Coins of England and Great Britain

by Tony Clayton

Edward VIII (1936)

Edward VIII came to the throne on 20th January 1936 on the death of his father, George V, from a chill. He abdicated on 11th December 1936 in order to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson.

He would have been crowned in May 1937, and a series of coins was prepared for issue at that time dated 1937. In fact, over 200 dies for coins and medals had to be scrapped when he abdicated.

A very small number of proof sets were produced, containing coins from the gold five pound down to the farthing. One set has come on the market in recent years.

The reverse designs were as for his brother, George VI, in most cases, but with the following differences:

  1. Crown: as for the George VI 1937 crown.
  2. Half Crown: The royal arms on the reverse was in the form of a standard or flag rather than the shield used by George VI.
  3. Florin: as for George VI.
  4. Shilling: one design only, as for the George VI Scottish shilling
  5. Sixpence: six intertwined signet rings
  6. Threepence: three intertwined signet rings (see below for brass version)
  7. Penny, halfpenny and farthing: as for George VI

Edward VIII broke with the tradition of suceeding monarch's heads facing in opposite directions as he preferred his left profile.

At this time serious thought was being given to phasing out the silver threepence piece as it was rather small. A variety of designs were considered, but eventually a twelve-sided brass coin was decided on, with a thrift plant on the reverse.

Patterns also exist with a different style of thrift plant on the reverse, and with a different flan thickness.

A variety of 'pattern' crowns with his effigy are known, but these are unofficial items produced for the collectors' market.

See my Coins Index page for acknowledgements

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Coins of UK - Edward VIII
Copyright reserved by the author, Tony Clayton
v7 17th May 2015
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