1601 Sword and Sceptre Gold Coin
Archeologists at a
Colony of Avalon dig site uncovered a Scottish
Sword and Sceptre gold coin dated 1601.
The 22-karat coin was worth six pounds, weighs
about 5 grams, and was discovered in an area of
the dig believed to be from the earliest years
of the colony.
A news release by The Colony of Avalon
Foundation said it is the first ever whole gold
coin found at the dig site, located at the
southern shores of Ferryland, Newfoundland.
Coins of these type were issued during the reign
of King James VI of Scotland two years before he
ascended the throne of England as King James I.
According to the Colony of Avalon website, the
area has a history of over 500 years, with
Beothuk Indians, migratory fishermen from
western Europe, and European settlers who first
began to arrive in 1621. The colony was founded
by George Calvert, later Lord Baltimore, that
Archeologist Jim Tuck told CBC Radio.
“We were exposing that footing and scraping off
the top layer … scraping the dirt and leaves and
bottle caps and junk off the top where we had
stopped last year and lo and behold, here was
this gold coin which I thought first was the
inside … the liner for a bottle cap or something
like that, but within a few seconds it was
pretty obvious that it was real gold and that it
was something we had never seen before."
The coin’s obverse depicts the crowned arms of
Scotland encircled by the Latin inscription,
"James VI, by the Grace of God, King of Scots."
The reverse depicts a crossed sword and sceptre,
flanked by two thistles all below a crown. These
are encircled by the Latin inscription, "The
safety of the people is the supreme law."