It took me ages to take this picture. My camera just didn't want to play ball!
After reading a post over at MadameGuillotine yesterday morning, I had to check out the link that pointed to the Charles II coin. So off I toddled to RubyLane, a rather fantastic online antique shop, and there it was in all it's glory. I didn't think twice as I hit the purchase button, paid the $60 (thank you credit card, I'm sorry you have taken a bashing these past few days what with Hampton Court as well but shhhh, I only live once!) and waited with baited breath.
And then, about half an hour ago there was a knock on my front door and I was handed a parcel. Which I of course promptly tore open and what should I find inside? The most beautiful, tiny, solid silver three pence from Charles II's reign.
Pictures from the Charles II Coin page on RubyLane
Isn't it just the prettiest little thing you have ever seen? According to the website it dates from 1670-84, with the front face showing the bust of Charles II, and the words (which you can just make out) Carolus II Dei Gratia which means Charles II by the Grace of God. On the back of the coin which is very very worn away, you can just make out the words MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX which means King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. The emblem, which is quite hard to make out, is of three intertwined "C''s topped by a crown with the date on top of it. The date is one that you can just about make out and thanks to staring at it copiously for a good few minutes, and zooming in on the websites pictures I can say that it does indeed say "16-9", and if the dating is correct (which I don't doubt at all) then it can only date from 1679! During 1679 Charles II disbanded Parliament, The Habeus Corpus Act was passed in the UK and it was the year of the supposed Meal Tub Plot, a non existent plot invented by Thomas Dangerfield to stop James Duke of York from ascending to the throne after Charles II's death!
Doing a bit of digging online, I managed to find a better picture of the back of this coin:
According to the many coin websites I've looked at this morning (hey, don't judge me, I was researching the pretty!) this coin would not have been hand struck as coins had been for a very long time. Hammered coins involved a blank coin being places between two dies (or in my language, molds) and then bashed with a hammer. With milled coins, they were basically cut and imprinted with a machine and the edges were decorated - which meant that it could be shown coins had not been clipped, basically when some nasty little thief cut off a load of the metal to sell for himself. Milled coins first came fully into use around 1662 when they completely took over from the old school hammered coins.
I just want to say as well, whilst mooching around having a look at other examples of this gorgeous little three pence piece, that I am really quite shocked at how much these can be sold for online. Some of them go for well over £200, looks like I got myself a bargain!
I will certainly treasure this little beauty, and I'm not sure as yet whether I'll get a chain and wear it or whether I'll keep it safe somewhere. It seems a shame to have it locked away somewhere when it's lasted for so long and would have spent it's time passing through the hands of the people of Restoration England. Imagine how many people have touched it, what they bought with that coin. Amazing.