Although George III reigned for sixty years from 1760 to 1820, the only crowns issued were in the last three years of his reign, apart from Bank of England dollars issued as an emergency measure in 1804. The designs for both sides were engraved by Conrad Heinrich Kuchler.
There had been a persistent shortage of silver coins throughout most of George's reign, and these dollars were to replace counterstamped emergency money, which was prone to illicit copying. The complete overstamping was intended to deter and counter this. Although they are all dated 1804, they were issued every year until 1811, and occasionally, the dates of Spanish 8 Reales minted after 1804 can be discerned on these tokens. Also in 1811, the coins were revalued at 5s6d, to take account of the increase in the value of silver. They stayed at this value until they were withdrawn from circulation in 1817, by which time a massive silver recoinage had been undertaken.
Technically speaking, these emergency issues were not coins, but tokens. By this method, Matthew Boulton and the Bank of England got round the legal technicalities of breaking the Royal Mint's monopoly on the issuing of legal tender precious metal coins.
The edges are inscribed in raised lettering:-
DECUS ET TUTAMEN ANNO REGNI xxx
Where xxx represents the regnal year in Roman numerals.
Draped ans laureate bust of George III facing right, the engravers initials C. H. K. in raised letters on the truncation beneath the neck
GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA REX
The reverse features Britannia, seated left, holding a branch and spear, with a beehive to the left, her left arm rests on a Union Flag decorated shield, on a cornucopia, all within a garter. The engraver's initial K appears in the triangular space between the sheld, cornucopia, and Britannia's dress.
The garter is surmounted by a castellated "crown" of five circular stone turrets.
The legend reads:-
BANK OF ENGLAND
The garter is inscribed:
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