Description

The British florin, or two shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1970. The original florins, dated 1849, attracted controversy for omitting a reference to God from Queen Victoria's titles; that type is accordingly known as the "Godless florin", and was in 1851 succeeded by the "Gothic florin". The diameter was increased to 30 millimetres (the weight was unchanged), all the lettering on the coin was in Gothic script and date was rendered in Roman numerals.

Victoria (1819–1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. She inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". Her reign of 63 years and seven months is known as the Victorian era and was longer than that of any of her predecessors. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

Obverse

Crowned and robed bust of Queen Victoria as a very young woman facing left, wearing the Tudor Crown. Her hair is loosely braided with a long plait exposing the ear and tucked into the back of her crown. The tip of the crown cuts into the beaded edge and the inscription is the Gothic style upper and lower case lettering and the date in Roman numerals. The engraver's initials WW (if any) are in relief under the effigy.

From 1864 until 1879, many florins were struck with die numbers (found to the right of Victoria's brooch, possibly part of a Mint investigation into how long it took coinage dies to wear out). Beginning with some 1867 issues, BRIT was rendered BRITT, following the Latin practice in abbreviations of doubling a final consonant for a plural. Thus, Victoria's title changed from "Queen of Britain" to "Queen of the Britains", including the colonies and other territories.

VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the Britains Queen, Defender of the Faith.

The Tudor Crown, also known as the King's Crown or Imperial Crown, is a widely used symbol in heraldry of the United Kingdom. While various crown symbols had been used for this purpose for many years previously, the specific Tudor Crown design was standardised at the request of Edward VII. It was never intended to represent any actual physical crown, although in shape it bears a close resemblance to the small diamond crown of Queen Victoria.

Engraver: William Wyon

Victoria d:g:brit: reg:f:d:mdccclv
W W

Reverse

Crowned cruciform shields bearing the three lions passant for England, the lion rampant within a double truessure flory for Scotland, and the Gaelic harp for Ireland. In the angles are the national floral emblems: Scottish Thistle, English Rose and Northern Irish Shamrock. In the centre there is a flower motif. All contained within a tressured circular panel with crowns.

The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the Royal Arms for short, is the official coat of arms of the British monarch. The shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland.

Engraver: William Dyce

One florin
one tenth of a pound

Edge

1 Florin (2 Shillings)

Gothic Florin
KM# 746 Sp# 3891-3901
Characteristics
Material Silver
Fineness 0.925
Weight 11.31 g
Diameter 30 mm
Thickness 2 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Alt # KM# 746.1, KM# 746.2, KM# 746.3, KM# 746.4
Mint
Royal Mint

Related coins

Godless Florin

Silver, 11.31 g, ⌀ 28 mm
Jubilee Head

Silver, 11.31 g, ⌀ 29.5 mm
3rd portrait, Old Head

Silver, 11.31 g, ⌀ 28.3 mm