Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Mini History Blog: The Shilling

Our English word Shilling originates from the similar Anglo Saxon monetary term Schilling, which was thought to be the value of a sheep in all English counties except in Kent, where its value was a cow. By the late fifteenth century we were calling this coin a Testoon. The Testoon was introduced in 1489 during the reign of Henry VII when only small quantities were minted.
There are only three known dies for this coin, the HENRIC, HENRIC VII and HENRIC SEPTIM. What the coin was used for is not known but it is thought that it was not used as part of the countries normal coinage. One of the Testoon's minted in the reign of Henry VIII we can see here, it is a nine ounce coin with the wording Henric VIII struck around the sides and it weighs about 7.67 grams. 

On the face of the coin we see an ageing Henry VIII with a beard and long hair coming from under his crown, he is wearing a cloak with a fur collar. On the reverse we can see a crowned Tudor Rose.
The Testoon remained in circulation in England until 1707 when the Act of Union came into force, it was then it became known as the Shilling.

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