Counterfeit Shillings of George III 1816-1820 (ii) The Observed Metals – Gary Oddie

The previous note presented details of the reference collection of 1,490 counterfeit shillings of George III dated 1816-1820. This note will look at the metal composition and plating based on the data gathered in the previous spreadsheet. Simple plots of the weights and densities of the pieces allow them to be separated into three groups ‘tin’, ‘copper alloys, brass and copper’ and ‘silver’ counterfeits, mostly consistent with visual observations.

6 thoughts on “Counterfeit Shillings of George III 1816-1820 (ii) The Observed Metals – Gary Oddie

  1. Hi Maria, indeed, these do continue to turn reasonably regularly. Since writing the article, I have probably added another 20 to the reference collection. Please have a look through the other articles in this series and if you have a specimen that is a very different style or metal, or in exceptional condition, I would be interested to hear. The final part of the study, the detailed die analysis, is till ongoing. Thanks, Gary.

  2. I believe I have found 3 … I don’t have many of these shillings. I could not help notice the colour variations with the coins. One is brass, 2 are Nickle.

  3. Hi Stavro,
    Many thanks for the message. The copper and brass counterfeits remain quite common. The white-metal ones are scarce and those with nicklel are quire rare. Cupro-Nickel counterfeits probably date from the late 1800s. To get two together is unusual.

    • I wish I could sit with someone and go through some of these coins. very difficult for me to confirm if these are counterfeits. The weights are odd to, one is 4.5g and the other is 4g. The brass coin is also 4.5g. I’m impressed by the quality for the time period.

  4. Hi Stavro,
    As well as the colour of the metal, the weight is often the best give away that there are counterfeits. If you email me some pictures: I will be happy to take a look. I would agree with you that the quality of some of the counterfeits is amazing. There were warnings in the Numismatic Chrionicle in the 1870s not to buy anything that appeared to be a copper pattern from this period as they were all counterfeits. I have also bought counterfeits from dealers that were convinced they were genuine and gEF grade.

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