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Home     England, coin weight for 'Rose Ryal' of James I
England, coin weight for 'Rose Ryal' of James I

England, coin weight for 'Rose Ryal' of James I



England, coin weight for 'Rose Ryal' of James I

James I (1603-1625)

Square coin weight for weighing a gold 'Rose Ryal', struck under James I (1603-1625).

Obverse: Shield of royal arms upon cross fleury within a circular border of a lion between a lis and a rose.
Reverse: Crown over value of XXX, S below, certification mark in upper left corner (crowned letter "I").

Weight: 11,33 grams

Article code: 15-3009

Available: 0


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The Rose Ryal, issued by James I from 1606 at a reduced weight of 213 ¼ grains. It derived its name 'Rose Ryal' from the large rose around the arms on the reverse of the coin. In 1612, the coin was revaued to 33 shillings. Both square and round coin weights with the reverse design of the coin were in use (royal Arms within double rose and a reverse of a crown - XXXIII - S).
In 1619, the Ryal was reduced in weight to 196 ½ grains and revalued back to 30 shillings. Square coin weights for this new type use a different design with the shield of royal arms within a circular border of flowers and a reverse of a crown - XXX - S.

English coin weights
During the reign of King John coin weights were first mentioned in Statutes of 1205 to be used as a 'deterrent against the passing of light or clipped coins'. Coin weights of English origin were only available for gold coins until the reign of Charles I (1625-1649). Early English coin weights were round with a design that was usually similar to the coin it represents. In the early 16th century square coin weights were introduced with the value in Roman numerals in shillings (S) or pence (D) on the reverse side. Roman numerals last appear on English coin weights under James II (1685-1688).

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603), it was ordered that only true weights, produced by the Mint in the Tower and marked with a crowned 'E' were allowed. In 1617-1618, James I issued a similar proclamation for the provision of official balances and weights. Most of the contemporary square coin weights from James I are counterstruck with a certification mark of a crowned letter 'I'. Under Charles I, an act of Parliament banned all square coin weights. The new round weights are amongst the most common found.  

In the late 17th century many coin weights began to be privately made and often bear the initials of the makers or a certification mark. After 1891 the Coinage Act made the use of coin weights obsolete as the government guaranteed the value of each new coin.

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