Coin (obverse), testoon, from reign of Mary, Queen of Scots

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Postcard of Coin (obverse), testoon, from reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.
© National Museums Scotland

Coin (obverse), testoon, from reign of Mary, Queen of Scots

This is the obverse of a silver testoon minted at Edinburgh in 1556, during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. The coin was worth five shillings Scots.

The obverse bears a crowned shield flanked by the letters 'M' and 'R'. The crown is small and high-arched and there are annulets beneath the 'M' and 'R'. The Latin inscription translates as: 'Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots'.

Mary's coinage is divisible into five phases, reflecting her early life, two marriages and two widowhoods. During her reign numerous issues appeared in gold, silver and base metal, many of them comprising denominations never previously struck.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-000-619-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.C3948
Date: 1556
Material: Silver; reverse slightly off-centre; slight to moderate wear; slight flattening . Inscription: Obv. Cross MARIA . DEI . G . SCOTOR . REGINA . 1556; crowned shield flanked by M R (small high-arched crown ); annulets beneath M and R / Rev. Cross IN . VIRTVT
Dimensions: 27.00 x 26.50 mm D / Die Axis: 7.0
What: Coin Type: 1st period, type III a
Coin, testoon
Subject: Queen Street Coin Collection
Who: Mary, Queen of Scots
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Mary, Queen of Scots silver testoon, Edinburgh, 1556
  • 'Currency' multimedia programme NMS 1995 
  • Stewart, I.H. 'The Scottish Coinage'. Second Edition. London: Spink & Son, 1967 
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