Coin (Obverse), balance quarter-merk, from reign of James VI

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Postcard of Coin (Obverse), balance quarter-merk, from reign of James VI.
© National Museums Scotland

Coin (Obverse), balance quarter-merk, from reign of James VI

This is the obverse of a silver balance quarter-merk minted at Edinburgh in 1591, during the reign of James VI. The coin was worth three shillings and four pence Scots.

The obverse bears a crowned shield between two thistles. The Latin inscription translates as: 'James VI, by the Grace of God, King of Scots' and is followed by the date, 1592.

The coins of James VI's reign are considered to have the most beautiful designs and most varied legends of all Scottish coins. After the Union of the Crowns of 1603, Scottish gold and silver coins closely resembled their English counterparts.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-053-728-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.C3276
Date: 1591
Material: Silver; slightly buckled at edge, some abrasions on highest points; moderate wear. Inscription: Obv. * IACOBVS . 6 . D . G . R . SCOTORVM . 1591; initial mark is a cinquefoil; crowned shield between two thistles / Rev. * . HIS . DIFFERT . REGE . TYRANNVS
Dimensions: 24.00 x 24.50 mm D / Die Axis: 8.5
What: Coin Type: 6th coinage
Coin, balance quarter merk
Subject: Queen Street Coin Collection
Who: James VI
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: James VI silver balance quarter-merk, Edinburgh, 1591
  • 'Currency' multimedia programme NMS 1995 
  • Richardson (1901), 53 
  • Stewart, I.H. 'The Scottish Coinage'. Second Edition. London: Spink & Son, 1967 
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