Moneta Gallery Coin Museum



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G.B. "Cartwheel" Penny - 1797

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Moneta



Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 1,928
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Reading "Good Money" by George Selgin (highly recommended reading on the history of modern coinage) you'll find that the Penny was much more useful to the populace of Great Britain than the 2 Pence coin. They were struck in much greater quantities and for a longer period (into the 1800's). Yet, finding a decent collectible example at a reasonable price is a lot more difficult than the 2 Pence. Here's what I've been able to find.
The book will disclose the great difficulty that Matthew Boulton had in convincing the British government to authorize the striking of these unusual pieces on his fully steam powered mint equipment at Soho, Birmingham. There are several varieties with differences in the number of oak leaves/berries and gun ports on the distant ship. Some were bronzed and others rare proofs were gilded (gold covered). Bronzing was accomplished by spreading a bronzing powder on the surface and then baking the coins giving them a protective dark brown protective layer. These were made for collectors and as presentation pieces.
These pennies weight exactly one ounce of fine copper and the diameter of each (1.4+ inches) was such that 17 pieces lined up equaled exactly 2 feet.
This example shows some "cudding" on the obverse caused by the striking action in collared dies. It's more common to find these with significant edge/rim damage, as they were heavy and easily dropped. Many are found with significant wear, they were often used as scale weights in commerce.


VIEW & DOWNLOAD:
Articles on the "Cartwheel" coinage of Great Britain and Matthew Boulton are linked here:
Cartwheel Penny of 1797 - Thompson: [ link ]
Cartwheel of Boulton & Watt - Schraeder: [ link ]
Britain's Cartwheel Penny: [ link ]
M. Boulton - Father of the Mechanized Press: [ link ]
· Date: January 16, 2016 · Views: 1,285 · Filesize: 111.8kb · Dimensions: 890 x 449 ·
Keywords: Great Britain 1 Penny Cartwheel
Denomination: Penny
Reference #: KM# 618
Date/Mintmark: 1797 Soho
Condition: XF+
Weight: 1 ounce; 1.4+" diameter
Metal: copper (not bronzed)

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