The Rare and Valuable Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651 by Pierre Blondeau

Coin collectors and enthusiasts are always on the lookout for rare and valuable pieces that offer a glimpse into history. One such coin is the Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651, minted during the Commonwealth period in England. This particular coin, designed by Pierre Blondeau, is highly sought after for its historical significance and unique features. In this article, we will explore the details, rarity, and how much worth can be this remarkable coin.

History of the Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown

The Commonwealth period in England, also known as the Interregnum, lasted from 1649 to 1660. During this time, the monarchy was abolished, and England was governed by a republic. The coinage of this period reflected the political and social changes taking place in the country.

The Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651 was part of a series of milled coinage designed by Pierre Blondeau. These coins were the first machine-made pieces of the Commonwealth era, marking a significant shift from the traditional hammered coinage. Blondeau, a Frenchman, was renowned for his skill and expertise in early milled coinage.

Design and Features

The obverse of the Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown features an English shield within a laurel and palm branch. Unlike previous coins, the legends on this coin are in English rather than Latin and read “THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND.” The reverse showcases conjoined English and Irish shields, with the denomination value of II.VI (two shillings and sixpence) placed above. The date is positioned at the top, and the legend reads “GOD WITH US.”

The edge of the coin bears the inscription “TRVTH. AND. PEACE 1651 PETRVS BLONDÆVS INVENTOR FECIT,” adding a unique touch to its overall design. This edge inscription highlights the values of truth and peace during the Commonwealth period and credits Pierre Blondeau as the inventor of the minting process.

Rarity and Collectibility

The Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651 is a highly collected type within the Commonwealth pattern series. Its rarity and historical significance make it a prized possession for numismatists and collectors. The coin’s mintage figures are not precisely known, but its scarcity is evident in the market.

Commonwealth (1649-60), Pattern Halfcrown, 1651, Blondeau rev
Commonwealth (1649-60), Pattern Halfcrown, 1651, Blondeau obv

Valuation and Market Price

The value of the Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651 can vary greatly depending on its condition, rarity, and demand. As with any collectible item, factors such as market trends, auction results, and the coin’s provenance play a significant role in determining its price.

Recent auction records indicate that this coin has fetched prices ranging from £15,575 to £4,750, reflecting its desirability among collectors. Coins in better condition, with minimal wear and attractive toning, tend to command higher prices.

Provenance and Pedigree

The provenance of a coin refers to its ownership history and the notable collections it has been a part of. The Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651 has an impressive pedigree, having been part of renowned collections such as the Robert Tonner and Tom May collections.

Previous auction records show that this coin was sold in Noble Numismatics Sale 99, lot 2407. It was also part of the Captain Lawrence Collection, which was auctioned by Spink & Son on May 20, 1958. The presence of supporting Spink tickets further adds to its historical significance.

Authenticity and Certification

When dealing with rare and valuable coins, it is crucial to ensure their authenticity and legitimacy. Due to the high demand and potential for counterfeit pieces, it is advisable to acquire coins from reputable dealers and auction houses that provide proper certification and guarantee of authenticity.

Certification from reputable grading services, such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), adds an additional layer of assurance regarding the coin’s authenticity and condition.


The Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651, designed by Pierre Blondeau, is a rare and valuable coin that offers a glimpse into the history of England’s Commonwealth period. With its unique design, English legends, and historical significance, it holds immense appeal for coin collectors and enthusiasts.

Whether for its scarcity, historical context, or aesthetic appeal, this coin continues to captivate the numismatic community. Its value and desirability are reflected in recent auction records, where it has fetched significant prices.

If you are lucky enough to come across a Commonwealth Pattern Halfcrown of 1651, it is essential to authenticate and appraise it through reputable channels. Investing in rare coins requires careful consideration, but the rewards can be both monetary and historical, allowing you to own a tangible piece of England’s fascinating past.

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