Inscriptions (Legends) on British Coins + Translations

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Inscriptions (Legends) on British Coins + Translations
One quick way to identify coins is to read the writing on them. Often this will instantly tell you much about the coin, perhaps all you need to know. If you still don't know what it is, or where it is from, check against a list of inscriptions. You may have got here by using a search engine. Use you browser's "Edit, Find on this page" feature to find a key word.
Although this guide is a copy of our "Coin Inscriptions" web page, we have modified the format here. On our original web page, we have presented the information in sets of tables, each with three columns, the column headings being:

"Inscription" "Translation"  "Found Where"

As eBay's Guide pages do not support html tags, we are unable to format it as a table, so instead we have shown all entries on two or three lines. If there are only two lines, this indicates that one of the columns is left blank in our table. This may be because the inscription is in English, therefore needs no translation, or there may be some other reason. You can also look up our original table on our website.

Abbreviations
On large coins such as crowns, most inscriptions are engraved in full. On smaller coins, because of the smaller amount of space available, many inscriptions are abbreviated. Although we have listed some of  these abbreviations separately, many others exist. It should be easy enough to find and match the full version from our list.

A DOMINO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET MIRABILE IN OCULIS NOSTRIS
This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes
Fine sovereign of Mary

AMOR POPULI PRAESIDIUM REG(is)
The love of the people is the Queen's protection
2002 Golden Jubilee Crowns

AMOR POPULI I PRAESIDIUM REGIS
The love of the people is the King's protection
Charles I angels

ANNO REGNO PRIMO, etc.
In the first year of the reign, etc.
large milled coins, e.g. Victoria Old head crowns

ANNO REGNO (roman numerals for year)
In the year of the reign, etc.
large milled coins, e.g. Victoria Old head crowns

BRITANNIA
Britannia
Halfpence & Farthings of Charles II onwards

BRITANNIARUM REX
King of the Britains
Various

BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM, abbr. to BRIT(T) OMN
King of all the Britains
Various

BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP
King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India
Various

BRUNSVICIENSIS ET LUNEBURGENSIS DUX, abbr. to BR ET L D
Duke of Brunswick & Luneburg
George I, II, III

CAROLI FORTUNA RESURGAM
I, the fortune of Charles, shall rise again
Various

CHARITIE AND CHANGE
Charity & change
Cromwell farthing

CHRISTO AUSPICE REGNO
I reign under the auspices of Christ
Charles I onwards

CIVITAS BRISTOLL, (variations)
City of Bristol
Edward I onwards

CIVITAS CANTOR
City of Canterbury
Edward I onwards

CIVITAS COVETRE
City of Coventry
Various

CIVITAS DUNELMIS
City of Durham
Edward I onwards

CIVITAS DUREME
City of Durham
Edward I onwards

CIVITAS EBORACI
City of York
Edward I onwards

CIVITAS LONDON
City of London
Edward I onwards

CIVITAS NORVIC
City of Norwich
Various

CIVITAS TORNACEN
City of
Various

CIVIUM INDUSTRIA FLORET CIVITAS
By the industry of its citizens, the city flourishes
1951 Crown

CULTORES SUI DEUS PROTEGIT
God protects his worshippers
Charles I Gold crowns

DECUS ET TUTAMEN
An ornament and a safeguard
Edge of many milled coins

DEI GRA ANGL ET FRAN DO N HYB ET AQUIT
By the Grace of God, King of England & France, Lord of Ireland & Aquitaine
Various

DEI GRATIA
By the Grace of God
Various

DIEU ET MON DROIT
God and my right
George IV halfcrowns onwards

D GR P ANG SCO ET HIB & PRO
Cromwell Coins

D G M B FR ET H REX F D BR ET L D S R I A TH ET EL
By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain France & Ireland, Defender of The Faith, Duke of Brunswick & Luneburg, High Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire
George I, II, III

DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS
May The Lord protect my steps
Una and the lion £5 piece 1839

DOMINE NE IN FURORE TUO ARGUAS ME
O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger
Edward III half florin onwards

DUM SPIRO SPERO
While I breathe, I hope
Charles I Pontefract issues

EXALTABITUR IN GLORIA
He shall be exalted in glory.
Various

EXURGAT DEUS ET DISSIPENTUR INIMICE EIUS
Let The Lord arise and his enemies be scattered
James I coins

FACIAM EOS IN GENTEM UNAM
I will make them one nation
James I unites & laurels

FIDEI DEFENSOR, often abbr. to FID DEF, F D, etc.
Defender of the Faith
George IV first issue farthings

FLORENT CONCORDIA REGNA
Kingdoms flourish through concord
Charles I unites

FRANCIAE ET HIBERNIAE, often abbrev. to FRA ET HIB, et.
King of the French and Scots
Various

GOD WITH US
Commonwealth coins (Cromwell)

HANC DEUS DEDIT
God has given this
Charles II Pontefract siege money

HAS NISI PERITURUS MIHI ADIMAT NEMO
Let no one remove these from me under pain of death
Cromwell crowns and halfcrowns

HENRICUS ROSAS REGNA JACOBUS
Henry united the roses, James the kingdoms
James I gold

HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
Evil be to him he evil thinks thereof
Order of the Garter<BR>Charles I Halfcrowns onwards

ICH DIEN (German)
I Serve
Decimal Twopences

IHC AUTEM TRANSIENS
Various

INDIAE IMPERATOR, abbr. to IND IMP
Emperor of India
Various

INIMICOS EIUS INDUAM CONFUSIONE
As for his enemies, I shall clothe them in shame
Edward VI Durham House shillings

JESUS AUTEM TRANSIENS PER MEDIUM ILLORUM IBAT
But Jesus, passing through the midst of them, went his way
English gold nobles, ryals & sovereigns

JUSTITIA THRONUM FIRMAT
Justice strengthens the throne
Charles I halfgroats & pennies

LUCERNA PEDIBUS MEIS VERBUM EST
The word is a lamp unto my feet
Edward VI Durham House half sovereign

MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX
King of Great Britain France & Scotland
Various

MAG BR FR ET HIB REX ET REGINA
King & Queen of Great Britain & Ireland
William & Mary

MAGNA BRITANNIAE, often abbr. to M B, MAG BR etc.
Great Britain
Various

M B F ET H REX F D B ET L D S R I A T ET E
By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain France & Ireland, Defender of The Faith, Duke of Brunswick & Luneburg, High Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire
George I, II, III

MIRABILIA FECIT
He made it marvellously
Viking coins of York

MUNUS DIVINUM
A Divine Offering
Various

NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT
No one provokes me with impunity
1984 Scottish Pound

NUMMORUM FAMULUS
The servant of the coinage
C17 tin coinage

OBS NEWARK
Newark beseiged
Charles I Newark siege coins

O CRUX AVE SPES UNICA
Hail O Cross, our only hope
All half angels

PAX MISSA PER ORBEM
Peace sent throughout the world
Anne farthing

PAX QUAERITUR BELLO
Peace is sought by war
Cromwell broad

PAXS
Peace
Various

PER CRUCEM TUAM SALVA NOS CHRISTE REDEMPTOR
By thy Cross, save us, O Christ, our Redeemer
angels

PLEIDOL WYF I'M GWLAD
True am I to my country

1985 Pounds

POST MORTEM PATRIS PRO FILIO
For the son after the death of the father
Pontefract siege coins of 1648

POSUI DEUM ADIUTOREM MEUM
I have made God my helper
Edward III silver onwards

PROTECTOR LITERIS LITERAE NUMMIS CORONA ET SALUS
A protection to the letters, the letters are a garland and a safeguard to the coinage
Cromwell fifty shillings

QUAE DEUS CONIUNXIT NEMO SEPARET
What God has joined, let no one separate
James I large silver coins

REDDE CUIQUE QUOS SUUM EST
Render to each that which is his own
Edward VIII Durham House groat

REGINA, often abbrev. to REG, R, etc
Queen
Various

RELIGIO PROTESTANTIUM LEGES ANGLIAE LIBERTAS PARLIAMENTI
The religion of the Protestants, the laws of England and the liberty of Parliament
Charles I civil war issues

REL PROT LEG ANG LIB PAR
The religion of the Protestants, the laws of England and the liberty of Parliament
Charles I civil war issues

RELIG PROT LEG ANG LIBER PAR
The religion of the Protestants, the laws of England and the liberty of Parliament
Charles I civil war issues

REX
King
Various

REX ANGL
King of the English
Various

REX ANGLORUM
King of the English
Various

REX SAXONUM OCCIDENTALIUM
King of the West Saxons
Various

ROSA SINE SPINA
A rose without thorns
Henry VIII onwards

RUGBY WORLD CUP 1999
1999 £2 coin

RUTILANS ROSA SINE SPINA
A dazzling rose without a thorn
Henry VIII onwards

SACRI ROMANI IMPERII ARCHI-THESAURARIUS ET ELECTOR,     abbr. to S R I A TH ET EL
High Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire
George I, II, III

SCUTUM FIDEI PROTEGET EAM
The shield of Faith will protect her
Elizabeth I gold

SCUTUM FIDEI PROTEGET EUM
The shield of Faith will protect him
Edward VI gold

SIC VOS NON VOBIS
Thus we labour, but not for ourselves
Edge of 1994 £2 coins

STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS
Bi-metallic £2 coins Various

TALI DICATA SIGNO MENS FLUCTUARI NEQUIT
Consecrated by such a sign the mind cannot waver
Henry VIII George noble

THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND
Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth under Cromwell 1649 - 1660

TIMOR DOMINI FONS VITAE
The fear of The Lord is the fountain of life
Edward VI shillings

FAITH AND TRUTH I WILL BEAR UNTO YOU
Elizabeth II crowns 1953 and 1993

TUEATUR UNITA DEUS
May God guard those united
James I coins

VERITAS TEMPORIS FILIA
Truth, the daughter of time
Mary coins

VIGO
Vigo Bay
Anne 1702 & 1703

VILLA CALESIE
Town of Calais
Edward III onwards

VIVAT REGINA ELIZABETHA
Long live Queen Elizabeth
1996 crown

WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE
Millennium Crowns Various

Author & Copyright Notice

Any images shown are our own copyright images. Our text and description is also copyright, Lawrence Chard of Chard Coins.

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