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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
Updated by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., 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 britaain uk brit brittan brittrex brittain england britian britt english britan british britsh britanniarun brilt brittish counterstamped counterstamps counterstamp carolus carol iii dei oblong obverse rx hispaniarum 4 crown spanish spain shield center offcenter reed circle two line karolus karolvs charles karol carolu charlie carolvsvidg carolvs anverse hispanarvim hispanarvm hispanarium hispaniarvm crowned tiara crwon crpwn crowns tiarra crowning tiera espana spainish hispan espanas hispanirvm spanich hispana espania espa hisp espanola sheild shiled shied chevrons shileld shild escucheon shelid chevron ashield shields off centers centered circled encircle crrcle cirle circlet ring circles circlr circal citcle encircled ringed circumscibed cirlce circel encircles encircling rings circling cirlces circular cicurling circumscribed counter punch punched mark chop deutschemark marke dutchemark markt deuchmark marks marc marck punches chops castle lion tiger coat arms lions cougar tigers coats crests insignia crested crest creast

  

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Wed, 07-Dec-2016 16:24:20 GMT, unknown: 11084601