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Elizabeth I Shilling

The shilling of Elisabeth I shown here is another find sent in by Paul Altabas. The mint mark of both sides is a tun, which dates it to 1592 to 1595. The reverse is rather attractive and would grade about VF. In terms of wear, the obverse is better than Fine but there are several scratches in front of the queen’s face.

The most common defects found on shillings of Elizabeth I are scratches to the obverse. Sometimes it is just a cross or a single scratch, at other times it can be multiple scratches. It has been suggested that these marks were placed on coins by disgruntled Catholics, who didn’t like Elizabeth I. Had that been the case all the scratches would have been on the queen’s face but they rarely are. Additionally, it’s almost always shillings that are defaced, so why are scratches so rare on all the other denominations? If you have any plausible suggestions then do let me know.


Without the scratches I’d have said £160-200 for Paul’s coin but with them £100-120.

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