Irish Coin Daily: James I, Silver Shilling, First Bust / First Irish Coinage – m.m. Bell (1603-4)


Irish coin cabinet 7

Date: 1603-04

James I Silver Irish Shilling, First coinage, First bust, Mintmark Bell, 4.27g 28.4mm, S.6512. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

Description:

James I Silver Shilling, First coinage, struck at the Tower Mint, London. No date but the mint mark: Bell denotes the year 1603-04.

This issue of Irish shillings were of good silver but, being only three-quarters of the weight of an English shilling, they were accepted as legal tender in England and Wales – albeit at the reduced face value of nine pence.

  • Weight: 4.27 g
    • (a little under-weight for the issue)
  • Diameter: 28.4 mm
    • (an unusually full flan)
  • Surface marks, otherwise a near very fine example
  • Good bust, round flan and little wear
    • Near Very Fine (nVF)

References:

  • S. 6512; D&F 259

Obverse:

  • Crowned (first) bust of James I, facing left
    • The first bust can be quickly identified via the ‘squared’ beard
  • Legend:
    • IACOBVS D G ANG SCO FRA ET HIB REX
      • Translates from truncated Latin as:
        • James, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland

Reverse:

  • Crowned harp; Bell i.m. (1603-4)
    • London Tower mint
  • Legend:
    • EXVRGAT DEVS DISSIPENTVR INIMICI
      • Translates from Latin as:
        • God upholds the united

 

Additional Information:

James was King of Scotland from 1567 and in 1603 he succeeded Elizabeth I, uniting England, Scotland, and Ireland. He based himself in England and reigned in all three kingdoms for 22 years, using the title King of Great Britain and Ireland, until his death in 1625 at the age of 58.

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