A fake shilling

Dishonesty and forgery is nothing new. The haul of finds recently given to us by Metal detectorist Norman includes a fake shilling in the style of a George III coin.

Heads or obverse side of a fake 1819 shilling found in Market Lavington

Heads or obverse side of a fake 1819 shilling found in Market Lavington

This coin is dated 1819 and appears very much like the real thing.

The reverse of the same coin

The reverse of the same coin

However, we understand this coin is a forgery and clearly it is made of base metal and not silver. No doubt it would have had a coating to make it appear silver but that has gone.

We imagine it was a professional criminal who made this coin and its appearance in Market Lavington was, no doubt, just one of those things. Sadly – and it really was sad – somebody who probably never knew it was a forgery lost it. Of course, we do not know the year in which it was lost for coins have quite a long life – but if we imagine that the shilling was somebody’s income in 1820, then it is would be equivalent to an income of over £50 now.

But, as a forgery, it was actually worth nothing. But we find this interesting at the museum because it reminds us of the fact that crooks were about a couple of hundred years ago.

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