Mary Gold ‘Fine’ Sovereign 1553-1554AD


Code: HT108

House of Tudor 1485-1603AD
Mary Gold ‘Fine’ Sovereign (30 shillings)
44mm, 15.26g

°MARIA : (mintmark) : D .’° G .’° ANG .’ FRA | Z °. hIB ‘.° REGINA : M :D:LIII, ‘Mary by the Grace of God Queen of England France and Ireland 1553’ Queen enthroned holding orb and sceptre, portcullis at feet, date MDLIII at end of legend, reverse: square topped shield in centre of Tudor rose, within double tressure, double annulet stops. Mary, the daughter of King Henry VIII reigned for a brief five years before her premature death in 1558. All of Mary’s gold coins are rare, the sovereign being the largest of the gold coins of the period. A true rarity in English numismatics.

Now valued at 30 shillings, and of larger and finer style than preceding types, the impressive “fine gold” sovereign of Queen Mary I shows the Tudor queen enthroned and holding the implements of state, a large portcullis “stop” at her feet. Dated in Roman numerals.

‘A DNO FACTV EST ISTV Z EST MIRA IN OCVL NRIS’ a Biblical inscription in Latin on the reverse of the coin translates to ‘This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.’

An excellent design and striking, made possible by a large and evenly struck gold piece of high purity by improvements at the mint which included, for the first time, crude mechanical methods for rolling metal, cutting the blanks from sheets of gold, and striking them using techniques introduced by Italian artisans. This improvement in technology may be seen here in the sharpness of the small details in the portrait, the overall clarity of impression of the dies, and the central strike. Not all gold coins of this period claim these fine qualities and it is evident that improvements were not consistent at the mint in the early 1550s.

These impressive fine gold Sovereigns were ordered by the first indenture of the reign with Under-Treasurer Thomas Egerton, on 20th August 1553 at a fineness of 23 carat and 3 ½ grains (0.995 fine gold) and a face value of thirty shillings. The mint mark pomegranate follows the Queen’s name on Mary’s coinages and alludes to the Royal house of Aragon in Spain, through her mother Katherine of Aragon.

While this coin does have a crack (very common with the large gold hammered coins) the overall grade is exceptional, all of the detail being clear and well struck, most unusual for this denomination.

This coin comes with two old coin labels, one from Seaby who sold this coin in 1960 & one from Spink & Son who sold the coin in the early 90’s. These will be included.

You will see Mary Sovereigns sold from time to time, generally with large London auction houses & for far more than we are asking for this coin, also as mentioned earlier most coins of this denomination have flat spots, this example doesn’t.

1 in stock

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