern obverse dies is not something on which I care to speculate.”

You can view Jon Saxton's site at “Numismatics - Australia - A guide to Australian pre-decimal coins”.

The History of the Calcutta Penny Obverse in Australia

by Jon Saxton


     “It all started in 1916 when the branch mints in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth were not yet prepared for striking bronze coins and the Royal Mint was too busy with its WWI commitments to bother with Australian pennies and halfpennies.  Melbourne started striking silver coins while the minting of pennies and halfpennies was contracted out to the better-equipped Calcutta branch mint.  The Royal Mint supplied the master tools but for some reason as yet unknown elected to make new obverse and reverse tools for the penny.  The halfpenny tools were identical to those which had been used in England for striking Australian halfpennies 1911-1915.  Only the pennies were favoured with specially recut tools. 
     In due course the war ended and by 1919 Melbourne Mint started striking pennies and halfpennies using working dies supplied from London.  Not enough penny dies were supplied and Melbourne actually created a derivative punch from an unused working die and thus was able to prepare more working dies in-house.  Meanwhile there were moves afoot replace the large bronze coins with smaller squarish coins struck in a nickel alloy and the Melbourne Mint did not order any 1920 dies.  Procrastination on the part of the government of the day in authorising the nickel coins put the Melbourne Mint under considerable pressure when it had no approval for the new coins and no dies for bronze coins.  In the interest of expediency, the Royal Mint suggested that Australia order dies from Calcutta and on 19th May 1920 an order for twenty pairs of (penny) working dies was cabled to Calcutta.  When the Calcutta Mint informed the Melbourne Mint that it could only supply soft unturned dies because it did not know the fittings for the Australian presses, Melbourne also added a request for a pair of punches.  Thus it was that the Melbourne Mint ended up with a set of penny obverse and reverse master tools in the “Calcutta” pattern as well as five “London” obverse dies left over from the 1919 production.  The result was that all 1920 pennies were struck with a Calcutta reverse and most of them had a Calcutta obverse.
     New working dies were supplied in 1921 and 1922.  In 1923 the Royal Mint supplied master dies and hubs for the first time.  All the obverses were London pattern, the 1921 and 1922 reverses were Birmingham pattern and the 1923 reverse was again London.
     In 1923 Melbourne began making its own working dies and doing the redating for subsequent years and throughout the twenties a mixture of die types was used.  By 1927 the Calcutta tools had all been used and destroyed but at least one of the two new hubs shipped from London in 1928 and 1929 was derived from the Calcutta obverse penny master die.  This was used until 1931 after which Australia standardised on the London obverse and the Birmingham reverse for its pennies.
     Now the interesting thing from the Jersey perspective is that presence of Calcutta obverse tools in the 1927/28 shipments to Australia showed that the Royal Mint still had the Calcutta pattern master tools at that time, and presumably also in 1933 when the Calcutta obverse appeared on Jersey 1/12 shilling coins.  Why 1933 should be the year that Jersey got Calcutta pattern obverse dies is not something on which I care to speculate.”



1911 half penny obverse

1911 half penny reverse

The 1911 One Twenty-Fourth of a Shilling

1926 half penny obverse

1926 half penny reverse

The 1926 One Twenty-Fourth of a Shilling









The Obverse from a 1923 One Twelfth of a Shilling









The Reverse from a 1923 One Twelfth of a Shilling









The Obverse from a 1931 One Twelfth of a Shilling









The Reverse from a 1931 One Twelfth of a Shilling

1.  Jersey livre, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Les Chroniques de Jersey, 1923)

2.  MINT 20/827, Jersey:  issue and withdrawal of coinage. 1923 - 1926. The Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK.

3.  A. L. T. McCammon, Currencies of the Anglo-Norman Isles (London:  Spink & Son Ltd., 1984), p. 159.

4.  MINT 12/5, Jersey coinage costs. 1926 February - 1937 November. The Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK.

5.  MINT 20/1036B, Jersey. 1926. The Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK.

King George V Painting

This photograph of King George V was taken in 1923,
the year the shield on the coinage was redesigned.



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Twelve Pence to a Shilling - Queen Victoria,
Twelve Pence to a Shilling - King Edward VII,
Twelve Pence to a Shilling - King George V,
Twelve Pence to a Shilling - King George VI,
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