A Die Study of James I Shillings – Third Issue, Sixth Bust, mm Trefoil – Gary Oddie

The three previous notes in this series have presented die studies for the third issue shillings with mintmarks Rose, Thistle and Lis. This note will finish off the third issue with a die study of the shillings with a trefoil mintmark. A total of 63 specimens have been noted from 36 obverse and 47 reverse dies and a statistical analysis suggests that as many again are yet to be discovered. 

As the last mintmark of the reign, the trefoil continued to be used for a few months into the reign of Charles I and two Pyx trails were carried out on 7 July 1625, the first for coins struck whilst James I was alive and the second for posthumous issues. This note also identifies a group of dies that might be associated with the posthumous issues. 

Extrapolating from the Rose, Thistle and Trefoil data allows an estimate to be made of the amount of silver at the previous Trial of the Pyx for coins bearing the mm Lis, a number that is absent from contemporary records.

4 thoughts on “A Die Study of James I Shillings – Third Issue, Sixth Bust, mm Trefoil – Gary Oddie

  1. GaryI have a James I shilling 3rd issue, 6th bust, trefoil mm with an obverse die that’s not in your die study.   I haven’t checked the reverse die at this time. I attached photos of my coin and my obverse type study.

    • Many thanks for your message. The images didn’t come through, please could you send them to me directly at goddie1@hotmail.co.uk ? I am not surprised that there are dies missing from my study. From the statistics I estimate that I am maybe only half way there, but it’s a start. I am accumulating pictures for a future supplement to each note published so far.

  2. Gary – your excellent articles prompted me to revisit my own analysis of James I sixpence dies (previously confined to the scarcer issues of mid-reign). I was particularly interested in your idea of potentially identifying the posthumous issues, so I looked at images of 1624 mm trefoil 6d pieces to see if the data supported the theory.
    I have 120 unique coin images, with 39 unique obverse dies. Applying the analysis, coverage is 90%; 9 of the dies have single stops and one other appears to have no stops at all. Perhaps this figure seems a little high as a percentage of dies, but then again, these ‘single stop’ dies account for only 13 of the coins, and the ‘no stops’ 2 more. Perhaps this is a better way to assess the relative proportion of coinage with these dies, but I think a far larger sample is needed even now. I will continue to look for more with interest.

    • Hi JD428,
      Many thanks for the comment. I am glad you liked the articles and it is good to know I am not the only person die hunting in James I! Though from the numbers you have, you have been doing it for much longer, the 90% coverage is definitely a number I would prefer for the shilling studies. I agree that the numbers are still pretty small, but that you have found a relatively small “single stops” group of dies in the trefoil sixpences is certainly pointing in the right direction. As there is only a single die with “no stops” I would leave it in the die sinker’s error category till others turn up.
      Like you I have similar die studies in prepartion for the earlier (rarer) mintmarks.
      It would be excellent if you could publish your die studies – maybe as a series of blog notes? It seems that you have already done the hard work for the sixpences. If you want to dicuss, feel free to drop me an email at goddie1@hotmail.co.uk .
      All the best

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