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   A look at forgeries.

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Forged Coin Menu: [ Introduction & Early Milled :|: George III ]
[ Victoria - Now ]

Next, George III Forgeries Part 2 >>

George III Forgeries

It is generally well documented that forgery was very big business during the reign of George III (1760 - 1820). With shortages of small change and of most silver denominations there was a massive demand for coins, and the forgers just filled this void. Arguably, the forgers probably made it possible for smaller transactions to take place and provided a well needed service, although at the expense of the treasury! 

It is thought that during certain times of the reign a very high proportion of the coins in your pocket were probably not genuine. Around 40% of the forged coins I have collected are from this period and I nearly have a full type set (one coin for each denomination) of George III forged coins. Below I have illustrated some of them:

Forged George III, 6 Shillings Irish Bank token.

The first is not a British coin and is in fact a large Six Shilling Irish bank token. I have included it here because it is fine example of a forgery and at that time the whole of Ireland was part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 

I've never seen the genuine article but believe at 41mm in diameter it's a little smaller than the real thing. It is weighty and if it wasn't for the darker, black metal showing through the worn parts it would have been a very convincing fake! It's dated 1804 as that was in fact the only date with which the real ones were struck. I could speculate that because of the quality of this piece that it was made in recent years to fool collectors, but with the amount of worn away 'silver' plating on the coin I believe it is most likely a contemporary example aimed at fooling the rich people of early 19th Century Ireland (It's highly unlikely poorer people would ever have seen it as 6 shillings was a lot or money!). 

As a point of interest where the silvering is completely intact you can clearly see that when the copy was made it would of started life with a worn appearance.

Forged George III, 3 Shillings (English) Bank token.

Another bank token, although it would have circulated as a normal coin at the time. A Three shilling denomination dated 1812 from the Bank of England. The real thing would have been silver and it is quite evident from the image that this coin is somewhat brassy. Although weakly struck the quality is not bad, as is the weight and size. I have two of these and this is the best one, the other is dated 1815 and quite crude in comparison.

Forged George III Half Crown

I have a number of George III Half crowns indicating it was probably a popular coin for forgers. This is one of the better ones with much original thin silvering. It's a fraction of a millimeter smaller in diameter and thickness than the real thing but the quality, especially of the bust is superb. This one is dated 1820.

Forged George III Shilling

I have several of these George III fake shillings and a few sixpences of similar quality. This is the best shilling example with most of the original silvering remaining. It's very convincing now and would have probably been undetectable without scratching the silvering of in 1819! In comparison with a real one it would seem this coin was either struck in inferior metal with the original (stolen) Royal mint dies or copied by a very very talented engraver. The artistic aspects of this coin are parallel with the original and there are no differences whatsoever with the quality and positioning of the design elements. Well done that forger!

 Next, George III Forgeries Part 2>>


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