Gold Queen Victoria double-florin coin, minted by the Royal Mint, London in 1889. The double-florin is a 4 shilling coin. It was struck as part of a new coinage introduced for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 and as part of a short lived attempt at decimalisation of the currency. The Double Florin was one of the shortest lived British coin denominations ever, only being produced between 1887 and 1890.
The coins all shared a new obverse of the Queen, adapted from Boehm's Jubillee medal. Both the new head and the new double-florin denomination proved unpopular, the head was replaced in 1893. The reverse design was adapted from the 5 guinea coin of Queen Anne. The florin had been introduced in 1849 as a step towards decimalization of the coinage, it was a tenth of a pound.
The Queen Victoria double-florin was quite similar to the Crown though it was worth a shilling less. The double-florin was 2mm smaller in diameter than the Crown, both coins featured an identical portrait of Queen Victoria and neither had a denomination on them. This gave rise to the nickname the "the barmaid's ruin" for the double-florin as it was often barmaids who were most susceptible to the confusion between the Crown and double-florin, and anecdotal evidence suggests more than a few lost their livelihood as a result.
Bust of the Queen facing left the small wearing imperial crown, long veil falling behind her head, pearl necklace and earring, Ribbon and Star of the Garter and the badge of the Imperial Order of India; in small raised letters on the bust truncation, the artist's initials J.E.B. (Joseph Edgar Boehm); around, VICTORIA D:G: BRITT: REG: F:D:
Four crowned shields arranged to form a cross about the Star of the Garter, top and bottom bear the arms of England, right Scotland, left, Ireland; between the shields are four sceptres, two surmounted with an orb, one with a thistle and one with a harp; around, BRITT: REG: 1889 FID: DEF:, the date being divided by the crown above the top English shield.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Mr Alfred Chitty, 15 Mar 1976
Type of item
36 mm (Outside Diameter), 22.361 g (Weight)
[Book] Skingley, Philip. 2007. Coins of England and the United Kingdom., Spink 3923 Pages