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James I, double crown forgery

This find came in from a detectorist who asked to remain anonymous. It’s a queer looking coin but there is a good explanation for its appearance.

On the obverse is a bust of James I facing right. Within the inner circle on the reverse is a crowned shield of arms flanked by I R. The basic design is that of a James I double crown. It has the fifth bust of King James on the obverse and mint mark mullet on both sides, which dates the coin to 1611-12. Double crowns of this type were struck during the second coinage. However, they were made of gold but this coin is silver, so it is a forgery.

Both sides of this coin would grade Fine but is it a struck or a cast forgery? Well, parts of the design on both sides are a bit blurred, which points to it being cast. When freshly made and with a coating of gold it would have looked quite convincing. However, if the coin was offered in payment for something a double crown had a face value of ten shillings, so the receiver would be likely to have a good look at it. If there was any doubt then it would be weighed. A coin made of silver or any other metal and with just a coating of gold would weigh much less than one made of solid gold. Therefore, there is a possibility that whoever made this forgery ended up throwing it away, rather than risking being caught with a dud and suffering the consequences.



A few people collect forgeries and as this one will be very rare I’d say it could sell for at least £100.

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