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Halfpenny of James I

Steve Smith said he hadn’t been out much recently, so he was really pleased when the coin featured here turned up. It a tiny hammered silver coin, which measures roughly 10mm in diameter but is shown greatly enlarged.

Steve’s find is a halfpenny of James I, with a rose on the obverse and a thistle on the reverse. It has a mint mark over the thistle so this halfpenny was struck during the second coinage. I’ve had a good look at the mint mark but can’t make out what it is, which is a pity; there is a possibility that one mark has been struck over another, leaving it looking rather peculiar.

In the Standard Catalogue this coin is listed as number 2663 and priced at £15 in Fine condition. The low price suggests it is rather common but this certainly isn’t the case. I’ve had 25 years of experience with detecting finds and Steve’s find is only the second specimen of its type I have seen.


The centuries have been kind to this coin as it is in quite remarkable condition. Both sides are well and centrally struck and I’d grade the coin as near EF. To a specialist collector a James I second coinage halfpenny as nice as this one should be worth around £150.

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