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Charles I, six shilling piece

The detectorist who unearthed this this coin wished to remain anonymous but said his find turned up in Northumberland. It’s a Scottish hammered silver coin.

On the obverse is a bust of Charles I reaching to the edge of the coin; behind the king’s head is VI. On the reverse is a crowned shield of arms flanked by C and R, both of which are crowned and have a lozenge below. Above the crown over the shield is a letter F. All this adds up to the coin being a Scottish six shilling piece of Charles I.

The coin is an example of class III, otherwise known as Falconer’s first issue. Falconer, Christian name John, was master of the Scottish mint when this coin was struck. In Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands six shilling pieces of this type are listed as number 5560.

At the time this coin was struck a very similar denomination known as a half merk circulated in Scotland. The only difference was that the half merk had a figure 8 below VI, indicating its face value was six shillings and eight pence (80 pence). It seems very strange that two very similar coins circulated, when the face value of one was only eight pence more than the other.

The coin looks to be rather worn. However, most of this is due to the fact that it is crinkled and creased; the end result being a good deal of wear to the high points but not much elsewhere. It is quite scarce and the first example of a Charles I Scottish six shilling piece I have seen as a detecting find.


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