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FM18388

Charles I Groat Aberystwyth Mint, plumes in field, mintmark book

Charles I (1625-49),silver Groat of Fourpence, Aberystwyth Mint (1638-42), crowned bust left within the inner circle, IIII mark of value behind head, plumes in left field, beaded circles and legend surrounding, initial mark open book, CAROLVS; D; G; M; BR; F; ET HI; REX.,rev.oval framed quartered shield of arms, plumes above without bands, initial mark open book at end of legend, .CHRISTO. AVSPICE. REGNO, weight 2.01g (cf.BR.765-767; N.2338; S.2893).Toned, a little double struck both sides, a bold to good very fine.

The abbreviated Latin legends translates on obverse as "Charles, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland," and on the reverse "I reign under the auspice of Christ."

Dr Graham Birch recently called the silver mines "Britain's forgotten industry" in his new book published by Spink and available from Sovereign Rarities "The Metal in Britain's Coins" which we recommend for further reading of Chapter 11 about the coinage produced by Sir Hugh Myddelton and Thomas Bushell at the Aberystwyth Mint. The mint at Aberystwyth had its beginnings in July 1637 when Bushell had the idea of coining at the source rather than sending the mined silver for coining to London and petitioned that it would stimulate the Welsh mining industry with predictions of increased output if the adits to drain water from the mines reached their capacity, and which could lead to other mines in England being used for coining in a similar fashion. The Mint in London was against the idea, but King Charles asked for Bushell to visit and was persuaded by his charm to back him. The agreement to set up a mint in Aberystwyth Castle with the Crown taking a 10% share with overall supervision from the Warden of the Mint Sir William Parkhurst. Coins were struck at 0.925 fineness at £3/2/- a pound with Welsh plumes with Halfcrown, Shilling, Sixpence, Half-Groat and Penny. In February 1638 patterns were also approved to forward minting of Groats, Threepences and Halfpennies and all carry the open book mint mark.

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