Object Detail

George III (1760-1820) sixpence, 1820.
The obverse of this coin bears the laureate bust of King George III, while the design consists in the United Kingdom shield of arms on the reverse. The crowned shield shows three lions representing England at the top left and bottom right, one lion representing Scotland at the top right, and a harp representing Ireland at the bottom left. At the centre is the Hanoverian shield of arms.
The obverse inscription reads 'GEOR III D.G.BRITT REX FD', which means 'George III by the Grace of God King of Great Britain and Defensor of the Faith', followed by the date, 1816. The Latin legend on the reverse quotes the motto:' HONI SOIT Q MAL V PENSE', which translates as: 'shame is on whoever thinks evil of it'
This silver coin was designed by the Italian gem-engraver, medallist and coin engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. Also known as tanner or half shilling, the first sixpences were struck in the reign of Edward VI in 1551 and continued until decimalisation in 1971. They remained legal tender until 1980 and became associated with British traditions and folklore. Sixpences replaced threepences as the coins put into Christmas puddings and are seen as lucky charms for brides.
Collection Type
Date Made
dia 19.5mm (dia 3/4")
1mm (1/16")
w 2.8g
Property Information
Accession No

Object Type



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