A crown coin from 1847 showing Queen Victoria

The crown (1526-1900) was a large silver coin that was in daily use in Britain from the middle 1500s till 1900. It is the coin most commonly mentioned by Shakespeare: I will stuff your purses full of crowns.

The crown was a bit bigger than an American silver dollar and had almost an ounce of silver: 30.33 grams, reduced 7% to 28.27 grams in 1816. About $13 at the current 2007 price of silver. It fell out of use after 1900.

The crown was less than a pound but more than shilling:

  • 1.0 crown = 0.25 pounds = 5 shillings = 60 pence (pennies)

The crown first appeared in 1526 as a gold coin. There were both silver and gold crowns from 1551 to 1662, and then just silver ones after that.

The crown was sometimes called a dollar. Shakespeare calls French…

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