Scotland: A Brief History of William III of England Twenty Shillings, 1698/7

Scotland has a rich numismatic history, featuring various coins and medals that provide insights into its past. One such coin is the Scotland, William III (of England), twenty shillings, minted in 1698/7. This article delves into the fascinating details of this rare coin, exploring its design, historical significance, and value.

The Reign of William III (of England)

William III, also known as William of Orange, ascended to the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland in 1689. His reign marked a significant period in British history, characterized by political and religious changes. As a Protestant monarch, William III faced challenges from Catholic factions, including the Jacobites who sought to restore the Stuart dynasty. The coinage of Scotland during his reign reflects the tumultuous times in which it was minted.

The Design of the Twenty Shillings Coin

The Scotland, William III twenty shillings coin features a striking design that showcases the artistic craftsmanship of the era. On the obverse side, a laureate bust of William III faces left, with the denomination “20” displayed below. The reverse side depicts a crowned shield of arms, symbolizing the authority and power of the monarchy. The edge of the coin is grained, adding an additional element of texture to its overall aesthetic.


Historical Significance

The Scotland, William III twenty shillings coin holds immense historical significance. Minted in 1698/7, it represents a pivotal moment in Scottish history, with William III reigning as the King of Scotland and England. This coin serves as a tangible reminder of the political and social changes that occurred during this period. It also reflects the economic stability and prosperity of Scotland at the time, as evidenced by the production of such a high-value denomination.

Rarity and Condition

The Scotland, William III twenty shillings coin is considered rare, making it highly sought after by collectors and numismatists. Its scarcity adds to its value, as it represents a limited piece of history. When evaluating the condition of this coin, it is important to note any surface marks or blemishes that may affect its overall grading. A well-preserved coin in good very fine condition commands a higher value in the market.

Provenance: The Macdonald Collection

The Scotland, William III twenty shillings coin has a distinguished provenance, having been part of The Macdonald Collection. This collection is known for its exceptional quality and historical importance. The coin was auctioned by Baldwin’s of St. James’s in Auction 29, where it garnered significant attention from collectors. Owning a coin with such a prestigious provenance adds an extra layer of desirability for numismatic enthusiasts.

Weight and Metal Composition

The Scotland, William III twenty shillings coin weighs approximately 9.22 grams. It is made of silver, a precious metal that has long been associated with wealth and prestige. The use of silver in the coin’s composition further highlights its value and significance in the context of Scottish numismatics.

References and Further Reading

For those interested in delving deeper into the topic of Scottish numismatics and the Scotland, William III of England twenty shillings coin, several references provide valuable insights. The primary reference is S. 5686, which offers detailed information about the coin’s design, historical background, and grading. Additionally, the SCBI.35, 1749 reference provides further context and analysis of this specific coin.


The Scotland, William III twenty shillings coin represents a fascinating chapter in Scottish history. Minted during the reign of William III of England, it reflects the political, social, and economic changes of the era. With its unique design, historical significance, and rarity, this coin holds immense value for collectors. Whether you are a seasoned numismatist or a history enthusiast, the Scotland, William III twenty shillings coin offers a tangible connection to Scotland’s past and the reign of one of its most influential monarchs.

2 thoughts on “Scotland: A Brief History of William III of England Twenty Shillings, 1698/7”

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