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William III Shilling

Over the years I have seen hundreds of silver coins of William III as detecting finds. Most have been sixpences, with a high proportion being very worn and bent to be given away as love tokens. I’ve seen fewer shillings and only a dozen or so half crowns.

The shilling shown here was found by Steve Pulley and is much better than average for William III. There is no letter under the bust on the obverse, so this shilling was struck at the Tower of London. However, it was the reverse that intrigued Steve.

If you haven’t noticed anything peculiar then have a look at the area where the date is situated. Instead of reading 16 96 either side of the crown above the English shield, Steve said there is a letter E where the 9 should be. I’ve had a close look and couldn’t make out a letter E. However, there is something wrong with the right-hand side of the crown and the area in which the 9 should be situated. There is nothing wrong with the rest of the reverse, so why is just one area out-of-the-ordinary? I throw this open to viewers. If you can offer a logical explanation then do let me know.


Steve wondered if the peculiarity would add to or subtract from the value of this William III shilling. Well, significant errors like spelling mistakes, over-struck letters or wrongly positioned shields can add a great deal. Being in above average condition, this shilling would be worth £70-80 to a collector and a William III enthusiast might pay a bit more for the peculiar date. However, whilst it might interest some collectors, other might be put off by the peculiarity.

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Steve Pulley
Steve Pulley
3 years ago

The E is better described as being on the right hand side of the crown but just slightly obliterating the 9. Also the R and E of Rex appear to be struck over something else ?