This stamped coin, issued by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, was minted in Seville at around the time of Columbus and found in Sark in 2005. The good quality of its silver made Spanish coinage desirable among traders in western Europe, and may account for this coin's survival in damp pasture on manorial land in Sark. Reáls were legal currency in England during the reign of Queen Mary, but were prohibited by Elizabeth I in 1561. Channel Islanders used several different currencies, mostly French in origin. The Sark half reál was found lying close to a silver douzain of Charles IX of France from c.1570. Sark was a stopping place for pirates in the early 16th century. It was occupied by French soldiers 1549-53 and again in 1560-62, before being permanently settled for the English Crown by Jerseyman Helier De Carteret in 1562.