The Pattern Halfcrowns                                                          

Thought to be part of a trial production using hammer techniques to produce a superb high quality coin to rival the milled coinage of the time. This coin is clearly superior to typical production yet bears some anomalies - the typeface for example is typical of pre-1654 production, yet the inner beading and the obverse wreath and typeface are not at all typical of 1654 or 1656 halfcrown production. There are just four known examples.

A very unusual 1660 halfcrown, of unknown origin but with an excellent pedigree, with strikingly different features to regular coinage. The harp for example has extremely fine strings to it which are reminiscent of the trial “Blondeau” Coinage of 1651. The harp bears a close resemblance to that seen on the reverse of the Cromwell Pattern Halfcrown above.

The “Cromwell” pattern halfcrown of 1656 was probably produced in 1657 in very limited numbers of less than 100 pieces as a forerunner to the modified and much more common 1658 coin. Together with the gold Fifty Shilling and the gold Broad, these pieces were patterns for the possible new coinage of ‘58. Interestingly in the whole series, the ‘58 over 7 crown and shilling kept the original reverse design while the obverses displayed variations - see far right. Could the obverse die on the crown have also been of inferior workmanship which subsequently led to the now famous die crack on the crown?

1657 Halfcrown - altered from ‘58     

1658/7 Crown

1657 Halfcrown
altered from 1658

Typical harp seen on 1651 hammered coinage.
Harp seen on Blondeau Pattern, an altogether much finer image with for example very fine strings to the harp.

The “Blondeau” halfcrown produced in 1651 to prove the quality of milled coinage. Coins had two versions of edge lettering intended to deter “coin clipping” and other weight reduction techniques. Just one hundred examples were made and circulated to members of Parliament for their assessment. Shillings and sixpences were also produced. The higher definition attainable with the new milling technique can be clearly seen when for example the harps are compared.

1658 Shilling

Cromwell Halfcrown of 1657, thought to have been altered from 1658.
Reverse of the Cromwell Halfcrown of 1657.
Very rare example of the Cromwell Halfcrown of 1656.
The re-designed Cromwell halfcrown of 1658.
Reverse of the 1658 Cromwell halfcrown.
Cromwell Crown of 1658.
Cromwell Shilling of 1658.
Reverse of a typical 1660 halfcrown.
The obverse of a typical 1660 halfcrown.
Reverse of the rare Cromwell halfcrown of 1656.
1651 Hammered Halfcrown, typical production
Obverse of a good quality hammered halfcrown.
High Quality 1656 Halfcrown, one of just four known examples.
1656 Halfcrown, typical production
Obverse with an untypical legend typeface.
Obverse of a close design match in regular currency.
The first sample of milled coinage from the Commonwealth period.
Obverse of the Blondeau halfcrown of 1651.
1660 Halfcrown, strikingly unusal.
1660 Pattern obverse with untypical  typeface.

Olivar, by the Grace of God, of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland

Welcome to Cromwell Coins covering coins from the period  of THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND.
Sun Mintmark, 1649 thru 1657
Anchor Mintmark, 1658 to 1660

Copyright NE, 2006

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Oliver Cromwell

Last updated May 2013

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