Object Detail

Mary (1542-67) lion, 1556, reissued 1575.
Also known as a hardhead, this coin was worth one and a half pence Scots. Mary's coinage is divisible into five phases, reflecting her early life, two marriages and two widowhoods.
This billon coin was found at Deer Abbey and offers an example of the first period coinage, 1542-58, before Mary's marriage to Francis, the French dauphin. The obverse design features a large M crowned, monogram for Mary, with annulets beside. A crowned lion rampant is at design on the reverse.
The Latin inscription reads 'MARIA D. G. SCOTOR. REGINA' on the obverse. This translates as: Mary by the grace of God Queen of Scotland. The reverse legend quotes ' VICIT VERITAS', which means 'truth conquers'.
When James VI inherited the Scottish throne in 1567, there was a large problem with forgeries. Hardheads and placks originally issued under Mary were therefore recalled in 1575. Coins that were found to be genuine were re-issued with a countermark depicting a heart and star, the arms of the Earl of Morton who was regent at that time, as a mark of authenticity.
Collection Type
Date Made
12 x 11 x 1mm
w 0.64g
dia 15.5mm (dia 5/8")
Property Information
Accession No

Object Type