1621 Sixpence – James I, Third Coinage

The 1621 Sixpence - James I, Third Coinage

Silver sixpence of King James I, minted in the Tower Mint in London. Diameter 26mm and weighs 2.8g. SCBC 2670. North 2126. The mintmark for 1621 can be a rose or a thistle.

The Obverse shows the crowned bust of James I facing right. 'VI' is a mark of value (six pence). Mint mark is a rose. Legend "IACOBVS D G MAG BRI FRA ET HIB REX".

The Reverse is a square topped quartered shield with the combined arms of England and France in quarters 1 and 4; Scotland in 2, and Ireland in 3. Date above. All contained in a beaded inner circle with legend around "QVAE DEVS CONIVXIT NEMO SEPARAT", meaning What God has joined together let no man put asunder, referring to the union of England and Scotland.

Edge is plain.

Image credit: 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: Sixpences

The Sixpence (half a shilling) was a British silver coin that was first minted 1551 and virtually continuously until decimalisation in 1971. They were often known as 'tanners'. They are small coins, the last minted had a diameter of about 19.4 mm.


  • Year Minted: 1551-1970
  • Diameter: 19.41 mm
  • Weight: 2.83g (1816-1970)
  • Edge: Milled
  • Metal: 
    • 1551–1816: Silver
    • 1816–1920: 92.5% Silver
    • 1920–1946: 50% Silver
    • 1947–1970 Cupronickel. Zero Silver

In today's money they are 2½p. It doesn't sound much but at the time it was a weeks pocket money! It was a popular coin when in circulation and is now popular with collectors as it has a long history and many nice specimens can be obtained at affordable prices.

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.
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