• 1 Florin 1954-1970, KM# 906, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II
  • 1 Florin 1954-1970, KM# 906, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II
Description

Except for the short period during the reign of Edward III in the 14th century, when a gold florin was struck by the Royal Mint, the florin did not feature as part of the British coinage until 1849.

It was introduced as a concession to enthusiasts for a decimal system of coinage, being one-tenth of a pound in value. It owed its name not to any resemblance in shape or value to the gold florins of Edward III but to the fact that it was about the same size as Dutch and Austrian florins current at that time. Its first issue aroused public indignation owing to the omission of the words DEI GRATIA and FIDEI DEFENSOR from Queen Victoria’s titles, the coin thereby commonly being known as the Godless or Graceless florin. This omission was soon corrected and the florin proved to be a useful addition to the silver circulation, if sometimes troublesome because of its close similarity in size to the half-crown.

Obverse

First portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II (laureate bust) facing right, wearing a wreath. It was introduced in 1953, one year after the Queen acceded to the throne. It captures the grace and youth of the 26-year-old new Queen. Her hair is restrained by a laureate crown which is tied with ribbons at the back of her head. The Queen's shoulders are bare and the truncation follows the curve of the coin. The engravers initials M.G. are incuse, generally faint, and are located on the raised edge found at the base of the bust.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA means Elizabeth the Second, by the grace of God Queen.

Engraver: Mary Gillick

+ ELIZABETH·II·DEI·GRATIA·REGINA
M.G.

Reverse

Central Tudor rose surrounded by thistles, shamrocks and leeks.

The Tudor rose (sometimes called the Union rose) is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the Tudor dynasty.

When Henry VII took the crown of England from Richard III in battle (1485), he brought the end of the retrospectively dubbed "Wars of the Roses" between the House of Lancaster (one monarch of which had sometimes used the badge of a red or gold rose) and the House of York (which had lately used a white-rose badge). Henry's father was Edmund Tudor from the House of Richmond (maternally), and his mother was Margaret Beaufort from the House of Lancaster; in January 1486 he married Elizabeth of York to bring all factions together. (In battle, Richard III fought under the banner of the boar, and Henry under the banner of the dragon of his native Wales.) The white rose versus red rose juxtaposition was Henry's invention.

FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Defender of the Faith.

Engravers: Edgar Fuller and Cecil Thomas

FID: DEF:
TWO SHILLINGS 1954
E·F C·T

Edge

1 Florin (2 Shillings)

1st portrait, without BRITT:OMN
KM# 906 Sp# 4146
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Characteristics
Material Cupronickel
Weight 11.3 g
Diameter 28.5 mm
Thickness 2.5 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

Related coins

Godless Florin

Silver, 11.31 g, ⌀ 28 mm
Gothic Florin

Silver, 11.31 g, ⌀ 30 mm
Jubilee Head

Silver, 11.31 g, ⌀ 29.5 mm