Fine and rare Elizabeth I coins to sell
Ancient and Early Modern coins on offer at London auction
Spink is holding an interesting sale next week of coins from several eras, mostly from England.
One of the most recent coins in the sale is a Greek George II proof 20 Drachmai gold coin dated 1935, struck in 1939. Intended to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the re-instatement of the monarchy in 1935, disruption from the outbreak of WW2 meant that only 200 rather than 750 were struck.
Spink acquired the coin at around this time, and it still has a Spink packet marked "by appointment to the late King George V" (the British King George had died in 1936). With the exception of very minor surface marks it is as struck, and valued at £5,500-6,000.
Moving back over a thousand years, a fascinating piece is a gold solidus coin from the reign of the Carolingian, Louis the Pius of the Frankish Empire. There are very few examples of genuine solidii, which were created in 816-819 AD, and this is estimated to be worth up to £10,000.
The striking of the coins was associated with the Frankish revival of the Western Roman Empire, and before 816 the Franks had no official gold coinage. This example is clearly genuine and is in fine/very fine condition relative to how it was when struck (rusty dies were clearly used).
Between these two extremes of time are two Elizabeth I coins:
Firstly, an eight Testerns piece which shows a crowned shield on the obverse, splitting crowned ER, and crowned portcullis on the reverse. Notably, there is some evidence of double-striking on the reverse. This very fine and rare example is expected to sell for £6,000-8,000.
Secondly, a sixth issue half pound shows a crowned bust with a lot of long flowing hair and crown which reaches right to the edge of the coin. The reverse depicts a crowned shield splitting ER.
There are a few light surface marks, but otherwise the coin is in unusually fine condition and exceptionally attractive. Valued at £9,000-10,000 it would make a good centrepiece for a collection.
Overall the sale, which takes place in London on November 26, offers a range of coins which should be of interest to numismatists specialising in almost any area, but especially the early modern era.
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Images: Spink auctioneers