||George II Crown 1746-LIMA, S-3689, Old Laureate Bust, AU58 NGC. A completely original example of this classic issue, with little, if any, discernible wear. This coin has a wonderfully even and sharp strike, perfect texture to the silver alloy for the period, and pleasing, smooth, silvery gray toning with golden green iridescent hues. Struck on a broad flan and showing full denticles around the rim of the reverse. J.S. Tanner's regal lion face on the king's shoulder is to be seen only on coins of this era. What a beauty! A treasure, in two senses of the word: its silver came from a captured Spanish ship's treasure, and the coin itself is an especially fine survivor. The famous hallmark under the king's portrait was placed there by the Royal Mint in order to mock the Spanish king, whose treasure (mainly silver specie) was captured at sea off the Philippines by Admiral of the Fleet George Anson on June 20, 1743. Taking a full year with his crew to steer his own ship and the captured ship back to England, Anson finally landed in the summer of 1744. His entourage accompanying the treasure-filled wagons was cheered all the way from the southern naval port to London. The hallmark denoting the origin of the silver (from mines at Lima, Peru) was used only on silver (and some gold) captured from the Spanish, one of England's oldest enemies. The coins were widely used and in the main disappeared from commerce after the New Coinage of 1816 was introduced. Relatively few have survived of the original five hundred thousand pounds' Sterling worth struck, and a crown of this quality, with its original surfaces, captures the sense of the 1740s as well as any coin possibly can.
Realized $8,225.00. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.