NMS-C753F4: Post-Medieval silver modified coin

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: NMS-C753F4

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: Post medieval silver shilling, modified to form a probable gaming piece. The shilling is of Edward VI, dating to the period AD 1550 - 1551, mint of London, initial mark: Y. The coin is heavily worn, particularly on the obverse. The reverse exhibits an engraved and hatched letter A without a crossbar in the top right quarter to the right of the shield.

Four narrow crescentic apertures have been made around the centre of the coin, following the lines of the inner border; the gaps between each aperture respect the lines of the cross on the reverse. In addition, the coin has been mounted in a rim or frame consisting of a rectangular-sectioned strip of silver, the inner edge with a slight groove to house the flan. The frame is now peeling away from the coin.

Dimensions: Diameter (including frame): 36.1mm, width of frame: 2mm, thickness of frame: 1.5mm, thickness of coin: 1mm, weight: 6.9g.

Date: Coin minted c. AD 1550-1551, date of modification within the subsequent 100-150 years.

Discussion: Two similarly modified coins have previously been reported as potential Treasure and are recorded on the PAS database: NARC-FF2D58 (2014 T766) & SUR-678851 (2008 T494). The latter, also for a shilling of Edward VI suggests:

"The altered coin might have been intended to serve as a counter, since in some cases high-status sets of reckoning counters were made up by using numbers of actual silver coins in a silver cylinder or box - adding the rim might have both rendered the coins being used as distinctive and also made them better fitted to their container. Alternatively, the coin was altered to be set aside for use in a popular pastime, similar to shove-halfpenny, which is documented for the Tudor and Stuart periods - the utilisation of the broad and distinctive shillings of Edward VI in this game is specifically recorded."


This coin is manufactured from precious metal and is over 300 hundred years old; it shows clear evidence of having been adapted, probably for use as a gaming piece. Precious metal coins of this age that have been modified for another use are considered as objects (rather than coins) for the purposes of determining their status under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996. This object should, therefore, be considered as Treasure.

Evidence of reuse: Apertures made in coin. Mounted in silver frame.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: The British Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Donated to museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2018T31


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1550
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 1.5 mm
Weight: 6.9 g
Diameter: 36.1 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 1st December 2016 - Saturday 31st December 2016

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: IND12012018JS
Treasure case number: 2018T31

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: St. Edmundsbury (District)
Parish or ward: Withersfield (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL6348
Four figure Latitude: 52.10631344
Four figure longitude: 0.37866862
1:25K map: TL6348
1:10K map: TL64NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: The British Museum

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: SUR-678851
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
A silver shilling of King Edward VI's Third Period (1550-3), initial mark tun (1551-3), from the London mint. The coin has been augment…
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Find number: BERK-A7A604
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
Post-Medieval silver coin: Shilling of Edward VI (North Ref: 1937). The coin has a flat band of silver, 1.65mm in depth, fitted around its ci…
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Find number: NARC-FF2D58
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: POST MEDIEVAL
A silver Post-Medieval coin that has been altered into a dress accessory or mount. A silver frame, or rim, 1.4mm thick appears to be seper…
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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMS
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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