Double Florin

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Double Florin
1887 Double Florin

From 1887 to 1890, a double florin was minted in the UK. In keeping with the old tradition of making coins' denominations and weights proportional, the double florin was twice the weight of the ordinary florin (thus containing twice the amount of silver) and featured the same basic design as the Jubilee florin: The "Jubilee Head" of Queen Victoria engraved by Leonard Charles Wyon on the obverse, and a cross of four crowned shields with sceptres-in-angles on the reverse.

Coins of 1887 are in general more likely to be found in uncirculated condition, as people liked to keep them as jubilee souvenirs - and the 1887 double florin is no exception.

Double Florin Variations

Several minor variations of these coins exist, notably with use of the Arabic style "1" to replace the Roman "I". There are also some with an "inverted 1" in VICTORIA. [1]

1887 - Roman I in date
1887 - Roman I in date PROOF
1887 - Arabic 1 in date
1887 - Arabic 1 in date - variant obverse design, slightly concave field
1887 - Arabic 1 in date PROOF
1888 - normal
1888 - second I of VICTORIA is an inverted 1
1889 - normal
1889 - second I of VICTORIA is an inverted 1
1890 - normal (slightly enlarged reverse)
1890 - uniface pattern: unique. (see below)

Pattern Double Florins

Several further pattern double florins are known to exist; these were not made for ordinary circulation but were made as test pieces or for presentation. Examples include:

1950 Pattern Double Florin
1950 Pattern Double Florin

1868 - Gold pattern double florin engraved by William or L.C. Wyon. Plain edge proof with mirror fields and "5 francs international" on the reverse. Extremely rare. [2] Also there appears to exist a milled edge proof, struck en medaille. [3]

1890 uniface Pattern Double-florin - struck in silver by L.C. Wyon. Plain edge and with design only on one side (reverse). Only one known specimen. [4]

1900 - Victoria (1837-1901) Pattern Double Florin, struck by John Pinches for Reginald Huth, old veiled bust of Queen, edge milled, 22.60g. Listed for sale by Baldwins, 2011. [5]

1901 - Victoria (1837-1901) Ireland Pattern Double Florin, struck by John Pinches for Reginald Huth, old veiled head. Proofs in 925 silver, copper and aluminium bronze. Mintage 360 for each type. Reverse features crowned Irish Harp with quatrefoil design from 1948 pattern florins. [6]

1902 - Edward VII struck in aluminium. Seven further strikings in plated and base metals. [7]

1911 - George V; a set of ten pattern double florins were made. These were struck in vaious metals at varying thicknesses (up to 5.8 mm thick flans) and were clearly experimental pieces. Some feature the words "DOUBLE FLORIN" on the legend, others state "TWELVE GROATS" (the total is the same amount.) Examples of these coins were listed for sale by Baldwins in 2011 - included were 1911 double florins in lead, silver, Anglesey Copper, iron, zinc, copper and, surprisingly, cadmium (highly toxic!) [5]

1937 - Edward VIII unofficial piedfort "Pattern Double Florin" or "Four Shillings" dated 1937, struck in .999 silver, struck to a brilliant proof finish, blank obverse. Two unique variations, sold at auction in 2001. [8] [9]

1950 - George VI pattern double florin: Struck in cupro-nickel, weight 22.65 grams. Designed by T Humphrey Paget. Extremely rare. One sold at auction in 2005 for £9,000; one in 2007 for £8,900. One is listed in Baldwin's Summer 2011 catalogue for £22,500.

1963 - Elizabeth II pattern double florin. Said to have been made and to be unobtainable. [10] "Retro" sets exist - see below.

"Fantasy" Pattern Double Florins

Be aware of "fantasy" pattern double florins, also known as "retro patterns". These coins are "replicas of non existent coins" - patterns made privately after-the-fact to look like coins that might have been. Examples include Edward VII Pattern double florins, Edward VIII Pattern double florins.

Numerous modern fantasy patterns can be seen in a wide range of dates. Simply go on ebay and type "pattern double florin" to see some.

Also sets of "1910 Jersey" fantasy double florins (four shillings) were issued in 2000. [11]

Gold Double Florins

Note that the "Double Leopard" or Gold Florin of 1344 is sometimes referred to as a Gold Double Florin [12]

Double Florin - References:

[1] Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins
[6] (p.147)

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