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Halfpenny of David II

Derek Henderson asked for a full ID and a valuation on this Scottish coin, which was described as a penny or a halfpenny.

Derek’s find is a halfpenny of David II (1329-71). It was struck during King David’s first coinage, which commenced in the early 1330s. The only coins issued during the first coinage were halfpennies and farthings and all are very rare.

On the obverse of this halfpenny is a crowned head facing left with a sceptre in front. The legend starts with DAVID and the letter A is of an unusual shape. Within the inner circle on the reverse there is a mullet of five points in two quarters and what remains of the legend reads -AV ID — -OR; if the full legend was visible then it would read +AV ID SCO TOR.

In Cans of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands halfpennies of this type are listed as number 5081. Examples are extremely rare and this one, with the unusual A in DAVID, could have been struck from a previously unpublished obverse die.     


Sadly, there is about one third missing from the coin. The surviving piece is in VF condition but as a large piece is missing its possible sale price will plummet. Were it a whole coin it could have been worth £1,000. However, as a two-thirds fragment I’d price it no higher than £120-150.

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