News & Insights

The Golden Queen – Elizabethan Coin Shines at Auction

8th February 2018.

The sale of Coins, Tokens & Banknotes at Tennants Auctioneers on 7th February saw another rare ‘white glove’ sale with every lot sold. With over 300 lots, including ancient hammered coins, English and foreign milled coins, banknotes, tokens and medallions – the sale resulted in a total hammer price of £106,390.

The highlight of the sale, however, was a rare Elizabeth I gold half pound coin which sold for £6,500 (plus buyer’s premium). Minted in London in 1560-1 (as denoted by the presence of a ‘Cross Crosslet’ mint mark), the coin was equivalent to 10 shillings or a third of a sovereign. Half pound coins of this date rarely come onto the market and few almost perfectly round and in such good condition as this example.

Other early English coins selling well included two Commonwealth coins from 1658 - the year of Oliver Cromwell’s death. Very little coinage was issued during the years Cromwell served as Lord Protector of England (1649-58), thus Commonwealth and Cromwell coinage is much in demand. An Oliver Cromwell Halfcrown sold for £1,300 (plus buyer’s premium), and an Oliver Cromwell Shilling sold for £900. Both coins were in fine condition.

The market for modern gold sovereigns continued to show its buoyancy, with sets ten of Elizabeth II sovereigns selling for between £1,850 and £2,000. One of the rarest lots in the sale sold particularly strongly – a USA Gold 3 Dollar from 1888 featuring an Indian Head with Headdress. In good condition, the coin sold for £850 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £250-350.

The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £106,390 for 308 lots.

Tennants are currently accepting lots for the next sale of Coins, Banknotes & Tokens on 9th May 2018, please contact the salerooms on 01969 623780 or for details.

Illustrated: An Elizabeth I Gold Half Pound – Sold for £6,500 plus buyer’s premium

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