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The British crown, the successor to the English crown and the Scottish dollar, came into being with the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707. As with the English coin, its value was five shillings.
The 1960 Crown was struck to celebrate the British Exhibition in New York in 1960. Amongst other British manufacturers, the Royal Mint had a stand, on which they were demonstrating coins being struck. The coin struck was the 1960 crown, or five shilling piece, which was designed for the occasion.
The coins struck at the exhibition were made using polished dies, normally used only for proof coins, although the raised parts of the design were not matt finish, as is typical of proofs, and most of these coins are found with bagmarks (due to the unsold coins being bagged up and shipped back to the UK). Because of this, perfect examples of the polished die version are hard to find.
First portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II 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 brushed off her face and is rolled at the back of her head. 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 above the “BR” of BRITT.
ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F·D·
Four flat topped shields forming a diagonal cross around a crown, the shields bear the arms of England (top left and bottom right), Scotland (top right) and Ireland (bottom left); between shields, a rose, shamrock, leek and thistle; the leek divides the date 1960.