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Brit Tip #7

Watch your BMs or, how to identify the George V effigy.

Many of the coins during 1925-1927 had a number of varieties thanks to the modification of the reverse of the coins but also to the head of George V. Much work was done to combat the ghosting problems seen with the obverse strike's high relief. The designer of the head, Bertram Mackennal, had his initials placed at the base of the neck.

If the initials read B.M., the effigy is the first one beginning 1911.

If the initials are smaller, more to the right and read BM (no stops), the effigy is known as the “Modified Effigy.” Note that both head types are seen on 1925 halfpennies and on 1926 pennies, threepences, sixpences, shillings and halfcrowns.

Figure 1: First effigy, George V

Figure 2:  Modified effigy, George V

Figure 3:  B.M. on first effigy

Figure 4:  BM on modified effigy.

Posted on CU 8/1/2003