Some of the Mottos in British Coinage

 Coins Artistic


In addition to the title, a Latin or French motto might be included, generally on the reverse side of the coin. These varied between denominations and issues; some were personal to the monarch, others were more general. Some of the mottos were:

  • POSUI DEUM ADIUTOREM MEUM “I have made God my helper“. Coins of Henry VIIHenry VIIIElizabeth I. Possibly refers to Psalms 52:7, Ecce homo qui non posuit Deum adjutorem suum “Behold the man who did not make God his helper“.
  • RUTILANS ROSA SINE SPINA “A dazzling rose without a thorn“. Coins of Henry VIII and Edward VI. Initially on the unsuccessful and very rare Crown of the Rose of Henry VIII and continued on subsequent small gold coinage into the reign of Edward VI.
  • POSUIMUS DEUM ADIUTOREM NOSTRUM “We have made God our helper“. Coins of Philip and Mary. The same as above, but with a plural subject.
  • FACIAM EOS IN GENTEM UNAM “I shall make them into one nation“. Coins of James I, signifying his desire to unite the English and Scottish nations. Refers to Ezekiel 37:2 in the Vulgate
  • CHRISTO AUSPICE REGNO “I reign with Christ as my protector“. Coins of Charles I.
  • EXURGAT DEUS DISSIPENTUR INIMICI”May God rise up, may [his] enemies be scattered”. Coins of Charles I, during the Civil War. Refers to Psalms 67:1 in the Vulgate
  • PAX QUAERITUR BELLO “Peace is sought by war“. Coins of the Protectorate; personal motto of Oliver Cromwell.
  • BRITANNIA”Britain”. Reign of Charles II to George III. Found on pennies and smaller denominations.
  • HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE. “Shamed be he who thinks ill of it.” Sovereigns of George III. Motto of the Order of the Garter.
  • DECUS ET TUTAMEN. “A decoration and protection.” Some pound coins of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdomand some crown coins including some ofVictoria and George V. Refers to the inscribed edge as a protection against the clipping of precious metal, as well as being a complimentary reference to the monarch and the monarchy.
  • DECUS ET TUTAMEN, meaning ‘An Ornament and a Safeguard
    Used on British, English and Northern Ireland designs.
  • NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT, meaning ‘No-one provokes me with impunity‘, which is the Latin Motto of the Order of the Thistle. Used on Scottish designs.
  • PLEIDOL WYF I’M GWLAD, meaning ‘True am I to my country‘, taken from the Welsh National Anthem. Used on Welsh designs.
  • A pattern of lozenges representing the cantilevers of the Forth Rail Bridge. Used on the 2004 Scottish design.
  • A pattern representing bridges and pathways (which looks much the same as that for 2004). Used on the 2005 Welsh and 2006 Irish design.

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