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Shilling of Charles II

This early milled coin was sent in by Colin Smith, who asked a number of questions. First, is the date 1675 or 1676? Second, what does the sunburst in the centre of the four shields signify? Third, what grade is the coin? Fourth, what would I suggest that the coin could be worth in cash terms?


Colin’s coin is a milled coinage shilling of Charles II, which is dated 1676 on the reverse. However, the date in the die was originally 1675 but as it was still serviceable the date was altered to 1676 and the die continued to be used. The date, 1676, is scarce for shillings but rare when it has been changed from 1675.

Garter star

The image in the centre of the reverse is known as the garter star. The garter relates to the Order of the Garter, which is the senior order of knighthood in the British honours system. It is emblazoned with the motto Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense and dates from the reign of Edward III. At any given time the membership is made up of the Sovereign, Prince of Wales and only 24 others. On this coin the garter is surrounded by rays, which turn it into a star.    


The obverse of this shilling would grade Fine but the reverse is better. I’ve seen a few shilling of Charles II as detecting finds but all have been the least scarce dates: 1663 or 1668. In having the second 6 altered from a 5 turns Colin’s coin into a rarity. In its present condition it should be worth £300 to £350 to a keen collector of early milled coins.

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