Coins of England and Great Britain

('Coins of the UK')

by Tony Clayton

Six Shillings, and Six and Eight

5s (Crown), 5/3 & 5/6 <<-- : -->> 7s and 7/6

Values of Six Shillings & 6/8
Pictures of Six Shillings & 6/8

Six Shillings

Florin or Double Leopard

A gold coin struck for a short time between January and July 1344, in the reign of Edward III, the Florin was produced by two Florentines, George Kirkyn and Lotte Nicholyn. It was valued at six shillings, and was known as a Double Leopard because the obverse showed the King enthroned with two crowned leopard heads on each side.

The coin was overvalued and demonetised in August 1344, and it is believed that only three specimens have survived to the present day. Two were found during the 19th century, and are in the British Museum. The third was discovered recently in Southern England, and auctioned by Spink in June 2006 for 460,000 pounds.

The denomination is not to be confused with the more recent florin or two shilling piece issued from 1849 to 1970.

Six & Eight


This gold coin, valued at 80 pence (half a mark or 6s 8d), was the first popular and successful English gold coin. It was first issued in 1344 by Edward III after the unsuccessful Florin was withdrawn. The first issue, weighing 138.5 grains was short-lived and is rare. It was replaced by a lighter 128.5 grain coin, and that in turn by a 120 grain coin in 1351.

An example of a Richard II noble is illustrated here. The coin is from the Calais mint, denoted by a flag at the stern of the ship.

In 1412, during the reign of Henry IV, the weight was once again reduced to 108 grains.

During the reign of Henry VI the supply of gold declined, so the early Annulet issue minted in London, Calais and York is relatively more common than the later issues.

The coin was very popular on the Continent, and was imitated in what is now Holland and Belgium. Finally, in 1464, during the reign of Edward IV the gold noble was replaced by the ryal or rose noble valued at ten shillings. Existing nobles were raised in value to 100 pence (8s4d).


As the use of the mark as a unit of account was popular, a need for a new coin valued at 80 pence or half a mark became apparent, so the angel was produced in or shortly after 1464. This was called after the representation of the archangel St Michael spearing a dragon, which represented Satan, on the obverse. The denomination continued until the reign of Charles I nearly 200 years later, although its value fluctuated.

The issues of the first reign of Edward IV are exceedingly rare, but those of Henry VI are relatively common. Illustrations are available of angels from the 2nd reign of Edward IV, Henry VII and Henry VIII, courtesy of Spink.

In 1526 the value of the angel was increased to seven shillings and sixpence.

George Noble

This very rare coin was issued in 1526 during the reign of Henry VIII at the former value of the angel. It was a short lived issue.


See my Main Coins Index page for acknowledgements


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Coins of UK - 6s and 6s8d
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v26 4th March 2015
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