The topic that I address in my blog piece is to ask the question: “In the light of the current anti-racism protests, should numismatists be concerned about the obvious slave trading associations of certain British coins in their collections?”. I then go on to examine the origins of the metals which went into the “Elephant” and “Elephant & Castle” guineas (Royal African Company link) as well as the silver coins minted with SSC on the reverse (South Sea Company link).
Contemporary counterfeits of Victorian silver coins are typically cast from pewter-like metals, more rarely silver plated brass and very unusually silver. This note presents two shillings dated 1863 and 1882 which are of good weight and good silver and struck from hand engraved dies. The pieces also share the same obverse die. Being rare dates it is speculated that they are not contemporary but were manufactured in the third quarter of the twentieth century. This issue is compared with the halfcrowns that have been noted with dates 1861, 1866, 1868, and 1871 which were first discovered in the 1960’s during the change checking that accompanied decimalisation.
A small hoard of counterfeit silver coins with dates ranging from 1816 to 1845 will be described. All of the pieces fall into the category of cast white metal, tin, pewter or lead-alloy counterfeits and many have been mutilated by cutting, sometimes into pieces. That many of the fragments of the broken pieces have remained together suggests that this group might have been together since the middle of the nineteenth century.