Historical information

This coin was the first shilling minted during the reign of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland), being produced from 1603 to1604. This is evidenced by the legend around the reverse perimeter, and the Thistle mintmark on both sides of the coin.
Born on the 19 June 1566, James became King James VI of Scotland at a little over twelve months of age, on the abdication of his mother Mary Queen of Scots. He succeeded to the English Throne as James I on the death of the childless Queen Elizabeth I on 24 March 1603. He was crowned on 25 July 1603, ruling over a united England, Scotland and Wales for 22 years until his death in 1625 at the age of 58.
At some time a hole has been drilled through the top of the coin, between the thistle mark and the King's crown, suggesting that someone, sometime, has used the coin as a medallion.


Unfortunately the Museum has no record of a donor of this coin. On the other hand, coins by definition have an intrinsic value, a date and place of manufacture, and a known usage. This coin is reasonably rare, but is in very worn condition, which detracts from its monetary valuation somewhat.

Physical description

Hammered Silver Shilling Coin with portrait of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland), 1567-1625. James I is facing to the right and a value of XII (12) is stamped to the left of the portrait. There is an inscription stamped around the perimeter of the coin, which also shows the Thistle mintmark.The reverse side of the coin shows a shield (centred) divided into four sections: the top left section shows the three Lions of England and the French Fleur-de-lis, the top right section shows the Welsh Dragon, the bottom left section shows the Irish Harp and the bottom right section shows the three Lions of England and the French Fleur-de-lis. There is also an inscription around the outside perimeter of the coin. A hole has been pierced through the top of the coin between the Thistle mintmark and the King's Crown.

Inscriptions & markings

Around the perimeter of the reverse "EXVRGAT DEVS DISSIPENTVR INIMICI", then the Thistle mintmark. This inscription and the Thistle mintmark apparently mean that the coin must be the first coin of James I reign, and dates it to 1603-1604.

On the obverse-side perimeter,"IACOBVS DG ANG SCO FRA ET HIB REX" (King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland), then the Thistle mintmark.