1965 Crown S-4144 Churchill V.I.P. SP65 Certification #14719632, PCGS #206569
Elizabeth II Crown, Churchill Commemorative; The specimen satin finish on the Churchill Crown was first acknowledged in 1968 at an auction in London to raise money for charity. Note this was three years after mintage, so precise mintage figures are not known. Per "English Silver Coinage" by Seaby (1974 edition), only 3 or 4 specimens were known. At this writing (21 Jun 2018) there are three listed in the PCGS population and three at NGC. When CGS-UK population was still public (~2015), it listed eight Churchill crowns as Specimens. Unfortunately CGS UK was bought out by London Coin Grading Service and they no longer allow public access to the population report. All told this shows at least 14 known specimens extant, assuming no cross-overs have occurred. The finish on this coin is interesting. Hairlines are quite visible to the naked eye, but are actually raised on the coin, therefore incused in the die. One can even see them in the picture, to the left of Churchill's bust. The coin shows the die polishing was quite severe, so it would make sense that only a few were struck late in the dies' life, and those coins produced went to a few special causes of the day. The coin does show a gloss, not quite the quality of a proof, but definitely better than a coin meant for circulation. This Churchill crown is the ONLY instance where a real person, other than the reigning monarch, is depicted on a legal tender, pre-decimal, British coin. Britannia & St. George are fantasy exceptions and are time-honored symbols of Great Britain. Even in decimal coinage through 2000, only royalty has been depicted on British coinage. Winston Churchill stands alone, with this honored exception in British coinage.