Coin Collecting Tips: Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603) Shillings

Although a large number of shillings were produced under Elizabeth, there was a twenty-year break in production between 1562 and 1582, probably because originally sufficient numbers were in circulation from Edward VI, Philip and Mary, and the Great Recoinage of 1560 - 1562. Nevertheless, several varieties of hammered shilling were also produced in the 1560s. All issues show a bust of the queen on the obverse and the royal shield over a cross on the reverse; they are undated and have no mark of value. However, they cannot be confused with other issues, because no other denomination is at all like the shilling in style and, most importantly, size. All issues have a mintmark on the obverse and reverse, found at the top of the coin at the beginning of the legends. And, since mintmarks were a form of quality control linking coins with dies, all Elizabeth I shillings can be dated very accurately with the help of the mints' records and historical data.

The seventh issue is fairly easy to obtain, especially in VG to Fine condition; VF and EF examples exist but are quite rare. The coins are rarely found clipped or damaged and collectors should try to obtain one with a reasonable portrait and clear mintmark. If you're thinking about collecting the series, you can start almost at the end with this seventh issue Shilling with '1' mintmark. If you collect the series, and this coin is missing from your collection then you know what to do...



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