- First coin ever issued in Scotland sells at auction for a staggering £8,400
- It was produced 875 years ago by Scottish King David I and found in Yorkshire in 1998
23:28 GMT, 28 June 2012
00:35 GMT, 29 June 2012
The first coin ever issued in Scotland – a penny – sold at auction yesterday for a staggering £8,400.
The rare silver penny was produced in Carlisle, Cumberland, 875 years ago by the Scottish King David I after he took over the town and its mint, and his name and crest can still clearly be seen on the coin.
It was discovered near Harrogate in North Yorkshire in 1998, and is one of fewer than ten known examples ever found and still in existence today.
Rare: The first penny issued in Scotland sold at auction yesterday for £8,400 by London based auctioneer Spink to a private collector
It is thought to have been lost by a Scottish soldier 874 years ago in August 1138 at the Battle of the Standard near Northallerton in North Yorkshire, in which King David was defeated by an army led by the Archbishop of York.
A bidding war at Spinks sale in London pushed the selling price way beyond its initial £2,500 estimate. A private collector in the auction room finally made the winning bid.
Spink’s coin specialist William Mackay said: ‘This is a truly historic coin, as it is the first ever issued for Scotland, which explains the considerable interest in it.
‘The buyer has acquired a very special piece of Scottish history and I am delighted that its significance has been acknowledged in this way, by achieving a well-deserved price.’
Sale: Spinks had originally estimated the coin would go for around £2,500 but the unique find sparked a bidding war
King Henry I of England, who died in 1135, had established a mint at Carlisle, which is thought to have made silver pennies, using the silver from mines in the North Pennines.
In 1136 King David I of Scotland, who lived from 1124-53, took over Cumberland and with it, the Carlisle Mint. He continued to strike silver pennies there, but from that moment on, they were produced in his own name as King of Scotland.
In so doing the first Scottish coinage was created. Previous to this, no coins had been issued by the Scots.
Unusual: The coin was discovered near Harrogate in North Yorkshire in 1998, and is one of fewer than ten known examples ever found and still in existence today
Mr Mackay added: ‘This coin was produced
by Erebald, the same person as those of Carlisle, for Henry I during
his rule and are similar in type as those issued for Henry I, with one
difference, that they were produced in the name of David I, King of
‘David I, of Scotland who had lands in England, played a leading part in the early troubled years of the reign of King Stephen of England (1135-54) and invaded the north of England.
‘In the absence of Stephen, who was engaged in the south, the northern barons led by Thurstan, Archbishop of York, gathered an army and defeated David I at the Battle of the Standard near Northallerton in North Yorkshire in August 1138.
‘The loss of this coin, found near Harrogate is believed to be associated with his invasion of the north and subsequent defeat.’