Among the surfeit of historic hammered and milled English gold to appear on the market in recent months, some rarities appear infrequently. The half pound or half sovereign of Elizabeth I is a case in point. An attractive example of a second issue half, S-2520, was offered by the Yorkshire-based auction house of Tennants in February.
The obverse of the 22-karat gold coin shows the young crowned bust of the monarch within a beaded inner circle. Around, the legend reads ELIZABETH D G ANG FR ET HI REGINA and is accompanied by a crosslet mintmark. The reverse legend SCVTVM FIDEI PROTEGET EAM [The shield to protect the Faith] surrounds a crowned Tudor shield that divides the “E R” monogram. The “E” is weakly struck.
The flan is almost perfectly round and the edges sound. With a few faint hairlines, it grades gVF-aEF.
On an estimate of £4,000-5,000, the half pound hammered for £6,500. With 20 percent buyer’s premium and VAT added, the total was £7,943 [$10,964] – a price well above catalog.
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More Collecting Resources
• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.
• More than 600 issuing locations are represented in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800 .