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Charles I, Scottish 20 pence piece

Dave Richman said he has an agreement through which he hands over 50% of the value of finds to the owner of the land they were unearthed from. Therefore, he wanted to know what figure I would place on this find.

It’s a Scottish 20 pence piece of Charles I. This is one of the Scottish coins most frequently found by detectorists. Over the last twenty years I’ve seen dozens of them but most have been defective in some way. Dave’s example is one of the best I have seen as a detecting find.

On the obverse is a bust of Charles I with XX behind. On the reverse is a crowned thistle. It was struck during the third coinage from dies made by Nicholas Briot. Several varieties are known and all have a letter B on the obverse, reverse or both. However, the letter is tiny and can soon disappear. This coin does not have a lozenge above and below XX, so it is most likely to be the type listed as number 5586 in Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands.


Both sides have been struck slightly off centre but he obverse would grade good Fine and the reverse nearly VF. The catalogue price, £165 in VF, is somewhat optimistic for what is a fairly common coin. This, though, is a rather nice specimen and it shouldn’t be worth any less than £85 to a collector of Scottish coins.

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