PAS Finds

PAS Finds: week ended 21 October 2022

PAS Finds: week ended 21 October 2022

My selection of detecting finds recorded at the PAS in the week ended 21 October 2022.

Featured Find

Coin weight for a rose ryal of James I

Photo: Derby Museums Trust CC By SA2.0
Object type: Coin weight
Period: Post Medieval
Primary material: Copper alloy
Date found: 20/10/2022
Location: Melton, Leiestershire

A copper-alloy coin weight for the rose ryal of James I. There are a few of these recorded at the PAS now thanks to recent detecting finds. This one is in particularly good condition compared to the rest on the database. The XXXIII over an S on the obverse shows that this weight was for the thirty three shilling coin. There is a crowned I on the top left of the obverse.

Revaluation of gold coinage

Rose ryals were first issued during the first coinage of James I with a face value of 30 shillings. However, a revaluation was needed to stop gold leaving the country. On 23 November 1611, James I issued a proclamation:

In spite of the laws gold is leaving the country. The Unite valued here at 20s. is valued abroad at 22s. Without altering the standard of fineness of the gold or silver the price of gold coins is raised by one-tenth…Export of Gold again forbidden…Oaths to be taken from Ship-masters

And so the existing rose-ryals became worth 33 shillings.

New coinage

On 31 July 1619, James I issued a proclamation to introduce new coinage (his third coinage). He reduced the minting profit in another attempt to stop gold coins leaving the country.. The proclamation read: “The weightiest coin is leaving the kingdom. The profit of coinage, being 26s. 4d. for every pound weight of gold coined, is too high. For the next year it shall be 15s…. New coins will be made of equal values (20s., &c.) but the old will still be current. These coins are the 30s. piece …

So the new coins were made lighter to bring their values back to what they used to be but the existing heavier coins continued in circulation at their raised values.

Balances and weights

The same proclamation of July 1619 included a provision on coin weights: “The Master of the Mint is to prepare balances and weights of every current piece of gold … by 1 September next

A further proclamation on the following 7 February (then 1619 and now considered to be 1620): “Just weights and balances for coins have been provided by the Master of the Mint. Every city, &c, is to provide itself with one them before 24 June next. They have upright grains and half grains marked with an I, crowned. No other gold weights to be used

33 Shilling coin weight

This all suggests that the 33 shilling coin weight was only issued as part of the third coinage of 1619 to check coins struck before that date.


A Bibliography of Royal Proclamations of the Tudor and Stuart Sovereigns by Robert Steele, 1910.

Selection of other finds

Photo: West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service CC By SA2.0

Silver wire ring

A ring formed by three ribbons of silver wire plaited into a loop shape. The PAS record says “Examples are known from the 10th century, the post-medieval period (16th to 18th century), and the modern period (19th to 20th century) but at present we cannot distinguish between these options“. It was found within a foot of a 15th century silver ring but that could just be a coincidence.
Photo: North Lincolnshire Museum CC By SA2.0

Penny of Ecgberht of Wessex

The centre part of a penny of Ecgberht of Wessex. Only 32 have been recorded at the PAS and most are in southern England. This one forms part of a small cluster of finds from Lincolnshire and has been designated a Find of Note of County Importance.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0

Figurine of naked man wearing a hat

A lead figure of uncertain date (although the rimmed cap suggests later post-medieval) and function. The PAS record suggests that it could be a representation of an unpopular figure, possibly to through sticks at as part of a game, or maybe a bawdy pipe tamper. A few similar objects have been found in Cornwall.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0

Gilded copy of a penny of King John

A cast copy of a Class 5a2 penny of King John, minted by Iohan of Norwich which has then been gilded.
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