Larry C. writes: I have a 1701 Georgivs III Del Gratia coin. The writing on the tail is: V.I.ET.FG.REX.FD.SU.F.ST.M.S.ET.C. 1701. I can’t quite tell if the date has been changed. It is definitely George III on head. It looks like gold sovereign. It also has a small hole drilled near the edge. I’ve taken it to a dealer and he was unable to find it in the books. He found similar coins, however they were dated in the late 1780’s. The dealer then told me it was a copy. Have you any idea if there is such coin or is it fake, and an estimated value if real.
Since George III was King of England from 1760-1820, the coin couldn’t be dated 1701. William III was King of England in 1701. The most likely explanation is that someone altered the date of a genuine coin. The favorite for the “impossible date” alteration is, on gold, a 1791 “Spade” Guinea with the “9” chased with a special tool into to a “0” (there are no sovereign denomination of George III until 1817). If it was detectable by you, then the alterer didn’t do a good job. You can also compare the “0” to other genuine George III coins dated 1790 to see if your “0” is the same. If there was a date error, that “0” punch would have been used.
You don’t mention what the relative size of the coin. George III’s portrait appears on all the denominations (there are many) from a Guinea to a Penny. Many of the coins of this period do not implicitly state the denomination but knowing the above information would help identify it.
As far as I can determine there are no dies of George III where the date was punched as “1701”. If there were, there would be many of these in the numismatic market. All coins struck from such dies would show the identical error.
The legends you report on your coin make no sense and do not appear on Guineas or any other coins of Great Britain under George III or under William III who was Britain’s king in 1701. The proper description of a George III Guinea is: Obv: Laureate bust of King George III facing right. The legend around, GEORGIVS III.DEI.GRATIA (George III by the Grace of G-d).
The legends continue on the reverse and list abbreviated titles: M.B.F.ET.H.REX.F.D.B.ET.L.D.S.R.I.A.T.ET.E.1791=King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The central device is a crowned spade shaped shield.
If you wish, you may have your coin evaluated as a possible George III date error by submitting the coin to the American Numismatic Association, PCGS or NGC. See their links on the CoinSite Links page.