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Shilling of Elizabeth I

I was told by Stuart Greatorex that this coin was found about three weeks before he sent it in. I was asked if the scratches on the obverse were deliberate.

The coin is a shilling of Elizabeth I with mint mark hand on both sides, which dates it to 1590-92. It is not uncommon to see scratches on the obverse of Elizabeth I shillings. One theory for this is that they were put there by disgruntled Catholics. However, if that was the case then there would also be scratches on all the other denominations and this isn’t the case.

Most of the scratches on shillings were obviously put there by something very sharp but the marks on this coin look to have been done with something that was rather blunt.


When it comes to the value of any coin the main factor determining price is the overall state of preservation. The reverse of this shilling is above average and would grade about VF. Unfortunately, the obverse isn’t as good: it is scratched and double struck, which reduces its eye appeal. In its present condition a likely pre-sale auction estimate would be £70 – £90. Had the obverse been as good as the reverse then the estimate would have been doubled.

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