To celebrate the unexpected coronation of King George VI a 1937 crown was issued, but what are they worth today?
The value of a 1937 crown depends on the grade (condition) of the coin, as well as whether it is a proof version or not. Regular versions sell for around £50 in a respectable grade, with values dropping to an average of £19 on eBay, whereas proof versions can sell for a few hundred pounds up to thousands depending on the type.
This may sound confusing at first, but in the rest of this article, we’ll walk you through each version and why they’re worth what they are. But first, let’s take a look at the design of the coin so you know what you’re looking at.
Design Of The 1937 Crown
The 1937 crown obverse features the bare head portrait of King George VI. This portrait was created by Humphrey Paget, whose initials can be seen towards the bottom right.
Paget is widely considered one of the most influential coin designers, and he created the bare head portrait of King George VI in just one month. This portrait would go on to be known as the classic coinage head of the 20th century, and it’s easy to see why.
The reverse surprisingly does not have the image of St George and the Dragon like previous crowns and instead features a large shield supported by a unicorn and lion. This was created by George Kruger Gray, whose initials can be seen underneath the lion and unicorn.
An Unexpected Crown
The 1937 crown is a coin that nobody saw coming, and was in fact one of only two crowns that were produced during the unexpected reign of King George VI – the other being the 1951 Festival of Britain crown.
Following the abdication of Edward VIII, George had no choice but to reluctantly step up to the task at hand and lead the country through perilous times.
He would go on to restore the public perception of the monarchy.
Different Versions And What They’re Worth
There are a few different versions of the 1937 crown, and the value varies greatly depending on which one you are looking at.
The ‘regular’ version of the 1937 crown in this case refers to the standard issue that was produced for circulation.
This had a mintage of around 419,000 and is worth roughly £50 in a respectable grade from most places. On eBay, you can expect to pay much less however these will not be graded so you may end up disappointed.
A proof version was also issued which had a mintage of around 26,000.
This was produced as part of the 1937 specimen coin set and came alongside several other coins as well as maundy issues.
Given the much smaller mintage and proof finish, you can expect to pay anywhere around £100 for one of these coins – again subject to the grade.
There are known to be a few VIP proof issues of the 1937 crown, but the details for these are quite ambiguous.
It is thought that these coins were given ‘VIP’ treatment by the Royal Mint and issued in a limited amount. The only auction listing we could find was from 2010 and a supposed VIP version sold for £280.
The likelihood of coming across a matte-proof 1937 crown is close to zero, as it is suspected that only a few of these coins were ever produced as part of a matte-proof specimen set.
We could only find evidence of this coin in a few auctions from years ago, with the final price around $33,000, or roughly £27,460.
What Is A 1937 Crown Made Of?
Like a lot of older coins, many people question whether the 1937 crown is made from silver or not.
In this case, it is indeed made from silver, more specifically 0.500 silver, with the rest of the specifications summarised below.
1937 marked the last year for circulating versions to be minted in silver, after this circulating crowns were made from cupro-nickel while proof versions continued to be produced in silver.
This was a direct impact of economic damage due to World War Two and is one of the reasons why there is confusion surrounding silver coins produced around this era.
Most 1937 crowns that you will come across are the circulated version with a mintage of around 419,000.
If you suspect that you own a proof version, it could be worth getting your coin professionally graded to determine exactly how much it would be worth.