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October 1982 Index Bulletins Index

Caithness Field Club

Caithness Field Club Bulletin
1982 - October


I received the following letter on 23rd April 1982 which included a drawing of the coin and a photograph of both sides. The coin is a PLACK of James VIminted in Edinburgh probably between 1583 and 1590. From the description over the telephone it appeared to be made of BILLON, an alloy of copper and silver. The original value was eight pence Scots. The obverse shows a crowned shield with the lion rampant and the legend IACOB 6 DG SCO an abbreviation for JACOBUS VI DEI GRATIA REX SCOTORUM (James VI by the grace of God King of Scotland). The reverse shows a thistle crowned with the legend OPPID EDINB an abbreviation of OPPIDUM EDINBURGH (from the town of Edinburgh).

Dear Jack,
Following our chat on the telephone today (22 April) I enclose prints of the coin I found at Naver. The reverse lettering is fairly clear since this side was in good condition. The obverse was covered in "verdigris" and had sand particles impacted. It was brushed lightly with a stiff toothbrush before photographing. Viewing with a stereo-microscope under oblique lighting gave a little more detail than is evident on the print so I've sketched in the lettering as far as possible.

I found the coin on Tuesday 13th by the path near the broch opposite Achina, the old "coffin route" to Torrisdale from Bettyhill, while looking for garnets.

I would be very interested in its origins and value at the time. My Latin is rusty now but the James VI bit is fairly obvious as is Edinburgh. The OEPID bit foxes me.

Looking forward to your comments.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh MacLeod.