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The River Thames Coin Hoard.

Date: August 7, 2022

In 1995 a treasure of 1,582 hammered coins was found on the forshore of the River Thames in central London. Presumably lost by a trader around 1660, overboard in the river. With reclaimation in the last centuries, the site was discovered in 1995 at low tide, the coins encased in the dark mud, which is known to help preserve to a certain extent due to a lack of oxygen. These coins span many years, in fact over one hundred from the reigns of Edward VI to the Commonwealth, with the most represented from Charles I and the Commonwealth periods, which one would expect, but also surprisingly Elizabeth I. Included were several unrecorded Charles I half-crowns dated 1657 and 1659.

With the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, the Commonwealth coinage, after eleven years in circulation, was withdrawn, to be melted down and re-coined. People would have been anxious to return their old coins for new ones in fear of loosing this opportunity or possibly association with the ousted regime. These times were no doubt turbulent with the end of Oliver Cromwell and the Coronation of Charles II, for reasons we will never know, a bag of coins ended up in the river.

Pictured is one of the coins from this hoard.

After a treasure trove inquest and examination by the Museum of London, many of the coins were put up for public purchase at auction.

This particular coin is a shilling from the reign of Charles I, minted at the Tower, under the King between 1641 and 1643. The obverse portrait of the King is wearing a double-arched crown and stellate lace collar and known as a sixth large 'Briot' bust, above which is the mint mark, a triangle in a circle. On the reverse is a square-topped shield over a cross moline. The coin's dark tone is the result of being in the river bed mud for over 300 years. The coin is heavily clipped a common practice at the time for which punishments were severe and being hung was preferable to the many more gruesom methods practiced at the time.


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