Edward VI, Tudor King 1547-1553

Tower Mint, London. Third period of 1550-1553. Tun mintmark on each side. Very rare. Two “sovereigns” were minted during this brief reign, the larger “fine sovereign” valued at 30 silver shillings, and this slightly smaller coin, valued at 20 silver shillings. Each coin represented a massive amount of wealth at the time, and tended to be seen only at Court or in large commercial exchanges. An entirely new design had appeared a couple of years earlier (Second Period) and continued on this issue: on the obverse, a half-length crowned image of the king facing right wearing armor, with a long sword over his right shoulder and carrying the golden orb in his extended left hand; a large open field surrounded him. The reverse also offered a new motif never seen previous to this reign: a central, crowned royal shield “supported” by a crowned lion and a unicorn, with the royal emblem “ER” beneath.

Exceptionally well detailed, including a sharp glimpse of the boy-king’s face, with some luster and choice surfaces. The legends are crisp and fully contained within the rim. A charming coin from this tragic reign, and one of the first truly Renaissance coins of England.