The first king of Scots to produce his own coinage was David I (112453). David I has been regarded as an anglicising force in Scotland, and indeed, the coins bear an uncanny resemblance to those of Stephen, King of England. The Penny was minted at Berwick, and had his name as "Tavit". The reverse had a short cross with pellets in the four quarters. Later in his reign coins were minted in Berwick, Roxburgh and Edinburgh. By 1250, the country had no less than 16 mints, scattered from Inverness to Berwick

1329 - 1371

Pennies from King David II's time

1329 - 1371

Groats from King David II's time.

Scots groats were not issued until the reign of David II. Scots groats were originally also worth fourpence, but later issues were valued at eightpence and a shilling.


The Testoon was produced in France with the new process of mill and screw, being the first milled coinage of Scotland.


The Siver half Merk

The merk was a Scottish silver coin. Originally the same word as a mark of silver, the merk was in circulation at the end of the 16th century and in the 17th century. It was originally valued at 13s 4d (exactly ⅔ of a pound Scots, or about one shilling in English coin), later raised to 14s Scots.[1] In addition to merks, half-merk and quarter-merk coins were produced with values of, respectively, 7s and 3s 6d, as well as a four-merk coin of 56s (2 16s).

The first issue weighed 103.8 grains and was 50% silver and 50% base metals,[2] thus it contained 0.108125 troy ounces of silver, worth about 1 at modern prices.


The Bawbee.

The bawbee was introduced by James V in 1538 valued at sixpence. These carry his 'I5' monogram flanking a crowned thistle, and a large saltire on the reverse with a central crown. There was also smaller half bawbee and quarter bawbee. Around the year 1544 his widow Mary of Guise minted bawbees at Stirling Castle, with the 'MR' cipher, and the cross potent with crosslets of Lorraine on the reverse. The first bawbees of Mary, Queen of Scots issued by the mint at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh carried the cinquefoil emblems of Regent Arran

List of Scottish Coins

Pistole  Gold, 12 pounds Scots

Dollar  Replacement for the Ryal, 60 Scots shillings (James VI)

Ryal  Gold, 1565

Crown or Lion  Gold (James I)

Half-crown, Demi-Lion or Demys  Gold (James I)

Ducat or "bonnet"  40 shillings, 1539 (James V)

Mark or merk  Gold (giving rise to the term markland)

Noble  Gold, worth half a mark, 1357 (David II, reintroduced by Robert III)

Unicorn - Gold, 18 shillings Scots, 1484/5 (James III)

Half-unicorn  Gold, 9 shillings Scots (James IV)

Testoun  silver, 1553. Was produced in France with the new process of mill and screw, being the first milled coinage of Scotland.[16]

Bawbee  Billon, six pence from 1537


Groat  Silver, equivalent to four pence, from 1357 (giving rise to the term groatland)

Half-groat  Silver, equivalent to two pence, from 1357

Turner  Billon, two pence (James VI), later copper.

Bodle  Copper, two pence (Charles II)

Hardhead  also called Lion, billon coin circulated in the reigns of Mary and James VI

Penny  Billon, one of the earliest coins, dating from David I. Later made of copper; giving rise to the term pennyland.

Halfpennies  Initially literally half of a penny, these became minted coins in their own right in c.1280. Later made of copper.

Farthing or quarter-penny  These were originally quarters of pennies, but as with Halfpennies, became coins in their own right in c.1280. Later made of copper.


List of Scottish monarchs who issued coins

David I (112453)

Malcolm IV (115365)

William the Lion (116514)

Alexander II (121449)

Alexander III (124986)

John Balliol (129296)

Robert the Bruce (130629)

David II (132971)

Robert II (137190)

Robert III (13901406)

James I (140637)

James II (143760)

James III (146088)

James IV (14881513)

James V (151342)

Mary, Queen of Scots (154267)

James VI (15671625)

Charles I (162549)

Charles II (166085)

James VII (168588)

William and Mary (168994)

William II (16941701)

Anne (170114, no coins minted after Union)