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James I, Shilling

The finder of this coin asked me not to publish his name. The find was struck during the reign of James I and instead of being one the low denomination so often found by detectorists, it is a shilling.

Two of the main distinguishing factors for shilling of James I are the mint mark and the bust type. Unfortunately, the mint mark on this shilling is unclear on both sides. The fifth and sixth busts are very similar, so which bust is on this coin?

There is a significant difference between shillings of the second and the third coinages: the former has stops in the legend but the latter doesn’t. This coin does have stops in the legend, so the bust must be the fifth and the coinage must be the second.


The coin is in better than Fine condition in terms of circulation wear but the obverse is scored across the king’s face and the reverse is slightly double struck. Another significant minus point is that the mint mark is uncertain. In its present condition a likely pre-sale auction estimate would be £40 – £50.

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