||Elizabeth I gold Half Pound ND, S-2535, North-2009 (scarce), MS63 NGC. Tower Mint, 6th Issue (of 1583-1600), 3rd gold Coinage (of 1593-1603), struck in 22ct "crown gold" (of .917 fineness), Tun mm (minted 1592-95). A splendid example, lustrous across the flan, which is broad and of superb quality. The queen's portrait is magnificent in its details, as her face is clear, her crown crisp, her jeweled dress highly detailed, and her royal titles as large and bold as any seen by this cataloguer. Also, the outer beaded rim beyond the legend is much in evidence. The reverse is nearly as fine, but metal must go somewhere when struck under pressure. Thus three of the quadrants of the shield, though well struck, show ghosts of the six leopards passant, and some of the letters of the generally dramatic legend are also a bit soft and double struck. Notwithstanding, the crown and inner beading are unusually sharp, as are the queen's letters "E R" to the sides of her royal crest. The luster is dazzling, and the color of the gold is sheer beauty. This long reign experienced an abundance of precious metal, the gold in large part being of Spanish origin-that is, captured from galleons headed back to Spain from the New World by English privateers. It was also received in trade, as Spain's new wealth caused a commercial boom across Europe; millions of gold and silver coins flowed from Spain to its trading partners in the Netherlands, and this money in turn was traded for English goods. There was a seemingly endless flow of gold in the 1590s, when Elizabeth's fine portrait graced her coins and proclaimed England's might at home and abroad, but centuries have passed and the great majority of these once common coins have perished or been abused. How few exist in this pristine condition!
Realized $41,125.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.