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Copy of a Commonwealth half crown

This find turned up on 12 January. It was unearthed by Anthony Pickering, who allowed me to feature it on this website.

The obverse and reverse bear imagery that can be seen on silver halfcrowns struck during the Commonwealth period. However, the example pictured here is obviously a cast copy. An obverse and reverse mould will have been made from a genuine halfcrown and then castings taken from it. Anthony’s find looks as if it could be made from pewter. When freshly cast it might have looked like the genuine article but its present appearance wouldn’t fool anyone.

After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 coins of the Commonwealth are said to have been demonetised. However, the silver coins struck between 1649 and 1660 were made of sterling standard silver and the amount of wear on many of them proves they continued to circulate long after 1660.


Forgeries of Commonwealth halfcrowns are not particularly rare but they are usually struck on silver plated flans, rather than being cast in a mould. The cast copy pictured here should be of interest to a specialist collector or a museum but its commercial value would be rather low.

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