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Lot 30114

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 30114
Date (1544-47)
Country Great Britain
Service Catalog # 760302
Denomination Sovereign
Description Henry VIII gold Sovereign ND, S-2291, North-1825 (very rare), VF Details (Graffiti) NGC. 3rd Coinage (1544-47), Southwark mint, "S" mm, value of 20 shillings, made of 20ct gold. At first glance, this coin appears to be well worn. In fact, much of the softness was caused by an inadequate strike, as proven by the sharp details remaining on about three-quarters of the small face of the king seated on his throne. Nevertheless, much of the design is not well detailed. The flan itself, however, is broad, with almost the entire outer rim showing on each side; it is only slightly wavy, and the faults determining the grade are ancient scratches on both sides. The color is a mixture of golden hues. The legends are entirely readable. The reverse legend in Latin translates to mean "But Jesus, passing through the midst of them, went His way" (Luke iv:30). J.J. North describes this period in history as a time when Henry had just depleted the immense treasury left to him by his father, in response to which the unwell king decided to debase his money. On the sovereign, fineness dropped from 23ct to 20ct; only the early Tower mint sovereigns of this 3rd Coinage were of 23ct, thus the coin offered here is of the debased variety. Henry's son's treasurers would need to correct the situation within a decade of the issuance of this piece, in order to pay down Henry's foreign obligations. All in all, this is a pleasant example of a rare and intriguing large gold coin. Ex: ?Colonel? E.H.R. Green; Green Estate? Partnership of Eric P Newman / B.G. Johnson. Realized $9,987.50. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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