William II of Scotland, Five Shillings

This coin was unearthed by Michael Gallon, who has been detecting for decades and has many outstanding finds to his name. The coin is not particularly valuable but Michael was nonetheless delighted what it turned up.

I’ve featured a number of Scottish coins on the website but all have been hammered silver. This one is later in date and is milled silver.

The coin is a five shilling piece. On the reverse is a crowned thistle and a date: 1697. On the obverse the legend reads GVL D G MAG BR FR & HIB around the bust of the king and underneath is a figure 5 (for five shillings).

The GVL at the start of the obverse legend is short for GVLIELMVS, which translates as William. The king is William III of England but in Scotland he was William II. England had three kings named William; the first reigned from 1066 to 1187, the second from 1087 to 1100 and the third from 1689 to 1702. Scotland had only two kings named William: the first reigned from 1165 to 1214 and the second from 1689 to 1702.

I can understand why Michael was so pleased to find this Scottish five shilling piece, for I’d have been chuffed to bits if I’d located it.

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