Part 6
Twelve Pence to a Shilling
King George V

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From the Shield on a 1926 One Twelfth of a Shilling

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This 1911 medal commemorates
the coronation of King George V.
     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 authorized 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.

     During this time 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 coins from the French coinage are typically darker than other Jersey coins.3  In contrast, I have several mint state 1923 coins and they are brilliantly red-orange and were minted without the use of the French bronze coins.

     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.

      Various coins will have die cracks, repunched letters, various spacing in the dates and words, different fonts, and other items of interest. Thus for the numismatist there are many different varieties to discover. Take a look at the following images taken from a 1911 1/24.
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      Be sure to click on the camera icon camera image to review the die varieties or the letter icon  Letter image to see images using a digital microscope.
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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
(click on image to enlarge)
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    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1911    46    11     72,000   25.55     no image  Examples  no image no image 
    1913    47           72,000   25.55     no image  Examples  no image no image  
    1923    48           72,000   25.55     no image  Examples  no image no image 
Things to note:

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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.


One Twenty-Fourth of a Shilling
1923 and 1926
(click on image to enlarge)
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    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1923    49    13     72,000   25.55     no image  Examples  no image no image no image
    1926    50          120,000   25.55     no image  Examples  no image no image no image          
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A 'What-if' coin
     During World War I a coin shortage had occurred, and despite the States of Jersey enactment of 1834, French coins gradually infiltrated and were accepted. The States by an act dated 24th August 1923, declared that French coinage was no longer legal tender and these French coins were recalled. Approximately 500,000 withdrawn French coins were returned to the Royal Mint and melted down for the metal used in the production of new coins for the island. Although they were struck in late 1923, the new coins did not enter into circulation until 1924. Also, a distinctive design was desired for this recoinage and a modification of the Jersey coat of arms by Mr. Kruger-Gray was adopted. Royal Mint documents show that originally the States just wanted a star added to the old style reverse. Kruger-Gray suggested two models. The rejected designed had William the Conqueror on horseback.

From Wilfrid du Pré article in the 1948 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise5  :

Sometime after the second Georgian issue in 1913 the details of the Jersey escutcheon had been critically examined, mainly at the instigation of the Viscount, the late E T Nicolle, in collaboration with Major N V L Rybot, Vice-President of La Société Jersiaise and as a result, certain alterations were effected which, after approval by the officials of the local Treasury, duly appeared on the coinage for the first time in 1923 and again for the second and last time in 1926.

In this 1923 design, the 'spade' shield was discontinued and the original again brought back into use, but without the ornamented border and the tincture lines. Possibly in substitution for the non-heraldic border, two ribbon scrolls containing the legend were used, the divided millesim, or date, being on either side of the shield. It is worth remarking that the 'spade' is accepted as the best heraldic form of shield, and although it is no longer used for the local coinage, it is still in common use by the States and the various parishes for most of the official and press notices.

But the most arresting change introduced by the local devotees of mediaeval symbolism, in their self-imposed task of remodelling the Island's coinage, was the style, shape, and general appearance of the Lions-cum-Leopards which, for centuries, had done duty as the Arms of Jersey.

Here, on the coins of 1923, these lugubrious quadrupeds of questionable parentage, record their first steps towards the goal of armorial perfection, and become transformed into streamlined greyhounds with protrusive tongues, predaceous claws and patriarchal beards, the latter farcically suggestive of G B S.
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 £58/15/9.6 

Things to note:
  • The spelling of the denomination is now “ONE TWENTYFOURTH OF A SHILLING” instead of “ONE TWENTY-FOURTH OF A SHILLING.”
  • Proofs exist for the 1926 coins.
  • During 1926 coinages in alloy metal, bronze, or cupro-nickel were executed by the Royal Mint for British West Africa, British Honduras, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Jersey, and the Hedjaz.


One Twenty-Fourth of a Shilling
1931, 1933, and 1935
(click on image to enlarge)
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    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1931    51    15     72,000   25.55     no image  Examples  no image no image no image 
    1933    52           72,000   25.50     no image  Examples  no image no image no image 
    1935    53           72,000   25.50     no image  Examples  no image no image no image
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The reverse of this 1935 medal
displays the Royal Cypher,
surmounted by an Imperial Crown.
Below is the Shield of Jersey.
Towards the end of 1930 the States Treasury approached the Royal Mint with regard to a further coinage of bronze pence and halfpence. The States desired a new design for the reverse of the coins, and Mr. Kruger Gray was commissioned to prepare new models. The work was completed in 1931. 7  Compared with the previous design, the only marked difference is the elimination of the scrolls upon which the lettering formerly appeared.

From Wilfrid du Pré article in the 1948 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise5  :

Despite these remarkable anatomical adjustments, the States apparently were not entirely satisfied, and in 1930 requested the Royal Mint to supply a new or revised design for the reverse of the Jersey coinage.

In accordance with this request Sir Robert Johnson, Deputy Master and Comptroller of the Mint, informed the States that Mr Kruger Gray, Chief Engraver and Modeller to the Mint, had been commissioned to prepare the requisite models, the result of which would be seen in the forthcoming coinage of 1931. When these 1931 coins came into circulation the local practitioners of armorial surgery were pleased to see that their metamorphosed lions of 1923 had emerged unchanged from the exacting scrutiny of the Royal Mint - except for a small additional tuft which now adorned the bend sinister of each lion's tail.
The general design, however, had been considerably altered by the removal of the two ribbon scrolls, and the legend - in greatly improved lettering - was restored to its original position of 1841. The initials 'K G' appear at the bottom of the shield and are repeated on all subsequent issues.
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 £51/1/2.6

Things to note:
  • The Dominion and Colonial Coinages struck at the Royal Mint, during 1931 for British Guiana, British West Africa, Cyprus, East Africa, Hong Kong, Jersey, Palestine, and the Irish Free State.
  • The Dominion and Colonial Coinages were struck at the Royal Mint, during 1933 for British West Africa, East Africa, Fiji, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Southern Rhodies, Palestine, Jersey, and the Irish Free State.
  • The Dominion and Colonial Coinages were struck at the Royal Mint, during 1935 for British Guiana, British West Africa, Cyprus, East Africa, Fiji, Hong Kong, Mauritius, New Zealand, Southern Rhodesia, Palestine, Jersey, and the Irish Free State.
  • Proofs exist for all three coins. 
  • Only one model was used for both the halfpenny and penny dies. The denomination for the halfpenny, "ONE TWENTY-FOURTH OF A SHILLING" was engraved by hand.9

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1911, 1913, and 1923
(click on image to enlarge)
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    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1911    17    12    204,000   30.85    no image  Examples  no image no image 
    1913    18          204,000   30.90    no image  Examples  no image no image 
    1923    19          204,000   30.80    no image  Examples  no image no image 
Things to note:

One Twelfth of a Shilling
1923 and 1926
(click on image to enlarge)
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    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1923    20    14    301,200   30.80    no image  Examples  no image no image
    1926    21           82,800   30.80    no image  Examples  no image no image
 
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This medal commemorates
the visit of King George V and Queen Mary
to Jersey in July 1921 aboard the
Royal Yacht “Victoria and Albert”.
As mentioned earlier, approximately 500,000 French coins were recalled and sent to the Royal Mint for production of new coinage. This is how Wilfrid du Pré6  describes the situation:

As distinct from the fastidious trivialities of heraldic blazonry, the year 1923 was one of special interest for Jersey numismatists. In this year there were three different types of George V pence, each dated 1923. The first shows the 'spade" shield as adopted in 1877, the second has the shield of 1841, enclosing the metamorphosed lions - but with its ornamented border replaced by the two ribbon scrolls - while the third, although identical with the second as regards as details of design, is essentially unique in the history of Jersey coinages.

During the 1914-1918 war, a shortage of copper currency had occurred and, despite the States enactment of 1834, the gradual infiltration and circulation of foreign copper, chiefly French five and ten centime pieces, was tolerated. On the conclusion of hostilities, the States, after due notice, arranged, with the help of the local banks, to call in all foreign coinage for exchange into British or local currency, the States in the meantime having promulgated a law prohibiting the further introduction of foreign copper money. The number of these undesirable and no longer useful coins thus collected was approximately 500,000, for which the Treasury paid some £1,400. Owing to the greatly depreciated rate of exchange, the local Minister of Finance appeared to be faced with a considerable loss on this transaction. Fortunately, the Finance Committee was equal to the occasion. With the willing assistance of the authorities of the Mint, this half million or so of comparatively worthless foreign copper was re-minted and duly returned to Jersey, no longer, however, as 'filthy lucre', but as brand new Jersey pence of 1923, resplendent with the crowned head of King George V on one side, and the impregnable Jersey Arms on the other.

By this simple expedient the Island, at a nominal additional cost, not only obtained a necessary further supply of local coinage but, at the same time, relieved itself from the incubus of unwanted foreign currency. Unfortunately, from the collector's point of view, there is no particular mark by which these converted French coins can be distinguished from the companion issue of 1923, but it is generally accepted that the darker colour of the foreign metal is sufficient means of identification.
     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 ...”8  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 £82/4/6.8

Things to note:
  • Proofs exist for the 1926 coins.


One Twelfth of a Shilling
1931, 1933, and 1935
(click on image to enlarge)
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    Year    J#    KM#   Mintage  Diameter   
    1931    22    16    204,000   30.80    no image  Examples  no image no image no image  
    1933    23          204,000   30.80    no image  Examples  no image no image no image 
    1935    24          204,000   30.80    no image  Examples  no image no image 
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The reverse of a silver
King George V
Victoria College Medal.
     The 1933 issue includes the well known “English” and “Indian” obverse dies of George V pennies.

     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 £198/13/2.6

Things to note:
  • Proofs exist for all three coins.
Fun Fact: Newspapers reported that some people thought that the Jersey 1933 penny was worth a fortune!


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
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The London obverse
with the last stroke of the N of OMN
aligns between border beads.


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The Calcutta obverse
with the last stroke of the N of OMN
points to a border bead.
     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

1911 half penny obverse
1911 half penny reverse
The 1926 One Twenty-Fourth of a Shilling

1926 half penny obverse
1926 half penny reverse
The 1923 One Twelfth of a Shilling

1926 half penny obverse
1926 half penny reverse
The 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.  Royal Mint Annual Report 1911 Volume 42, pp. 63.

5.  Wilfrid du Pré, Jersey's Copper Coinage, Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise. 1948.

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

7.  Royal Mint Annual Report 1930 Volume 61, pp. 7.

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

9.  Royal Mint Annual Report 1931 Volume 62, pp. 39.

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,
Twelve Pence to a Shilling - Queen Elizabeth II,

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