BERK-C479A1: Small coin hoard of three gold coins of James I

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: BERK-C479A1

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

TREASURE CASE 2016 T638. A small coin hoard, or purse-drop, consisting of three gold coins of James I, all found together. The coins have been identified by Barrie J Cook of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum. His report follows:

I have examined a group of three coins reported found in West Berkshire. All three are good gold (over 90% fine metal), and are official issues of King James VI and I. Their details are as follows:

James VI and I
Eighth Scottish Coinage (1601-4)
1. Gold sword and sceptre piece 1601 5.02g
Second English Coinage (1604-19)
2. Gold unite tower (1612-13) 9.91g
Third Coinage (1619-25)
3. Gold laurel thistle (1621-3) 9.03g

The Scottish coin was worth 120 shillings Scots when issued, equivalent to 10 shillings sterling; the two English coins were each worth £1 sterling (20-shillings) when issued. Due to shifting gold prices, however, the value of the Second Coinage unite had been enhanced to 22-shillings in 1612 and the laurel was introduced at a lower weight to provide a £1 coin again. The Scottish coin's value would have been similarly raised in England to 11-shillings.

These coins would have been in currency together and, with a face-value in the years around 1620 of £2 13s., represent a considerable sum of money at the time, equivalent to several months' income for an ordinary labourer or artisan.


As these coins are over 300 years old are gold and were found at the same findpsot, they constitue Treasure under the stipulations of the 1996 Treasure Act.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Submitted for consideration as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2016T638


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1603
Date to: Circa AD 1625

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 3

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 18th June 2016

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: OXPAS2016.304
Treasure case number: 2016T638

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
District: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Frilsham (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU5272
Four figure Latitude: 51.44461108
Four figure longitude: -1.25317194
1:25K map: SU5272
1:10K map: SU57SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BERK
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 4 years ago

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