Francis and Mary (1542-67) lion, 1559, reissued in 1575.
Also known as a hardhead, this coin was worth one and a half pence Scots. Mary's coinage is divisible into five phases, reflecting her early life, two marriages and two widowhoods.
This billon coin offers an example of the second period coinage, 1558-60, during Mary's marriage to Francis, the French dauphin. The obverse design features a crowned FM monogram for Francis and Mary, each side flanked by a dolphin. The dolphin was the heraldic emblem of the dauphin of France, Francis. The monogram is countermarked with star and heart. A crowned lion rampant is at design on the reverse.
The Latin inscription reads 'FRA ET MA D G R R SCOT D D VIEN' on the obverse. This translates as: Francis and Mary King and Queen of Scots and Dauphin and Dauphine of Vien. The reverse legend quotes ' VICIT VERITAS', which means 'truth conquers', followed by the date. When James VI inherited the Scottish throne in 1567, there was a large problem with forgeries. Hardheads and placks originally issued under Mary were therefore recalled in 1575. Coins that were found to be genuine were re-issued with a countermark depicting a heart and star, the arms of the Earl of Morton who was regent at that time, as a mark of authenticity.