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Angel of Edward IV

This recent find came in from a detectorist who wished to remain anonymous. We haven’t had a hammered gold coin on the website for a few weeks so it’s nice to see this one.

The coin is a gold angel, which had a face value of 80 pence. This denomination turns up fairly often but most examples date from the reign of Henry VII or Henry VIII. This specimen is rarer, for it was struck during the second reign of Edward IV and is listed in the Standard Catalogue as number 2091.

On the obverse there is a representation of St. Michael killing a dragon. On the reverse is a medieval ship, upon which is a shield of arms with a cross above flanked by E and a rose. Interestingly, the fee for legal advice at this time was a gold angel, which was a very large amount of money. Unsurprisingly, there was no shortage of candidates seeking positions as lawyers.


There is a snag with this coin. After blowing up the obverse and reverse images I was still unable to make out the mint marks. A number of different marks appear on Edward IV angels and most collectors would prefer them to be visible. There is a possibility that they might show up better on the coin itself.

The image of St. Michael on the obverse stands out well and would grade near VF but the legend is weak in places. The reverse is not as sharp and this side, too, has weakness in the legend. If tis coin was offered for sale at auction then in its present condition I would expect the pre-sale estimate to be £1,500 – £1,800.

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