A RARE medieval coin which was unearthed by an amateur detectorist is to go on show.

The silver penny, which depicts Malcolm IV of Scotland, is to be exhibited in Dunfermline, which was granted city status last year. The 12th-century coin is being displayed near the historic Abbey where Malcolm is buried and where Dunfermline’s city status was conferred in October.

The relic will be on show in the reading room at Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries until June 30.

Kirke Kook, a curator at OnFife, which runs the exhibition venue, said: “The coin is a reminder of Dunfermline’s role as a seat of royal power in medieval Scotland and is the oldest Scottish coin in our collection.

“It also offers a rare and tantalising glimpse into the life and reign of a young king who faced many challenges during his relatively short time in power.”

Letters Patent, the formal documents that confirmed Dunfermline as a city, will also be exhibited for the first time, alongside the coin. Thought to be only the fifth of its type discovered, the coin measures 2cm in diameter and was found in a field near Aberdour, Fife, in 2020.

The National: The coin was found in a field in FifeThe coin was found in a field in Fife (Image: PA)

Malcolm was only the second Scottish monarch to issue coins, the first being his grandfather David I. The coin set for display was probably minted in the Borders, at Roxburgh or Berwick. One side features the bust of the crowned king – with his face just visible – flanked with sceptres. The other shows a medieval symbol known as the cross fleury. Malcolm, who lived from 1141-65, was only king for 12 years, which means objects related to his reign are uncommon.

He became monarch in 1153 but throughout his reign he was dogged by ill health and was threatened by other claimants to the throne. Malcom died with no acknowledged heirs and was succeeded by his younger brother William the Lion.