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Edward IV quarter ryal

This rather attractive hammed gold coin was found by Peter Wearing. I was told it was unearthed 30-40 years since and Peter has now decided to sell it, so he said that any advice would be welcome. It would probably achieve the highest price if sold at auction, so I advised him on the best route to take.

The coin is a quarter ryal of Edward IV, which was struck during his first reign. Within a quatrefoil on the obverse is a shield of arms, with a letter E above, a rose to the left, a sun to the right and a fleur de lis below. In the exterior angles of the quatrefoil are trefoils. The mint mark on this side is a large fleur de lis.

In the centre of the reverse is a large radiant sun. Unfortunately, the mint mark on this side isn’t clear. There is a large space at the end of the legend and a rosette at the start of it. All the characteristics mentioned add up to this quarter ryal being an example of class VII. In the Standard Catalogue it is listed as number1965.

In English Coins 1180-1551 Lord Stewartby discusses coins of the type. He lists quarter ryals with mint mark fleur de lis as class VIIb and VIIc, saying that there is a possibility that they were struck at York. Only class VIIb has a rose and a sun by the shield on the obverse; this has mint mark fleur de lis on the obverse and crown on the reverse. The type is said by Lord Stewartby to be extremely rare. I did some research in an attempt to trace another example but couldn’t find one.


Besides being a great rarity, this coin is also in wonderful condition. It is well struck and would grade VF. It is difficult to give a valuation figure on something as rare as this, for I haven’t traced an example being sold. A pre-sale auction estimate shouldn’t be any lower than £2,000. Quite what the eventual hammer price would be would depend on the competition between prospective buyers in a saleroom.

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