Peace Is Sought Through War
The entry page to CromwellCoins.com. A website with colour pictures of both Cromwell and Commonwealth Coinage issued between 1649 and 1660.

Oliver Cromwell


Format, content and
pictures are Copyright
2015 CromwellCoins
All rights reserved.


July 2015

Anchor_Mintmark, 1658 to 1660
Sun_Mintmark, 1649 thru 1657
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Cromwell and Commonwealth of England Coinage issued between 1649 and 1660.

Sometimes referred to as "breeches money" this type of late hammered coinage was minted in England after a period of civil war which culminated in the execution of King Charles I in London in 1649.

Hammered coins from this period bear no portrait of a king or queen for there was none. Instead there is a simple puritan design. The reverse depicts co-joined shields of England and Ireland, with a date and the legend "GOD WITH VS". The obverse bears the legend "COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND" and a single shield in the centre with a mintmark, to complete the legend.

This period was also a time of innovation in minting coins. The traditional hammered technique for making coinage was coming under pressure from masters of forgery who made coins from de-based metals using crude home made dies and surface silvering from coin clipping - see Rogues Gallery on this website.

A solution was offered by Pierre Blondeau - milled coins - with edge writing. He was commissioned to prepare samples dated 1651 using his press. Although he completed this task, producing around 100 coins of extremely high quality the mint was not inclined to accept his innovation and fought to delay the introduction of his expensive technology.

In 1656, after repeated attempts, Pierre Blondeau persuaded Parliament to take up his new press techniques, and he was finally commissioned to make the "Cromwell Coinage" using dies made by Thomas Simon, with gold and silver supplied from the mint. These coins were made in limited numbers.

During 1657 there was a Trial of the Pix, where retained coins from the mint were tested for both weight and metal purity. The mintmark sun which had been the universal mintmark was changed after the trial to an anchor mintmark which was used for the remaining years 1658 to 1660.

Pierre Blondeau was to make one final series of Cromwell coins using dies supplied by Thomas Simon dated 1658. These milled coins were made in significant numbers but not without production problems. The Cromwell silver crown of 1658 is notable for a die crack in the lower half of the coin.

Oliver Cromwell died while Pierre Blondeau produced milled coins in 1658. In the remaining two years the mint reverted back to making hammered coinage which seems to have been produced in very small quantities with poor quality before the monarchy was restored in 1660.

Now images of over 250 coin varieties from this period have been gathered and are presented in high definition colour on a sister website.


Enjoy and spread the word about these new reference websites.

E-mail - CromwellCoins@gmail.com

1649 Silver Hammered Halfcrown
1651 Blondeau Milled Halfcrown
Cromwell Milled Halfcrown
The obverse of a hammered halfcrown bearing the mintmark sun in use from 1649 to 1657
The obverse of a hammered halfcrown bearing the mintmark anchor in use from 1658 to 1660

Website Images of Commonwealth of England coinage include

1649 Gold Unite
1650 Gold Unite
1651 Gold Unite
1652 Gold Unite
1653 Gold Unite
1654 Gold Unite
1655 Gold Unite
1656 Gold Unite
1657 Gold Unite
1660 Gold Unite

1649 Silver Crown

1651 Silver Crown
1652 Silver Crown
1653 Silver Crown
1654 Silver Crown
1655 Silver Crown
1656 Silver Crown

1660 Silver Crown

1649 Double Crown
1650 Double Crown
1651 Double Crown
1652 Double Crown
1653 Double Crown

1656 Double Crown


1649 Gold Crown
1650 Gold Crown
1651 Gold Crown
1652 Gold Crown
1653 Gold Crown
1654 Gold Crown


1649 Silver Halfcrown

1651 Silver Halfcrown
1652 Silver Halfcrown
1653 Silver Halfcrown
1654 Silver Halfcrown
1655 Silver Halfcrown
1656 Silver Halfcrown
1657 Silver Halfcrown
1658 Silver Halfcrown
1659 Silver Halfcrown
1660 Silver Halfcrown

1649 Silver Shilling

1651 Silver Shilling
1652 Silver Shilling
1653 Silver Shilling
1654 Silver Shilling
1655 Silver Shilling
1656 Silver Shilling
1657 Silver Shilling
1658 Silver Shilling
1659 Silver Shilling
1660 Silver Shilling

1649 Silver Sixpence

1651 Silver Sixpence
1652 Silver Sixpence
1653 Silver Sixpence
1654 Silver Sixpence
1655 Silver Sixpence
1656 Silver Sixpence
1657 Silver Sixpence
1658 Silver Sixpence
1659 Silver Sixpence
1660 Silver Sixpence

Oliver Cromwell Milled Coinage images include -

1656 Oliver Cromwell Gold Broad and Fifty Shillings
1656 Cromwell Silver Halfcrown
1658 Cromwell Silver Crown
1658 Cromwell Silver Halfcrown
1658 Cromwell Silver Shilling