George V Sixpence

Putting a high grade date run together of these was one of the most rewarding experiences of being a completist.  In addition to the varieties detailed below, there are several dates that will give the completist a little more trouble than one might expect. 

They're not strictly key dates, but 1912, 1913, 1917, 1919, and 1923 could need more work than other dates to reach the quality you desire.

In the second Acorn issue, look out for 1932 and 1934.

1911
1911 Rev B1911 Obv 2
  2 obverses, 2 reverses
1912
1912

1913
1913

1914
1914

1915
1915

1916
1916

1917
1917

1918
1918

1919
1919

1920
1920

1921
1921

1922
1922

1923
1923

1924
1924

1925
1925 Narrow rim1925 Broad rim
2 rim types
1926
1926 First Effigy1926 Modified Effigy
2 obverses
1927
1927

1928
1928

1929
1929

1930
1930

1931
1931

1932
1932

1933
1933

1934
1934

1935
1935

1936
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. 


It can be difficult to tell the Flat Neck from the Hollow Neck on the 1911 sixpence, but luckily, there are diagnostic pointings for the determination of the Obverse and Reverse.

I like using pointings because they are not wear dependent.
Rev A:

  • The colon after FID points at a bead
  • I of FID points between beads
Rev B: 

  • The colon after FID points between beads
  • I of FID points at a bead
Obv 1 - Hollow neck

  • I of BRITT points at a bead
  • I of DEI slightly to the left of a bead

1+A

Davies 1860

Rare
1+B

Davies 1861

Unconfirmed
Obv 2 - Flat Neck

  •  I of BRITT points between beads
  • I of DEI slightly to the right of a bead


2+A

Davies 1862

Scarce
2+B

Davies 1863

Common

In my experience, all types apart from 2+B are ever so difficult to find.  A 2+B is illustrated here.

1911 1911

1912

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1912 1912

1913

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1913 1913

1914

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1914 1914

1915

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1915 1915

1916

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1916 1916

1917

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1917 1917

1918

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1918 1918

1919

Obverse 2, Reverse B

1919 1919

1920

Obverse 2, Reverse B

Ag 92.5%, Cu 7.5% OR
Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 10%

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.  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 sixpences 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.

1920 1920

1921

Obverse 2, Reverse B

Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 10%

1921 1921

1922

Obverse 2, Reverse B

Ag 50%, Cu 40%, Ni 10% OR
Ag 50%, Cu 50%

1922 1922

1923

Obverse 2, Reverse B

Ag 50%, Cu 50% Condition rarity, rising from Scarce in VF, Rare in EF, to R2 in UNC.

1923 1923

1924

Obverse 2, Reverse B

Ag 50%, Cu 50%

1924 1924

1925

Ag 50%, Cu 50%

As part of the experimentation leading up to the introduction of the Modified Head the following year, sixpence production switched to a distinctive Broad Rim type during 1925.  It is slightly commoner than the earlier Narrow Rim, and although there are pointing differences, they are easy to distinguish even examining a single coin without direct side-by-side comparison.

Narrow Rim, Reverse B

1925 Narrow Rim
Narrow Rim, Obverse 2

1925 Narrow Rim
Broad Rim, Reverse C

1925 Broad Rim
Broad Rim, Obverse 3

1925 Broad Rim

1926

Ag 50%, Cu 50%

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

Although ghosting was not such an obvious problem in the sixpence, 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 DEI points between beads
  • B of BRITT points at a bead
  • I of DEI points at a bead
  • 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

Obverse 4, Reverse C

From this point onwards, the alloy is Ag 50%, Cu 40% Ni 5%, Zn 5%

1927 1927

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

Any sixpence WITH THE NEW ACORN REVERSE dated 1927 will be from one of these sets; they are highly collectable.


1928

From this point onwards, the obverse and reverse designs change very frequently, but the changes coincide with discrete year issues, so no separate varieties exist.

The 1927 Proof is 1+A, and the 1928 is 1+B

1928 1928

1929

Obverse 1, Reverse C

1929 1929

1930

Obverse 2, Reverse D

1930 1930

1931

Obverse 2, Reverse D

1931 1931

1932

Obverse 2, Reverse D

1932 1932

1933

Obverse 2, Reverse D

1933 1933

1934

Obverse 2, Reverse E

1934 1934

1935

Obverse 2, Reverse F

1935 1935

1936

Obverse 2, Reverse G

1936 1936