Shilling dates to watch for
we examine some of the better dates of shillings 1838-1936
to be on the lookout for (see
Tip #11 for 1937-1970). Some of the dates may
be "common" in Krause or even the British price guides, but the ebay prices or
general availability suggest otherwise. Note that I refer to coins in high
grade in most cases.
Shillings seem to have a great deal of popularity
among collectors, more so than many of the other denominations. It is
resulting in an increasing dearth of good material and escalating prices across
All top grade Young Head
Victorian dates are desirable and all are quite rare in uncirculated condition.
They are no longer the bargain basement coin they once were.
The key date is 1850.
Valued at a mere £25 in UNC back in 1967, it can now not be
had for less than around £150 in date-only condition.
A poor second to that is 1854, but
you have to be very rich and well connected to own a top grade of this date.
Almost as rare are 1840, 1848, 1851,
1862 and 1863. 1840 and 1862 appear to be very undervalued relative to
their apparent rarity yet.
1857 with inverted "G," 1863 (3 over 1), 1866 (BBITANNIAR) and 1879
with die number
are some prized varieties.
The third tier of good dates
includes 1841, 1843, 1845, 1860, 1861, 1869, 1870, 1882 and 1887. In 1967
catalogues, 1882 was thought to be the top date in the entire Victorian series,
valued at £35!!
- The small Jubilee Head of 1889 is the only
key. 1888 without overdate appears to be scarce, even though catalogues
don't bear that out.
- Veiled Head shillings are all comparably
available and relatively easy to find, even in top grade. In spite of
their age, they are not particularly expensive.
- Edward VII has become a very difficult monarch
1905 is the key of the series,
with very low mintage and high circulation. Beware of fakes.
1903, 1904, 1908 and 1909 are all very tough to find in uncleaned top grade.
1902, 1906, 1907 and 1910 are much easier to get
than the others. Soft strikes in 1906 and
1907 may make UNC specimens appear less than they are. That said, even
these pieces are rarer than all Victorian Veiled Head dates.
- The George V series is loaded with semi-key
dates but nothing that really stands out. There is good reason to suspect
that any of the dates 1913, 1921, 1924, 1925 or 1930 could emerge as the
1912, 1913 and 1919 are the top dates in the sterling silver era (1911-1919).
EF and AU slider grades are relatively easy to locate. 1913 is considered
by many to be the key date of the entire George V series.
Every date of the debased coinage of 1920-1927 (the first reverse) is tough
except for 1926. In my opinion the key date of the entire George V
is 1921. How can this be, when 22.6 million were minted?? First, a very poor debased
alloy was used. Second, most of the issue tarnished to an unattractive colour.
Finally, the early dates saw extensive circulation as the debased coinage took
root. 1924 and 1925 are also very difficult to obtain as UNC.
very underrated date is 1930 (3.1 million minted). Many are available
in low to near EF grades, but finding an uncirculated specimen presents a bigger
challenge than the casual reader of catalogues is led to believe.
In addition to 1930, the Type II dates of 1931-1935 are tricky to find in true
top grade and all are undervalued.
So what's left? Well, you have the coronation (1911) and death (1936)
years, which are usually easy to obtain. The war years of 1914-1918 are among the most commonly found
dates in top
grade. 1922 is common in spite of its valuation. Type II dates
1927-1929 are easy to locate.
Posted 3/13/2011 and linked to CU