The supplies of bullion brought to Europe from the New World in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries caused inflation, and in response new coinage was issued with a wider range of denominations. Gold coins like the sovereign, with the value of one pound, twenty shillings, first appeared in 1489. It was replaced by the unite in 1604 and by the guinea in 1663. Initially minted in gold, the crown was also produced in silver from 1551, with standardized dimensions similar to other European coins.
Inscription: Obverse: • IACOBVS : D : G : MA : BRI : FRA : ET HI : REX
Reverse: FACIAM • EOS • IN : G[?]TEM : VNAM; (on field, to left and right of shield) I R
Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800)Date: 1766Medium: Case: gold with diamonds and paste jewels set in silver, pearls; Dial: while enamel; Movement: partly gilded brass and steel, wheel balance and cock of silver set with paste jewelsAccession: 1982.60.137On view in:Gallery 540