1821 - Ceylon

George IV - Silver Rix Dollar

After the death of George III (1820 January 29th), his eldest son (born 1762 August 12) George IV was crowned King of the United Kingdom until his death on 1830 June 26th.

In 1821 October 9, owing to the lack of metallic currency, the Treasury ordered the Royal Mint to supply silver Rix-Dollars.

Denominationone RixDollar
Diameter26.8 mm
Thickness1.8 mm
Weight Legal8.98 gms
Weight8.92 gms
MintRoyal Mint
1821_george~iv_1rxd_ag_obverse 1821_george~iv_1rxd_ag_reverse

Obverse : Within plain rim, Laureate head to left, In margin GEORGIUS IV D:G:BRITANNIAR:REX F:D:
The Reverse : Within plain rim, elephant to left within wreath; above, in three lines CEYLON ONE RIX DOLLAR and below 1821

Each Rix-Dollar was one-third of a Spanish dollar, with which the coin was to agree in fineness. These coins were received in Ceylon in 1822 and although intrinsically worth 1s 6 2/3d each at 4s. 8d, the Spanish dollar were ordered to pass for 1s. 9d. An order in Council dated 23rd March 1825, stipulated that the public accounts should be kept in Sterling and the Ceylon rix doller was reduced to 1s. 6d sterling.

The obverse engraved by Benedetto Pistrucci. The reverse design modelled and engraved by William Wyon was that approved in 1815 with the necessary changes to the Monarch's effigy and titles.

On the 1st of December 1814, the Royal Mint, London, had recieved orders from the treasury to strike 10,000 rix-dollers in silver. Dies were prepared with effigy of George III but the silver rix-dollers with year 1815 never reached completion and only a few proof specimens exist.

The Dick Ford collection (in Taisei-Baldwin-Gillio Auction#19 1995 February 23 Singapore lot#174) sold proof 1815 for hammer price of US$1,300/-.(+10% buyers premium). Proof of 1821 (lot#175) sold for $440/-.

In 1978, a medallion of this coin was included in Our Cape Coin Heritage 1600 - 1834 set. I am trying to find out if it was a casual acceptance of the silver or if there was a more legal recognition or even importation of these Ceylon Rix Dollars for circulation in Cape Town, South Africa.

See contemporary forgery of this coin

Text from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  Page 151 Chapter XI British - Coins struk in England - Plate 152.

The coin was scanned at 600dpi and the images are displayed at 200dpi.
The extreamly fine grade coin is nicely toned particularly on obverse and shows few rim nicks particularly on top of reverse side from maybe clasp. The coin was purchased in from Steve Album from his July 2000, list 161, lot 461.