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Scottish 40 pence piece of Charles I

The coin pictured here came in from David Padgett, who asked for a valuation on his find. David believed it to be a Scottish 40 pence piece of Charles I.

Firstly, David’s ID is spot on. On the reverse is a crowned thistle, above which is a small letter F. On the obverse is a left facing bust of Charles I with XL behind. The XL stands for 40. The letter L is the Roman numeral for 50 and X stands for 10. When a smaller Roman numeral is positioned before a larger one then it is subtracted; so take 10 away from 50 and you are left with 40.

Scottish 40 pence pieces of this type are listed as number 5579 in Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands as number 5579. They were struck during class III of the third coinage and the letter F on the reverse stands for the surname of John Falconer, who was the son-in-law of the famous French engraver Nicholas Briot.    


The king’s face is a bit weak on the obverse but the coin is otherwise in Fine condition. In its present condition it should be worth around £60 to a collector. It is worth mentioning that Scottish 40 pence pieces of Charles I are roughly ten times scarcer than 20 pence pieces.

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