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Commonwealth half groat

Tom Burton is the finder of this hammered silver coin. Tom said some of his friends got quite excited about it so he wanted to know if it’s rare and what it might be worth.

On the obverse is the shield of St. George flanked by a palm and a laurel branch. On the reverse the conjoined shields of St. George and Ireland have II directly above. Therefore, this is a halfgroat of the Commonwealth period (1649-60).

Early in 1649 the trial of Charles I found him guilty of treason and he was executed. Parliament then declared that England had become a Commonwealth and Republic. In 1653 Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector. I should add at this point that Cromwell was blamed for many things that had nothing to do with him.

Cromwell died in 1558 and his son, Richard, then became Lord Protector. However, Richard did not have the support that his father had enjoyed and the end result was his resignation, after which he left the country. This led to the eldest son of Charles I being offered the Crown, which he accepted. His enthronement in 1660 was welcomed by the population of England.


Tom’s Commonwealth halfgroat isn’t a rare coin but is a decent example of the denomination and would grade good Fine. In its present state of preservation it should be worth around £60 to a collector.

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Martyn Gleaden
Martyn Gleaden
3 years ago

I found a Commonwealth Half Groat coin like Tom Burton’s in Somerset last December, just as the second Lockdown ended. Mine wasn’t in as good a condition and at some time had had a hole drilled through it, later refilled with silver or pewter.
Once all the details of the coin were recorded I gave it to the landowner.