Ancient British Quarter Stater

This coin was unearthed by a detectorist named Des, who wanted an ID and a valuation. It’s an Ancient British gold quarter stater.

For ID purposes Ancient British Coins, published by Chris Rudd, is by far the best reference source. I’ve heard it said that most coins in this series have a horse on one side and something else on the other. This is an exaggeration but it does match many Ancient British coins. Lots of them are very similar and some can only be differentiated by minor details. This is where ABC is indispensable, for it covers just about everything. If you ever find anything that isn’t in ABC then you will have something really special.

The coin found by Des is an early uninscribed issue, which is listed in ABC in the ‘Eastern’ section (page 113) as the Essex Wheels type (number 2231). On the obverse is a wreath pattern. The reverse has a triple-tailed horse facing left, with an onion-like device above and a wheel below. This type isn’t in the Standard Catalogue and ABC lists it as being very rare

Valuation

The obverse is partly weak and the reverse has a flat area behind the horse but the coin is otherwise in near VF condition. I traced a very similar Essex Wheels quarter stater, which was recently sold at auction. The pre-sale estimate was $500 but the hammer price was $425. It was later offered for sale by a dealer and sold for $625.

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