Few people realise that the thistle on the modern British five pence is a reminder of what was once a separate Scottish coinage. King David I was the first Scottish monarch to issue his own coins, in the twelfth century. For over two hundred years, only silver pennies were minted but from the fourteenth century a succession of new types and values appeared, including gold nobles, unicorns, ducats, unites, silver ryals, merks and dollars. Minor coins include billion placks, hardheads and nonsunts as well as copper turners and bawbees. Superb portraits are to be found on the coins of James VI and Charles I. The Scottish coinage was one of endless change and variety, among the most interesting of medieval Europe, and was only bought to an end following the Act of Union in 1707.
32 pages, well illustrated.
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