World Coins

Market Analysis: Extraordinary gold sovereign of Elizabeth I

An undated gold sovereign of 30 shillings of Queen Elizabeth, minted from 1584 to 1586 is monumental and is graded AU Details, Repaired. The large gold coin sold for $40,800.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

A rarity in Heritage’s Nov. 5 world coin auction was an undated gold sovereign of 30 shillings minted at the Tower Mint in Great Britain from 1584 to 1586.

The coin features a magnificent portrait of an enthroned Elizabeth I (1558 to 1603) facing — or one could say “staring down” — the viewer on the obverse in a display of royal power and authority. The reverse depicts a royal shield over a Tudor rose.

Heritage calls it “an extraordinary issue from this early and beloved Tudor sovereign series” and “delightfully original.”

The coin is graded About Uncirculated Details, Repaired by Professional Coin Grading Service. Heritage advises bidders, “One which should not be discounted in the least for the repair work noted on the holder; located between the Mint mark and queen’s crown on the obverse, it likely represents an expertly mended mount removal.” The firm explained the mount, saying, “A coin of this denomination represented an enormous purchasing power in the late 16th century, and its size and natural beauty led many such pieces to be used in jewelry, often leading to cleaning, bending, and tooling.”

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