Contemporary Counterfeit Shillings of the Commonwealth 1649-1660 – Gary Oddie

This short note presents some counterfeits of the shillings issued during the Commonwealth. A brief summary of the official coinage is followed by images and analysis of 44 counterfeit shillings from two accumulations – the Baldwin black museum and the author’s collection. Though a relatively small sample, that there are very few die duplicates between and within the two collections suggests there are many more yet to be found. However, considering the present-day scarcity of the official issues, counterfeit shillings with the anchor initial mark make up 25% of the specimens. This may be attributed to the short period around the beginning of the reign of Charles II where there is a documented increase in counterfeiting activity attributed to the uncertainty of the future acceptability of the Commonwealth coins. XRF analysis of one group reveals that one piece is likely a genuine coin (but very damaged) and another is a 20th century fabrication as the alloy contains Hafnium, a metal not isolated until 1923. The remaining pieces are considered to be contemporary counterfeits.

One thought on “Contemporary Counterfeit Shillings of the Commonwealth 1649-1660 – Gary Oddie

  1. A nice piece of work. Gary you make an otherwise dull topic into a very interesting essay. I had no idea about the upsurge in counterfeiting of anchor mintmark coins at the end of the Commonwealth period.

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