Gold coin; Denomination: Angel
Tower Mint, London
King James I (1603-1625); Second Coinage

An Angel was current at 10 shillings and was made with standard gold (23 carats 3 1/2 grains fine with 1/2 grain of alloy), other gold coins of James I with the same current value were of Crown Gold (22 carats fine with 2 carats of alloy).

This coin has been pierced for use as touch-piece. The king was believed to have the 'God given' power of healing by his touch, particularly of scrofula, a form of tuberculosis of the bones and lymph nodes, commonly known as the King's (or Queen's) Evil. Many miraculous cures were recorded after a formal ceremony at the end of which touch-pieces like this were distributed to those treated. Failures were considered to be due to a lack of faith on the part of the sufferer. The practice began with Edward the Confessor and ended under Queen Anne.

Obverse Description

Archangel St. Michael standing with both feet on a dragon piercing it through the mouth; coin pierced through the head of St. Michael and chipped to edge; around, (mm. coronet) 'IACOBVS D G MAG BRIT FRA ET HI REX'.

Reverse Description

Ship bearing a large shield which is quartered with the joint arms of England and France (1 & 4), Scotland (2) and Ireland (3); mas, bearing top castle, appears from shield and divides I and a rose; around, (mm. coronet) 'A DNO FACTVM EST IST[V]D' (the V removed by the piercing) (translation, This is the Lord's doing).

Edge Description


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