Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kings on Coins - King Edward VIII, Great Britain

King Edward VIII became the king of Great Britain after his father King George V on 20th January 1936. But he wasn't able to rule for longer period. He was in love with an American Lady (divorcee) and wanted to marry her. But this marraige was opposed by King's government on legal, religious, political and moral grounds. Further his wish was also opposed by Church of England and other Heads of many English Establishments all over the world. The king had to choose between the throne and his love. He chose his love. And so the opposition towards this incident led to the abdication of the king on 10th Decenber 1936 by his consent. He gave away the throne to his younger brother King George VI.

Regarding the coins, officially no coins were struck bearing head of Edward VIII for the circulation. But pattern coins of one penny and three pence were struck in small quantity with the year 1937. Unofficial pattern coin of One Crown and Half sovereigns were also struck but they don't have any catalog value.

But outside England, coins of Edward VIII were officially struck in British territories of East Africa and West Africa without the face. These coins became very popular and pride for every coin collector. In East Africa these coins were issued in 5 penny and 10 penny denominations and in West Africa in 1 penny, half and one-tenth penny. Those coin are known as hole pennies.

Besides these, coins in the name of King Edward VIII were struck in Indian Princely States of Kutch and Jodhpur by local rulers. Below is the picture of the copper quarter anna coin of Jodhpur state in the joint name of Maharaja Umaid Singh and Edward VIII issued in year 1936.

The coin shown above is a silver 1 kori coin of Kutch state in the joint name of Maharaja Khengarji III and Edward VIII. Other denominations are 3 dokda, 2 1/2 and 5 kori, in which coins in the name of Edward VIII were issued. 3 dokda coin was issued in copper and other coins in silver metal. Two and half kori is rarest of them and is scarcely available.
Another official coin bearing the head of King Edward VIII was issued by Gibraltar in 1993 on the 40th anniversary of coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. This coin was issued in proof silver and in 1 crown and half crown denominations On this occasion coins with the head of many former kings and queens were also issued.

Other than these no coins have been officially minted for Edward VIII. There are many other coins, but all of them are fantasy or pattern coins which have no catalog value. Collectors should be beware of them.

Here is the official design of an australian 1 dollar note which was suppose to be issued with the picture of King Edward VIII, but such notes were never printed. No banknote was ever issued bearing his name or portrait anywhere.


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