Queen Mary

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by Kevin Graham, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Kevin Graham

    Kevin Graham New Member

    I have discovered two coins that look scottish and are silver. I cannot identify them there is no date or value on them . One side is the scottish coat of arms with the initial MR at either side and on the reverse is a portraitt of Mary. Anybody help?
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  3. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    Welcome aboard Kevin.
    Can you post a picture? If not, can you at least give us the dimensions?

    Without a date or denomination it is probably - but not necessarily - a medal of some type. If it is a coin, it would have been the size and metal that would have fixed its value. If it contains a portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, it would have to date from the mid to late-16th Century. If the portrait is of the later Queen Mary, wife of King William, it would date from 1589-94.

    The Standard Catalog of World Coins begins coverage with its 17th Century volume, so it is of no assistance with determining whether there was any coinage depicting the first Queen Mary.

    Valuing such a coin, if it is genuine, is a job for an expert on coinage of that era; but as with any other coin, its condition would be a major factor, so again - can you post a picture of both sides?

    We do have a Scotsman on the forum, so if Ian should happen across your inquiry he may have something constructive to say.
  4. Ian

    Ian Coin Collector

    There are only four silver coin types of Mary Queen of Scots with her portrait on them (on her own that is). The first is a `one year only' Testoon of 1553 with her crowned bust facing to the right. It is dated on the side sporting the crowned arms of Scotland. There is no MR either side though. So it's not that coin you have.

    The second and third are the Testoon and Half Testoon of 1561 and 1562. The date appears below her bust in a losenge shaped cartouche. Her bust faces to the left. The reverse sports the French / Scottish joint arms flanked on each side by a crowned M. So, unless you have described your coin wrongly concerning there being `MR' either side, it is not one of these either.

    The fourth and final silver coin is the humble penny which is only about 15mm in diameter. On that coin she is facing the viewer. The reverse has a cross with pellets and crowns alternately in each quadrant. It does not match the description of your coins.

    There are gold coins bearing her bust but not with MR either side of a shield.

    There are also silver coins of Mary's reign which have a Crown over the Royal Shield (Scottish Arms) flanked with an M on one side and an R on the other, but these are not `portrait' coins.

    As you can see from this, whatever it is you actually have, if they truly are as you describe then they are not actually coins of Mary Queen of Scots.

    I'd be intrigued to have a fuller description or image from you just to find out what you actually do have. They may be some kind of medalet or at the worst maybe fantasy pieces / fakes.

    Ian
  5. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    The letters 'MR' is the monogram of Mary,Queen of Scots (reigned 1542-67).The letters actually stand for 'Maria Regina',which is the Latin for 'Queen Mary'.As to the Scots-Gaelic language,I know that the word for 'Queen' is 'Ban-Righ',but I don't know the Scots-Gaelic form of Mary though.

    There are a range of Scots coins with 'MR' on them.
    I have got a Bawbee (6d.),which was issued in the first coinage period (1542-58).
  6. Ian

    Ian Coin Collector

    The Bawbee is made of copper, not silver. The original poster was querying silver portrait coins with MR either side of the arms.

    Do you know of any?
  7. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Ian,the Mary,Queen of Scots Bawbee was actually made of billon,which is why it looks silver.Only from the reign of King Charles II did the Bawbee become a copper coin.
  8. Ian

    Ian Coin Collector

    As may be. but if you've got one with Mary's portrait on it, it's a fake. ;-)
  9. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Ian,I know of only one Scots silver coin that has Mary's portrait.It is the Testoon (1/-),which you have mentioned.Can you please check your pink Coincraft catalogue to see if I am correct?
  10. Ian

    Ian Coin Collector

    Aidan my dear chappie, please refer to my first post in this thread and read it again slowly and carefully this time. I do believe I mentioned specifically FOUR coin types bearing her bust on her own. There is also a silver Ryal with her AND Darnley on it. Then, if you want to consider gold coins, there is the one and only coin from anywhere with a bust of Francis II of France on it (and Mary). Not a lot of French people know that. Not a lot of any people know that.

    Ian
  11. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Ian,thank you for checking your pink Coincraft catalogue & listing the other Scots coins that have Mary's portrait on them.I do have a coin with Queen Mary's portrait on it - a Groat (4d.) from England issued when Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) reigned alone (1553-54).This is a very difficult coin
    to find,so I have got a holed one as a spacefiller.
  12. Ian

    Ian Coin Collector

    Aidan, I'd be most surprised indeed if your coin had the Scottish arms on it with MR on either side.

    I've got a few jetons with Marie Antoinette on them, and a couple with Maria Adelais of Burgundy, Maria Lezinska (Queen of France), Marie Therese (Queen of France), Maria Josepha of Savoy and Countess of Provence, but these are about as relevant to the original posters questions as your Bloody Mary groat other than they were all queens, and called `Mary'. None match (even remotely) the description provided, or would you disagree?

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