1696 Crown – William III


The 1696 Crown - WIlliam III

Silver crown, Tower (London) mint. Diameter 40mm and weight 29.67g.

The Reverse shows crowned cruciform coat of arms. Arms of Nassau at centre.

Edge has regnal year octavo (1696) but coin is dated on Reverse as well.

The Obverse shows the first bust of William III (on coin as Gulielmus III).

There's maybe 11 variations of this coin; there are 3 portraits, variant text, edge differences and with or without stops. Price varies across the range.

Coin shown: SCBC 3470. Images used by permission of CNG.


Mintage: Not known
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1696 ?
Monarch is King William III. The Great Recoinage of 1696: The Parliament of England passes the Recoinage Act which was an attempt by the English Government to replace the hammered silver that made up most of the coinage in circulation, much of it being clipped and badly worn. It was not entirely successful. Shortage of silver coinage forces the guinea to be officially revalued at 21 shillings, instead of 30 shillings. Window tax introduced.
William III (1694-1702)
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth. He was born in Binnenhof, South Holland, Netherlands.

William III was King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702, co-reigning with his wife, Queen Mary II (m. 1677–1694, her death). He was also know as King Billy.

The regnal years for William III coins were:
1699:UNDECIMO; 1700:DVODECIMO; 1701:DECIMO TERTIO.

On coins, William is usually spelled as latin: Gulielmus III.
General Description: Crowns
The Crown is a very old coin, with origins dating back to Henry VIII. The English Crown first appeared in 1526. It was made of 22 carat gold ("crown gold") and has a value of five shillings (a quarter of a pound).

By 1551, silver was being used to produce crowns, although gold was sometimes still used. The silver crown was quite large, being about 38mm and weighing about one ounce. Around that time many Europeans countries had similar sized silver coins which made them good for international trade as they were essentially interchangeable.

The metal used was 92.5% silver and the rest copper so as to make the coin harder. This hardness, together with a milled edge, made 'clipping' (which was cutting slices off the edge to steal some free silver) more difficult.

After the Union of England and Scotland in 1707 a new coin, the British Crown, replaced the English Crown and Scottish Dollar. The value was set at 5 shillings and the size was 38mm in diameter and weighed about 1oz as before.

Now more of a commemorative coin

Although the coin was always part of the British coin family, its large size made it unpopular for general circulation and the half-crown was favoured as the de-facto largest coin in circulation. The Crown was more-or-less relegated to a commemorative coin.

The British economy, especially after the World Wars, took its toll on the crown too. From 1816-1919 the crown was 0.925 silver, this was reduced to 0.500 silver in 1920 and in 1947 the Crown became Cupronickel (75% copper, 25% nickel). The size standardised at 38.61 mm and (silver crown) weight of 28.276g (1 oz).

Although not in current circulation, the Crown is still legal tender. After decimalisation in 1971 the Crown was officially valued at 25 pence. In the Eighties we had inflation which brought in higher denomination coins like the pound coin and the two-pound coin, so the Government decided that the crown needed to be restored to it former glory as biggest denomination coin and the crown was re-denominated to £5 in 1990.

Today the Crown is once again made in silver and gold, usually to satisfy collectors and investors. There is a little confusion with this as there are Gold Crowns which are worth £5 but there is another five-pound Gold coin from the sovereign family - see the article on Gold £5 Coin or Gold Crown?
Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton.

Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.

There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

The orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Crowns page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
1696 Crown - William III British Silver Coin - Nice
1696 Crown - William III British Silver Coin - Nice
£ 275.00
1696 WILLIAM III SILVER CROWN IN GOOD FINE TO NEAR VERY FINE CONDITION.
1696 WILLIAM III SILVER CROWN IN GOOD FINE TO NEAR VERY FINE CONDITION.
£ 275.00
1696 Crown - William III 3rd - Great Detail At An Affordable Price - 6 Photos
1696 Crown - William III 3rd - Great Detail At An Affordable Price - 6 Photos
£ 65.00
1696 WILLIAM III CROWN - FAIR
1696 WILLIAM III CROWN - FAIR
£ 65.00
British William III Sterling Silver Crown Coin 1696 Very Fine Grade Engraved.
British William III Sterling Silver Crown Coin 1696 Very Fine Grade Engraved.
£ 124.95
British William III Sterling Silver Crown Coin 1696 Fine Grade Very Nice.
British William III Sterling Silver Crown Coin 1696 Fine Grade Very Nice.
£ 109.95
1696 WILLIAM III SILVER CROWN IN GOOD FINE CONDITION
1696 WILLIAM III SILVER CROWN IN GOOD FINE CONDITION
£ 145.00
1696 William III "Chester" MINT .925 Silver Octavo Half Crown
1696 William III "Chester" MINT .925 Silver Octavo Half Crown
£ 58.99

List of items on: