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FM20321

James II 1687 tin Halfpenny, dated on edge with intrinsic copper plug at centre

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

James II (1685-88), tin Halfpenny with copper plug in centre, 1687, laureate and draped bust right, legend surrounding, IACOBVS SECVNDVS, rev. Britannia seated left on globe, holding olive sprig and spear with shield, blank exergue, legend surrounding, BRITAN NIA, edge inscribed in raised letters, NVMMOMORVM * FAMVLVS * 1687 *, weight 10.81g (Peck 544; S.3419). Multiple tiny digs both sides and some light corrosion patches, otherwise a bold to good very fine for issue and the rarest final date.

A tin coinage in lieu of the copper had been adopted at the end of the reign of Charles II, this being because the charges associated with and the price of copper that was being imported from Sweden had risen, and the Cornish tin miners were in need of a boost to their activity. Tin Farthings were issued first under Charles II dated 1684 or 1685 and for the public to accept what was seen as such a base coinage akin to lead and pewter, a small copper plug was inserted at the centre to give a tiny intrinsic value and making this the first bimetallic currency issued in the UK. The tin coins were expanded to include the Halfpenny for the reigns of James II and William and Mary but by 1692 the coinage had fallen out of favour and a reversion to a copper coinage occurred from 1694.

The Latin legends translate as "James the Second" on obverse and "of the Britains" on the reverse. The interesting edge as "The Servant of the coinage."

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