The 1849 Godless Florin

Older readers of this blog will remember the good old florin. This was a two shilling coin first introduced in 1849 which I can still remember as an old 10p. The original coin was a controversial one as it failed to include the letters DG on its obverse. These letters were found on every previous coin and are still on the currency. They stand for dei gratia, meaning 'by the grace of God'. In other words, our monarchs have only occupied the throne by God's kindness- an important lesson to all rulers. 

Yet the original florin omitted those letters. Consequently, it became known as the 'godless florin'. When they redesigned the coin, because of public pressure and Queen Victoria's own displeasure, the traditional lettering was reinstated. And yet here is an appropriate illustration of all money: so often our plans to increase our quantities of the stuff are truly godless. Wealth always was and shall be a potential idol and usurping master. Jesus said that one cannot serve both God and money; Paul said that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

The Victorian public of 1849 were quite correct.