O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Silver Threepence of George V, Part 2


Introduction:

The silver threepences of George V are very popular amongst collectors and are readily available in coin dealers’ bulk boxes, and at coin fairs, exhibitions and car boot sales. There are four different types of George V threepence.

The three types dealt with in this article are as follows:

  • Type 2a: 50% Silver (1920-1926)
  • Type 2b: 50% Silver / Modified effigy (1926)
  • Type 3: 50% Silver / Modified effigy + Acorns & Oak Leaves reverse (1927-1936)

All silver threepences in the higher grades are worth a substantial premium above the market price usually paid for circulated examples.

Silver Threepence: George V

The Royal Mint seems to have experimented with a variety of alloys for the silver threepence after WW1. The big change came in 1920 when they debased the silver content from Sterling (92.5%) down to 50% silver. After that, they seem to have experimented with the copper, nickel and zinc content.

  •  Alloy:
    • 50% silver, 40% copper, 10% nickel (1920-21)
    • 50% silver, 50% copper (1922-26)
    • 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel, 5% zinc (1927-36)
  • Weight: 1.41g
  • Diameter: 16mm
  • Edge: Plain

Type 2a

1921 GB & Ireland Silver Threepence (George V, Type 2a Obverse). The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

1921 GB & Ireland Silver Threepence (George V, Type 2a Obverse)

Obverse:

  • Bare head of King George V facing left
    • Legend:
      • GEORGIVS V D.G.BRITT:OMN:REX F.D.IND:IMP:
    • Full text in Latin:
      • GEORGIVS V DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM REX FIDEI DEFENSOR INDIAE
    • Translation:
      • George V, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India
  • Designer / Engraver: Bertram MacKennal

Reverse

  • Royal crown above the number ‘3’, with the date divided to either side.
  • A wreath with a bow at the base surrounds the main design
  • Designer / Engraver: Jean Merlen

Type 2b

1926 GB & Ireland Silver Threepence (George V, modified effigy). The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

1926 GB & Ireland Silver Threepence (George V, modified effigy)

  • Bare head of King George V facing left
    • Legend:
      • GEORGIVS V D.G.BRITT:OMN:REX F.D.IND:IMP:
    • Full text in Latin:
      • GEORGIVS V DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM REX FIDEI DEFENSOR INDIAE
    • Translation:
      • George V, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India
  • Designer / Engraver: Bertram MacKennal

Reverse

  • Royal crown above the number ‘3’, with the date divided to either side.
  • A wreath with a bow at the base surrounds the main design
  • Designer / Engraver: Jean Merlen

Type 3

1930 GB & Ireland Silver Threepence (George V). The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

1930 GB & Ireland Silver Threepence (George V)

  • Bare head of King George V facing left
    • Legend:
      • GEORGIVS V D.G.BRITT:OMN:REX F.D.IND:IMP:
    • Full text in Latin:
      • GEORGIVS V DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM REX FIDEI DEFENSOR INDIAE
    • Translation:
      • George V, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India
  • Designer / Engraver: Bertram MacKennal

Reverse

  • Royal crown above the number ‘3’, with the date divided to either side.
  • A wreath with a bow at the base surrounds the main design
  • Designer / Engraver: George Kruger Gray

 

Mintage & Market Values:

Type 2a & 2b – 50% Silver

1920-1926 George V, 50% silver threepence (mintage & market values). The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

1920-1926 George V, 50% silver threepence (mintage & market values)

Notes:

The 1926 silver threepence was minted in two formats, i.e. one with a ‘normal head’ and one with a modified effigy. The ‘normal head’ is the scarcer of the two and a premium is usually sought for this type.

Spot the difference between the 'normal' and 'modified' effigy on the 1926 GB & Ireland Threepence. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

Spot the difference between the ‘normal’ and ‘modified’ effigy on the 1926 Silver Threepence

  • There are two key differences:
    1. The initials BM on the base of the portrait are moved. Before modification they were B.M. in the middle, and after it was BM to the right (without full stops).
    2. The vertical gap between the two dots is closer on the standard (before modification) coin on the BRITT:OMN part, and they are further apart on the modified.

Type 3 – 50% Silver / Acorns & Oak Leaves (reverse)

1927-1936 George V, 50% silver threepence (mintage & market values). The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

1927-1936 George V, 50% silver threepence (mintage & market values)

Notes:

The 1927 silver threepence is only available from proof sets. It is included in the popular Whitman folders, so I have included it here. They frequently appear at auctions and are keenly sought after.

Only 3 or 4 examples are known of the extremely rare ‘matt proof’ of 1927.

 

Further Reading:

 

 

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