George V Threepence

There's quite a lot going on in the early part of this series, with 4 obverses and 3 reverses in use, as well as several alloy changes.

Beyond the major redesigns of 1927, there's a couple of semi-key dates, 1928 and 1930, but no further varieties.


1911
2 obv, 2 rev
1912
1913
1914
2 obverses
1915
1916
1917 1918
1919
1920
1921
1922


1925
1926
2 obverses
1927
Proof only
1928

1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936




1911

As well as the usual Hollow Neck/Flat Neck types found in almost all the 1911 coins, two reverses were used in this year, giving a potential for 4 varieties for 1911.  One is tantalisingly unconfirmed by Davies.  It's always worth keeping an eye out for unconfirmed Davies numbers - I have found a couple. 

The easiest way to distinguish the two Reverses is a close examination of the leaves at the top of the left hand oak branch.

It can be difficult to tell the Flat Neck from the Hollow Neck on such a small coin, but luckily, there is a diagnostic pointing for the determination of the correct Obverse.  I like using pointings because they are not wear dependent.
Rev A: Centre leaf comes from between the two berry stalks
 
1911 Rev A
Rev B:  Centre leaf comes from the left-hand stalk

1911 Rev B
Obv 1 - Hollow neck, I of BRITT points at a bead

1911 Obv 1
1+A

Davies 1920

Common
1+B

Davies 1922

Unconfirmed
Obv 2 - Flat Neck, I of BRITT points between beads

1911 Obv 2
2+A

Davies 1921

Slightly scarcer
2+B

Davies 1923

Really quite scarce

Reverse A

1911 1+A
Obverse 1 - common Hollow Neck

1911 1+A
Reverse A

1911 2+A
Obverse 2 - slightly scarcer Flat Neck

1911 2+A

1912

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1912 1912

1913

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1913 1913

1914

Part way through 1914, in common with the farthing, a slightly different Obverse design was introduced. Pointings are the easiest way to distinguish them.


Obverse 2

  • I of GEORGIVS just to the Right of a bead
  • P in IMP directly at a bead
  • D in FD between two beads
Obverse 3

  • I of GEORGIVS just to the Left of a bead
  • P in IMP between two beads
  • D in FD directly at a bead



1914 2+B
Obverse 2 - somewhat scarcer

1914 2+B


1914 3+B
Obverse 3 - somewhat commoner

1914 3+B

1915

Obverse 3, Reverse B

1915 1915

1916

Obverse 3, Reverse B

1916 1916

1917

Obverse 3, Reverse B

1917 1917

1918

Obverse 3, Reverse C

1918 1918

1919

Obverse 3, Reverse B

Keep an eye out for a Rare 9/8 variety of the 1919 threepence - it's the second 9 in the date you need to check...

1919 1919

1920

Ag 92.5%, Cu 7.5% OR
Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 10% OR
Ag 50%, Cu 45%, Mn 5%

The composition of all the silver coins was debased in 1920 from 92.5% sterling silver to 50% silver.  Initially the alloy used was Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 10%, but this was not found to be satisfactory, and consequently some coins from 1920 have manganese in their alloy.  Ag 50%, Cu 50% was tried briefly and found to be even worse, and finally Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 5%, Zn 5% was settled on.  This alloy saw the coinage through to the final removal of silver in 1946.

Both sterling and 50% silver threepences have been found dated 1920, and those with better trained ears than I can tell from the ring which is which.  I can't, and I was never that comfortable with dropping coins on a hard surface in order to listen to the ring, so this a variety that I never attempted to include.

Obverse 3, Reverse C

1920 1920

1921

Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 10% OR
Ag 50%, Cu 45%, Mn 5%

Obverse 3, Reverse B

There is a scarce type for 1921 with a narrower 2 in the date.

1921 1921

1922

Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 10% OR
Ag 50%, Cu 45%, Mn 5% OR
Ag 50%, Cu 50%

Obverse 3, Reverse B

1922 1922

1925

Ag 50%, Cu 50%

Obverse 3, Reverse B

1925 1925

1926

Ag 50%, Cu 50%

Both a First Head and a Modified Head threepence exist for 1926.  The Modified Head is somewhat commoner, suggesting that the changeover took place fairly early in the year.

Although ghosting was not an enormous problem in such a small coin, the Modified Head was introduced for all the denominations over the course of 1925 and 1926.  It's not always easy to identify which head is which, so use the following pointings to be sure:


First Head Modified Head
  • I of GEORGIVS points at a bead
  • B of BRITT points at a bead
  • I of GEORGIVS points between beads
  • B of BRITT points between beads



1926 First Effigy
Obverse 3 - First Head

1926 First Effigy


1926 Modified Effigy
Obverse 4 - Modified Head

1926 Modified Effigy

1927

To mark the introduction of new reverse designs across the silver coinage, 15,000 limited edition Proof sets were issued in 1927.

Any threepence dated 1927 will be from one of these sets; they are highly collectable.


1928

From this point onwards, the alloy is Ag 50%, Cu 40% Ni 5%, Zn 5%, and the obverse and reverse designs remain unchanged.
 
1928 and 1930 silver threepences are noticeably scarcer than their neighbours.  No coins bearing the date 1929 were issued.

1928 1928

1930

1928 and 1930 silver threepences are noticeably scarcer than their neighbours.  No coins bearing the date 1929 were issued.

1930 1930

1931

1931 1931

1932

1932 1932

1933

1933 1933

1934

1934 1934

1935

1935 1935

1936

1936 1936