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GM24837

James I Halfcrown, plumes reverse, mm trefoil, struck from Welsh silver

Regular price £1,750
Regular price Sale price £1,750

James I (1603-25), silver Halfcrown of Thirty Pence, variety with Welsh plumes on reverse struck from Welsh mined silver, third coinage (1619-25), armoured King on horseback right, sword on shoulder, plain groundline below, legend and beaded borders surrounding both sides, initial mark trefoil (1624-25) both sides, IACOBVS D: G: MAG: BRI: FR: ET HIB: REX., rev. Welsh plumes above quartered shield of arms, legend and beaded border surrounding, no punctuation, QVÆ DEVS CONIVNXIT NEMO SEPARET, weight 14.66g (N.2123; S.2667). Toned, a little uneven in shape, hairline X scratch to left of shield, a bold fine, reverse very fine and a very rare issue with the plumes.

The abbreviated Latin legends translate as on the obverse, "James, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland," and on the reverse "What God hath joined together let no man put asunder."

The Welsh mining operations in the reign of King James I were carried out under Hugh Myddleton (later knighted) who signed a 21 year agreement from 1617 with the Mines Royal taking on the lease of the Cardiganshire mines. He worked out how to drain the shafts via adits and exposed ores not mined before of which he perfected the smelting. He had five mines in operation at Talybont, Darren, Cwmerfyn, Goginan and Cwmsymlog and vast profits were made. By 1622 he was granted a baronetcy and James I released him from having to pay royalties on the silver he provided for coinage. Crowns, Halfcrowns and shillings were struck with plumes in this reign but the only record that survives is for the first year of Charles I reign when some £6,800 of silver was made into coin which was just under 9% of total yearly output. For further reading see "The Metal in Britain's Coins" by Dr Graham Birch.

Provenance:

Ex Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin, 1986.

Ex Frogmore Collection, Mark Rasmussen Numismatist, list 26, item 66.

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