World Coins

Charles I gold medal offered in upcoming Noonans auction

This gold 1643 Peace or War medal of Charles I marks an important moment in the English Civil War. Noonans offers the medal at auction Nov. 23.

Images courtesy of Noonans.

Charles I of England was a central figure in the English Civil War, from which numerous numismatic objects have descended.

A gold medal issued in 1643, some six years before he was executed, is part of Noonans Nov. 23 auction in London of the Jerome J. Platt Collection of 17th century medals.

Charles I reigned as King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from March 27, 1625, until his execution Jan. 30, 1649.

The Peace or War medal was designed by Nicholas Briot. The obverse shows a laureate draped bust of Charles I facing right, with inscriptions noting his royal title.

The reverse bears the Latin legend VTRVMQVE PARATVS, which translates roughly to “ready for either alternative” or “prepared for both,” with a crossed sword and olive-branch.

This medal, issued soon after Prince Rupert’s taking of Bristol, and bearing the symbols of the olive branch and the sword, appears to have been intended to announce the king’s confidence in his own position and readiness to embark on either of two courses, the firm said.

The medal type is cataloged as Eimer 142 in British Commemorative Medals and Their Values by Christopher Eimer, but is unlisted in gold (bronze and silver versions also exist).

The medal weighs 10.24 grams and measures 29 millimeters in diameter, or slightly lighter and smaller than a copper-nickel clad Kennedy half dollar.

The medal has been plugged above the king’s head, and tooled (metal moved/repaired) in the fields, particularly on the reverse, but is otherwise Nearly Extremely Fine, according to Noonans, which has assigned a pre-sale estimate of £2,000 to £2,600 ($2,298 to $2,987 in U.S. funds).

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