Exhibitions/ Art Object

Unite coin of James I (r. 1603–25)

Diameter: 1 1/2 in. (38 mm.)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Joseph H. Durkee, 1898
Accession Number:
Not on view
The supplies of bullion brought to Europe from the New World in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries caused inflation, and in response new coinage was issued with a wider range of denominations. Gold coins like the sovereign, with the value of one pound, twenty shillings, first appeared in 1489. It was replaced by the unite in 1604 and by the guinea in 1663. Initially minted in gold, the crown was also produced in silver from 1551, with standardized dimensions similar to other European coins.
Inscription: Obverse: (in margin) • IACOBVS : D : G : MA : BRI : FRA : ET HI : REX

Reverse: (in margin) FACIAM • EOS • IN : G[?]TEM : VNAM; (on field, to left and right of shield) I / R
Joseph H. Durkee (until 1898; bequeathed to MMA)
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