The Queen Victoria Double Florin was one of the shortest-lived British coin denominations - only being produced during four mint years between 1887 and 1890. The real reason for its introduction is disputed, nevertheless it became Britain's second 'decimal' coin.
Its similarity to the more familiar Crown was striking - it was just 2mm smaller in diameter, both coins featured an identical portrait of Queen Victoria and neither had a denomination. Yet the Double Florin was worth a shilling less.
"The Barmaid's Ruin"
It was often barmaids who were most susceptible to the confusion between the two, and anecdotal evidence suggests more than a few lost their livelihood as a result. As a result, the Double Florin earned the nickname the 'Barmaid's Ruin'.
With such a fascinating story and sense of history behind it, it is no wonder that the Double Florin is a such a highly-regarded British coin.
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1887-1890 Queen Victoria Double Florin
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- Dates of issue: 1887 - 1890
- Metal: .925 Fine Silver
- Weight: 22.62g
- Diameter: 36mm
- Obverse: Queen Victoria Jubilee Head by Sir Joesph Boehm
- Reverse: Design by Leonard Charles Wyon