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English coin Half Laurel

The Half Laurel was the third British gold coin with a value of ten shillings produced during the reign of King James I. It was named after the laurel that the king is portrayed as wearing on his head, but it is considerably poorer in both quality and style than the half sovereign and double crown which preceded it. The coin was produced during James I's third coinage (1619-1625). All the coins were produced at the Tower Mint in London.

The half laurel was introduced to replace the "double crown" of 1604, which had an initial value of ten shillings but which had been increased to eleven shillings in 1612 because of the increasing value of gold; there was a need to return to having a coin in circulation worth ten shillings.

The King is looking to the left of the coin and has the value "X" to the right, behind the kings' head. The legend on the obverse reads IACOBUS D G MAG BRI FRA ET HIB REX -- James by the grace of God King of Great Britain France and Ireland. The reverse shows a long cross over a crowned shield which shows the arms of the four countries, and the legend HENRIC ROSAS REGNA IACOBUS -- Henry united the roses, James the kingdoms.

For other denominations, see British coinage.

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