1889 Double Florin – Victoria


The 1889 Double Florin - Victoria

Queen Victoria Silver Double Florin (four shillings piece). SCBC: 3923.

The Reverse, by Leonard Charles Wyon (brother of William Wyon), shows four cruciform crowned shields, two for England (3 Lions), Scotland (Single Lion) and Ireland (Harp). Legend "BRITT: REG: 18 87 FID: DEF". The reverse is in the style of Charles II gold coins designed by John Roettiers (1631–1703).

The edge is milled.

The Obverse of Queen Victoria's Jubilee Head by Joseph Edgar Boehm. Legend is "VICTORIA DEI GRATIA".

Some 1889 coins have an inverted Arabic '1' instead of the second 'I' in VICTORIA due to a broken punch. These can cost more than twice the price of a normal coin.

No Proofs for this year.

Image credit: The Royal Mint


Mintage: 1,185,111 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1889 ?
The British Monarch was Queen Victoria. The Prime Minister is Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative). In the USA, Benjamin Harrison is inaugurated as 23rd president, replacing Grover Cleveland. Birmingham (UK) is granted City status. Jerome K. Jerome writes Three Men in a Boat. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack publishes its first Wisden Cricketers of the Year (actually called Six Great Bowlers of the Year). Preston North End win the League and FA Cup final with a 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Kennington Oval, London.
Victoria (1837-1901)
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria ruled for 64 years, a record only recently surpassed by Queen Elizabeth II.
 
Victoria's parents were Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathern, and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She married Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who later became known as Prince Albert. Victoria had nine children, the eldest son succeeding her as Edward VII.


Victoria posed for a number of head portraits, but there are generally three major variants: Young Head (1838-1887) by William Wyon, RA; Jubilee Head (1887-1893) by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm and Old Head (1893-1901) by by Sir Thomas Brock.

General Description: Double Florins
The Double Florin was only minted from 1887 to 1890, making it one of the shortest lived denomination in British coin history. It was denominated at 4 shillings (4/-). It is a large coin, 36mm in diameter and weighing 22.6g of 0.925 silver.

All four years years had the Obverse of Queen Victoria's Jubilee Head by Joseph Boehm. The edge was milled. The Reverse shows four cruciform crowned shields, two for England (3 Lions), Scotland (Single Lion) and Ireland (Harp). The reverse is in the style of Charles II gold coins designed by John Roettiers (1631–1703).

It's still Legal Tender for 20p

The old British monetary system was 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to a pound. It was confusing to say the least and although decimalisation didn't occur until 1971, the Victorians decided to have a partial attempt at it. First was the Florin, which was then 2 shilling (10p in new pence) or one tenth of a pound. The Double Florin was introduced in 1887 at 4 shillings, equivalent to a 20p coin in new pence. The decimalisation idea just ran out of steam.

Strangely enough the Double Florin has never been demonetised and the coin still has a spending value of 20p, although the silver content and numismatic value of the coin is considerably higher.

Double Florins were Unpopular

The coin was short lived for several reasons. It was a high value coin and there wasn't really a need for a Double Florin (4 shillings) and a Crown (5 shillings).

Maybe the biggest problem was how similar the Double Florin and the Crown were. Identical Portraits, neither had the value on the coin and only 2mm difference in diameter.

In 1887 the Crown was worth equivalent to £30 in today's money, and the Double Florin would be about £24. Imagine being in a candlelit or gaslit pub and having payment with one of these coins? Get it wrong and it was a costly mistake. That is why the Double Florin is sometimes referred to as "The Barmaids Grief" or "The Barmaid's Curse".

Variants of the Double Florin

In the first year (1887) some coins had a Roman 'I' rather than an Arabic '1'. The prices of the coins are about the same. Some of the 1888 and 1889 coins have an inverted Arabic '1' instead of the second 'I' in VICTORIA due to a broken punch. These may have double the price of the standard coins. In 1887 a proof version was issued.
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 Double Florins page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
£ 95.00
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin
£ 28.00
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
£ 80.00
VICTORIA SILVER DOUBLE FLORIN (4/-) 1889
VICTORIA SILVER DOUBLE FLORIN (4/-) 1889
£ 24.99
1889 DOUBLE FLORIN VICTORIA JUBILEE BRITISH SILVER COIN ABOUT EF+
1889 DOUBLE FLORIN VICTORIA JUBILEE BRITISH SILVER COIN ABOUT EF+
£ 75.50
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
£ 65.00
1889 Double Florin (Inverted 1) - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
1889 Double Florin (Inverted 1) - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
£ 110.00
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
1889 Double Florin - Victoria British Silver Coin - Very Nice
£ 60.00

List of items on: