Edward IV Quarter Ryal

Like many detectorists, Philip Dadd has a 50/50 agreement with a landowner through which he hands over half the value of anything he finds. Pictured here is a very recent find, for which Philip asked for a valuation figure.

This rather outstanding find is a gold quarter ryal of Edward IV, which was struck during the light coinage of the first reign of this king. Set within a large quatrefoil on the obverse is a shield bearing the quartered arms of England and France; the quatrefoil has pellets in the spandrels. Above the shield is a Gothic letter E flanked by pellets, to the right is a sun, to the left a rose and below is a fleur de lis. The legend, punctuated by trefoils, reads EDWARD DI GRA REX AnGL &.

In the centre of the reverse is a rose set upon a sun and the legend on this side reads EXALTABITVR IN GLORIA with a rose after the letter A. The mint mark on both sides is a crown. The type is Blunt and Whitton VII.

In the Standard Catalogue type VII is listed as number 1965; in J.J. North’s English Hammered Coinage it is number 1560. The type is discussed in more detail in Lord Stewartby’s English Coins 1180-1551 on page 423.

Stewartby mentions an early variety of type VIIa being extremely rare; this has on the obverse pellets flanking the E over the shield and in the spandrels of the quatrefoil. After a lengthy search I failed to tack down a specimen with the obverse legend ending with AnGL & and with a rose at the end of the reverse legend.

The Edward IV ryal and its fractions were new denominations when they were introduced in 1465. All were struck in large numbers so, as could be expected, there are several varieties of the main types. There might be others exactly the same as Philip’s find but if so then I haven’t managed to trace any of them.

Valuation

Philip has not made any attempt to clean the coin and soil can still be seen in the background of the detail and lettering. However, it is well struck on a round flan and is in VF condition. I’d set a pre-sale auction estimate at £1,200 – £1,500 but if two specialist collectors got into a bidding battle it might push through the higher figure.

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