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In 1797 Matthew Boulton was authorised by the government to strike copper pennies and twopences at his Soho Mint, in Birmingham. It was believed that the face value of a coin should correspond to the value of the material it was made from, so each coin was made from two pence worth of copper (2 ounces). The large size of the coins, combined with the thick rim where the inscription was incuse i.e. punched into the metal rather than standing proud of it, led to the coins being nicknamed Cartwheels. Many have survived being used as weights for kitchen scales, and thus battered and worn.
This type was struck in copper by Boulton for several years after 1797 with no change in date, along with some later strikes in a variety of metals. Further restrikes were produced by W.J. Taylor when he bought the dies in 1848; the chief way these later issues can be distinguished is by marks resulting from die corrosion.
Engraver: Conrad Heinrich Küchler.
A right-facing laureated portrait of George III, and incused into the rim are the words GEORGIUS III·D·G·REX. The initial K appears on the lowest fold of the drapery at the base of the effigy, indicating that the design is the work of the German engraver Conrad Heinrich Kuchler.
Seated Britannia, facing left, holding an olive branch and trident. There are waves about her feet, with a small ship to the left and a Union Jack shield below and to the right. Date below on border. Soho mint mark (the word 'SOHO' below-right of the shield).
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