The Sovereign of the Month
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We are proud to present The Currency of Conflict Premium Set, which collates three coins and one banknote from key points in military history, from the French Revolution to the First World War.

The set includes –

1787 ‘Kings’ Shilling

A shilling was worth several days’ pay, so this was offered as an attractive incentive for men to join the forces. However, not everyone who accepted was a wholly willing participant. Recruiters would get their prospective recruit drunk and then slip a shilling into the man’s pocket or tankard. After they had finished their drinks and discovered the shilling at the bottom, it was too late to refuse given they had unwittingly accepted the king’s shilling. Using the king’s shilling as a method of recruitment was likely to have been used for a number of the wars fought by Britain during the eighteenth century, such as the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars.

1815 20 Franc – Struck in London

When wars waged overseas, it became necessary to mint foreign coinage if an occasion called for it. During the final year of the Napoleonic Wars, The Royal Mint struck gold francs for British soldiers battling in France. The exiled French king, Louis XVIII, authorised the issue of these gold francs so that they could be used on French soil. These coins continued to be used in circulation after the war, the first of which arrived in Paris with Wellington’s baggage train in the summer of 1815.

1918 India Sovereign – Special one-year issue

In 1918 the German Navy targeted British boats carrying gold from South Africa to London, so a plan was made to secretly ship the gold to India from South Africa, with the dies needed to strike the coins sent from London. Later that year the war was over so there was no requirement to mint circulated Gold Sovereigns in India ever again. These Sovereigns are distinguishable from others by the inclusion of the letter ‘I’ at the centre of the ground below Benedetto Pistrucci’s classic St George and the dragon design.

Bradbury £1 Banknote – Issued during WW1

Within days of the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, the Government asked the public to hand in its gold Sovereigns. The Government used the precious metal to pay off its international debt, support the Bank of England’s reserves and finance the war effort. To discourage the use of gold, the Treasury introduced notes to replace The Sovereign and Half-Sovereign in everyday, legal tender currency. Dubbed the Bradbury note after the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Sir John Bradbury, the £1 banknote was issued alongside a 10-shilling banknote. The £1 banknote was first issued on 7 August 1914, and had the same value as a Sovereign and the 10-shilling banknote had the same value as a Half-Sovereign. The £1 Bradbury Banknote in this set would have been issued between 1914 to 1918.


20 Franc

Specification Value
Weight 6.45 g
Diameter 21.00mm
Reverse Designer Pierre-Joseph Tiolier
Obverse Designer Pierre-Joseph Tiolier
Specification Value
Quality Circulating
Year 1815
Pure Metal Type Gold
Condition Minimum of Very Fine
Country Of Origin FRA

1918 Sovereign

Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Weight 7.980g
Diameter 22.05mm
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Specification Value
Obverse Designer Edgar Bertram MacKennal
Quality Circulating
Year 1918
Pure Metal Type Gold
Condition Minimum of Very Fine

1787 Shilling

Specification Value
Alloy .925 Sterling Silver
Weight 6.020g
Diameter 25.00mm
Reverse Designer Lewis Pingo
Obverse Designer Lewis Pingo
Specification Value
Quality Circulating
Year 1787
Pure Metal Type Silver
Condition Minimum of Very Fine

£1 Bradbury note

Specification Value
Denomination £1
Year 1914 - 1918
Condition Minimum of Fine
Specification Value
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