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Great Britain Countermarked Coinage  1760 to 1820
Great Britain Countermarked Coinage 1760 to 1820

At first glace the coin in our picture, a beautiful one from respected eBay seller GK-Coins in London, looks like a normal Spanish 8 reales. And so it is, almost ...

The small indented feature at the center of the 'heads' side (really called the obverse side of a coin) is known as a countermark. The Bank of England needed more coins than they had on hand in the late 1700s and early 1800s, so they simply punched their countermarks into readily available Spanish coins. Many of the countermarks use the oval design shown, but there are other shapes also, including circles and rectangles with clipped corners.

Coin shortages are not unusual. On this CoinQuest page you can see a piece of 'emergency money' issued by tradesmen, not by the British government.

As to value, nice examples of British countermarked coins are rare and strongly sought by some collectors. A specimen as nice as GK-Coin's would bring several thousand US dollars in a retail market. More typical catalog values run like this:

4 REALES (1/2 DOLLAR)
worn: $100
average circulated: $250
well preserved: $900

8 REALES (1 DOLLAR)
worn: $175
average circulated: $400
well preserved: $1250

These values are only general guidelines. Specific coins, with specific dates and patterns, can vary widely from the values above. If you have an nice specimen, free of problems like scratches, stains, cleanings, gouges, nicks, and corrosion, it is best to seek out a knowledgable collector or coin dealer for an accurate appraisal.

CoinQuest thanks GK-Coins for use of their coin image. It is a beauty!

Coin: 9305 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Augustus_ph, Fri, 28-Oct-2011 12:46:47 GMT
Answered by: Chris, Sat, 04-May-2013 12:20:10 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Fri, 04-Nov-2016 11:41:13 GMT
Requester description: 1778 Inscriptions says 'CAROLUS III.DEI.G' w/ oblong countermark from Great Britain in obverse, 'RX.HISPANIARUM R4 w/ crown M' and spanish shield in the center in the reverse. The reed has circle with two line pattern.
Tags: great britain countermarked countermark uk brit brittan brittain england britian britt english britan british brittish punched punch stamped stamp counterstamped hashmarked chop hashmark counterstamps punches counterstamp stamps chops inscriptions monogram carolus charles iii dei god oblong oval hispaniarum spain 4 crown spanish shield center offcenter circle two line script inscription letter monograms initial scripts initals calligraphy caligraphy letters lettering scrip lettered initials karolus karolvs carlos carol karol carl carlovs carlosi karl carlo carlvs charlie carolvs gods goddess deus deum diety deity godess devm deo dom divine dios elliptic ellipse ovals espana spainish hispanarvim hispan espanas hispanarvm hispanirvm spanich hispanarium hispana espania espa hisp espanola hispa spai hispaniarvm crowned tiara crowns tiarra crowning tiera arms sheild coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia arm coat crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon off offset certer centre centers centered circled encircle circlet ring circles loops circal encircled circuit ringed circumscibed incircled circel circumference encircles encircling rings circling loop circular circumscribed lined lines lining bar bars counter mark deutschemark reicshmark dreimark sammel marke dutchemark kohlenmarke reichmark sammelmarke deuchmark markas marks marc satzmarke reichsmark marck castle lion tiger lions cougar tigers

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Tue, 17-Oct-2017 13:16:48 GMT, unknown: 264243