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One eighth thistle merk

Steve Bartlett unearthed this hammered silver coin somewhere in Cumbria. He knew it was Scottish and James VI but was not sure of the grade of preservation or the denomination. Additionally, Steve wanted a valuation figure to pass on to a farmer.

I was told that the coin measures 18mm in diameter so it must be a one eighth thistle merk, which would have been struck during the eighth Scottish coinage (1601-04) of James VI. At the end of the legend on the reverse is the date: 1602.

I’ve seen several similar coins as detecting finds. Lots of them seem to have crossed the border and circulated in England. They would pass at whatever the exchange rate was between English and Scottish silver coins.



The coin would grade no higher than about Fine and the flan is a bit irregular. In its present condition my highest valuation figure would be £30.

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