JI 009483

JI 009483
EXCESSIVELY RARE Charles I 'Aberystwyth' Sixpence
Silver, 2.79 grams; 27.47 mm. Mintmark Book, Aberystwyth mint, Circa 1638 – 1642 A.D. Obverse: Tower bust 3a, facing left, double arched crown, plume before, small VI behind, no inner circle. Reverse: Oval garnished shield, plume above, no inner circle. Only 2 examples of this type 1 Aberystwyth shilling in the extensive John Brooker collection of Charles I coin. S. 2886; JB Collection 747 - 748. Crack, Otherwise Good Fine/Very Fine, Excessively Rare. SOLD

Michael Freeman Curator of Aberystwyth’s Ceredigion Museum Writes: "When King Charles I was short of cash he looked towards mid-Wales and its wealth of minerals for a solution. Silver coins were minted for him at Aberystwyth Castle from 1639 to 1642. The silver came from Cardiganshire mines, in particular from Cwmsymlog, which were being worked by Thomas Bushell, as lessee of the Royal Mines in Wales.

Until 1637 the silver was sent to the Tower mint in London but because this was both expensive and dangerous, Bushell asked for permission to open a mint at Aberystwyth so that the silver could be coined in the same district as it was mined.

On July 30th 1637 permission was given for coining which began in 1639 and continued until September 1642, by which time Ł10,500 in currency had been produced (equivalent to 2.5 million pennies). The mint moved to Shrewsbury in 1642, then Oxford, then Bristol, still using the Cardiganshire silver, but in 1648 it was again based in Mid Wales very briefly in Furnace, about twelve miles north of Aberystwyth.

A number of coins were produced at Aberystwyth, the half crown (30d = 12.5p), the shilling (12d = 5p), sixpence, groat (4d) threepence, twopence, penny and half penny were all minted in the castle. The Prince of Wales feathers show that these coins were made of Welsh silver, and the open book shows they were minted in Aberystwyth.

It was a time of uncertainty for the king when a rise in opposition to the crown was growing. Not long after this the Civil War broke out and it might be because of the use of the castle as a mint that it was destroyed so completely. The parliamentarians and their supporters might have seen the castle as a symbol of royal power and a threat to their cause.”
This item was accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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