1604 Crown James I – Gold


The 1604 Gold Crown - James I

James I Gold Crown, minted 1604-1605 at the Tower Mint in London. Diameter 22mm and weight of 2.409g. SCBC 2624. North 2090.

This is known as a 'Britain Crown', also called a 1/4 Unite, and is a 5 shillings coin.

The Obverse shows a crowned first bust of King James facing right with lace collar. The mint mark is a Lis (looks like a small spear head pointing up) indicates second coinage of 1604-5. Legend is 'IACOBVS D G MAG BRIT FRAN ET HIB REX'.

The Reverse shows a crowned quartered shield. Legend 'HENRICVS ROSAS REGNA IACOBVS' meaning Henry united the roses, James the kingdoms.

Images used by permission of Museums Victoria


Mintage: Not known
Minted at The Royal Mint.
James I (1603-1625)
James was born on 19 June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry Stuart (Lord Darnley) in the House of Stuart. He was James VI of Scotland and James I of England but combined the thrones from his Coronation on 24 March 1603.

Despite a few problems (such as the Gunpowder Plot in 1605), James left a legacy of a fairly peaceful, low taxation reign. He died from natural causes on 27 March 1625, aged 58. James was Father of Charles I.
General Description: Crowns
The Crown is a very old coin, with origins dating back to Henry VIII. The English Crown first appeared in 1526. It was made of 22 carat gold ("crown gold") and has a value of five shillings (a quarter of a pound).

By 1551, silver was being used to produce crowns, although gold was sometimes still used. The silver crown was quite large, being about 38mm and weighing about one ounce. Around that time many Europeans countries had similar sized silver coins which made them good for international trade as they were essentially interchangeable.

The metal used was 92.5% silver and the rest copper so as to make the coin harder. This hardness, together with a milled edge, made 'clipping' (which was cutting slices off the edge to steal some free silver) more difficult.

After the Union of England and Scotland in 1707 a new coin, the British Crown, replaced the English Crown and Scottish Dollar. The value was set at 5 shillings and the size was 38mm in diameter and weighed about 1oz as before.

Now more of a commemorative coin

Although the coin was always part of the British coin family, its large size made it unpopular for general circulation and the half-crown was favoured as the de-facto largest coin in circulation. The Crown was more-or-less relegated to a commemorative coin.

The British economy, especially after the World Wars, took its toll on the crown too. From 1816-1919 the crown was 0.925 silver, this was reduced to 0.500 silver in 1920 and in 1947 the Crown became Cupronickel (75% copper, 25% nickel). The size standardised at 38.61 mm and (silver crown) weight of 28.276g (1 oz).

Although not in current circulation, the Crown is still legal tender. After decimalisation in 1971 the Crown was officially valued at 25 pence. In the Eighties we had inflation which brought in higher denomination coins like the pound coin and the two-pound coin, so the Government decided that the crown needed to be restored to it former glory as biggest denomination coin and the crown was re-denominated to £5 in 1990.

Today the Crown is once again made in silver and gold, usually to satisfy collectors and investors. There is a little confusion with this as there are Gold Crowns which are worth £5 but there is another five-pound Gold coin from the sovereign family - see the article on Gold £5 Coin or Gold Crown?
Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton.

Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.

There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

The orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Crowns page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
JAMES I CROWN MUSEUM SPECIMEN COIN No 106, 2nd COINAGE, 5th BUST 1619 Tower Mint
JAMES I CROWN MUSEUM SPECIMEN COIN No 106, 2nd COINAGE, 5th BUST 1619 Tower Mint
£ 7.99
JAMES I (1603-1625). BRASS COIN WEIGHT FOR AN ENGLISH GOLD CROWN.
JAMES I (1603-1625). BRASS COIN WEIGHT FOR AN ENGLISH GOLD CROWN.
£ 45.00
1623-24 Britain England James I Crown Coin - Certified PCGS VF Details - Rare!
1623-24 Britain England James I Crown Coin - Certified PCGS VF Details - Rare!
£ 1,700.35
James I 1619 proof crown Hallmarked 2006 F C Parry Silver 25 grams 38mm  B/Unc
James I 1619 proof crown Hallmarked 2006 F C Parry Silver 25 grams 38mm B/Unc
£ 19.99
1620 King James I Crown
1620 King James I Crown
£ 25.20
1603-25 James 1st Coin Weight for Hammered Gold Crown (G941)
1603-25 James 1st Coin Weight for Hammered Gold Crown (G941)
£ 75.00
JAMES I GOLD CROWN 1000 YEARS OF BRITISH COINAGE COLLECTION RE-STRIKE
JAMES I GOLD CROWN 1000 YEARS OF BRITISH COINAGE COLLECTION RE-STRIKE
£ 9.99
2001 TURKS & CAICOS KING JAMES I House Stuart Proof Silver 20 Crown Coin i112433
2001 TURKS & CAICOS KING JAMES I House Stuart Proof Silver 20 Crown Coin i112433
£ 398.82

List of items on: