England, Stuart. James I (1603-1625) Gold Ten Shillings (Double Crown)
Type: Hammered - Second coinage, 5th bust
Mint Mark: Tower
Minted from 1612AD
Minted until 1613AD
Obverse: Crowned, draped , cuirassed bust of James right, 'IACOBVS DG MAG BRI FRA ET HIB REX'.
Reverse: Crowned Royal Arms dividing 'JR', 'HENRICVS ROSAS REGNA IACOBVS', (Henry united the roses, James the kingdoms).
This well struck coin produces a very good attractive and clear portrait of James I with very good details in facial features and drapery. Although, as a type, not particularly uncommon it is very rare and difficult to find in such a good grade and strong striking.
The coinage of James VI is a very large and varied issue - more so than any other Monarch, many new and innovatively designed pieces were introduced during this reign as well as several new denominations. These 10 shilling pieces of this second issue are usually referred to as 'double crown'. Due to inflation and a rise in the price of gold, these coins were revalued in 1619 at 11 shillings and a new lighter 10 shillings, the 'Half Laurel' was issued.
It is interesting to note the reverse legend - having become King James I of England, James VI of Scotland was very keen to unite the two Kingdoms - a concept which is still particularly current and controversial.