World Coins

Pattern for British version of Peace dollar in sale

A Peace silver crown from 1926 was never adopted for the United Kingdom. A unique pattern highlights Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ NYC auction in early January.

Coin image courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

American collectors know about the Peace dollar that was issued after World War I, but the United Kingdom also has such a coin — it was just never made for circulation.

A 1926 silver crown with the proposed Peace design highlights Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ 2016 New York International Numismatic Convention auction, scheduled for Jan. 8, 9, 12 and 13. 

The crown is of comparable size to the U.S. silver dollar. 

Uniface pattern

The uniface pattern offered in the Stack’s auction features a reclining Britannia with helmet at her feet and peripheral legend reading GIVE PEACE IN OUR TIME O LORD. The legend is borrowed from Anglican liturgy, with origins dating back to the Protestant Reformation, and was eventually adopted to become the refrain in the hymn of the same title. 

The date is presented in Roman numerals.

“Completely without marks or other impairments, all of the design’s intended message is fully conveyed in unmistakable clarity,” according to the auction house. 

In 1926 coinage was proposed in a speech delivered in the House of Commons by the historian and numismatist Sir Charles Oman, who then actively pursued the idea with officials at the British Royal Mint. 

Francis Derwent Wood would first draw the design, which was then modeled by Humphrey Paget before pattern pieces were struck during July of 1926. 

Only two or three pieces of all other versions are known aside from this example. 

The others all bear the word MODEL on the reverse. 

Only blank reverse

However, the reverse on this example is blank, the only such example known. 

Oman’s son donated one example of one of the other versions to the Royal Mint Museum in 1974, according to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction firm.

The example now offered for sale is graded Proof 63 Matte by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., and has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000 U.S.  

Community Comments