Exceptionally rare James I gold coin leads Spink auction

This week, Spink is holding an auction of Ancient, English & Foreign Coins, Commemorative Medals & Numismatic Books in which some excellent gold coins are available.

Of these, the most exciting are perhaps those from the reign of James I. There are three in particular which lead the sale:

First is a good/very fine piece from the second coinage (1604-1619) of James's reign. The 13.71g coin displays the crowned king seated on throne with a portcullis below him on the obverse whilst a shield on a rose appears on the reverse. It carries a guide price of £6,000-8,000.

The other two examples are from the third coinage (1619-1625) of James's reign. The first has an obverse again with James seated on the throne, but this time one with an ornamented back. The features are clearer the whole image is more regal, with the king holding an orb and sceptre.

The reverse displays a shield over cross fleury and is surrounded by lions and roses. Remarkably red in tone, the attractive piece is extremely fine and is estimated to bring £10,000-12,000.

A rare Spur Ryal gold coin from the reign of James I
A rare Spur Ryal gold coin from the reign of James I

The top lot however is expected to be a Spur Ryal (the others are Rose Ryals) coin of just 6.24g. The Spur Ryal was a development of the earlier Rose Noble, or Ryal which was worth ten shillings when issued by Kings Edward IV and Henry VII, and fifteen shillings when issued by Queens Mary and Elizabeth I.

The obverse shows a crowned lion facing holding sceptre aloft and supporting shield whilst the reverse presents a rose over a sunburst, crowns and crowned lions around all within a tressure, pellets in spandrels.

It is extremely rare, fine and attractive and expected to sell for £18,000-22,000. Spink's auction takes place this Thursday, June 24 in London.

Collectors and investors in coins of this era may wish to take a look at this remarkable piece which was part of the only attempt to introduce a silver coinage in Tudor England.


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