Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, inherited from his father nearly absolute control over Maryland. Calvert believed he had the right to coin money for the colony, and in 1659 he ordered shillings, sixpences, and groats (four-penny pieces) from the Royal Mint in London and shipped samples to Maryland, to his brother Philip, who was then his secretary for the colony. Calvert’s right to strike coins was upheld by Cromwell’s government. The whole issue was small, and while his coins did circulate in Maryland at first, by 1700 they had largely disappeared from commerce.
Calvert’s coins bear his portrait on the obverse, with a Latin legend calling him “Lord of Mary’s Land.” The reverses of the larger denominations bear his family coat of arms and the denomination in Roman numerals.There are several die varieties of each. Many of these coins are found holed and repaired. The copper penny, or denarium, is the rarest denomination, with only nine reported specimens.