Sovereign: James I (obverse); Crowned Shield (reverse)

Sovereign: James I (obverse); Crowned Shield (reverse)

1603–4

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Gold

Diameter: 3.8 cm (1 1/2 in.)

Weight: 11.137 g (0.39 oz.)

The Norweb Collection 1969.188

Location

Did you know?

The design of the reverse of this coin indicates it is from the beginning of the rule of James I in 1603.

Description

The accession of James I to the throne of England brought about the union of the thrones of England and Scotland. This was duly recorded on the coinage, the royal arms on this rare piece now consisting of the arms of England (twice), Scotland, and Ireland. The English arms still contain the French lilies, though the last French possession, Calais, had been lost in the reign of Philip and Mary, 1544–58. On the reverse, SCO for Scotland was added to the royal title. The final unification of the two kingdoms did not take place until the 1706 Act of Union. James was in fact king of two separate countries and in Scotland, which had its own separate coinage till the act, where he is referred to as James VI. At first the coins were the same weight and fineness as those of Elizabeth I, but later a proclamation, due to "trade necessities," reduced the value by ten percent. In 1611, however, the value was restored.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Numismatics
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Coins
Medium: 
Gold
Credit line: 
The Norweb Collection

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