This coin came in from a detectorist who goes by the name of the Westeros Digger. He believed it to be a rarity but wanted to know what I thought about it. It’s a London groat, on which the obverse starts with Edward. It isn’t Edward III, so is it a straightforward coin of Edward IV? Well, it is and it isn’t!
The mint mark on both sides is halved sun and rose. Therefore, it’s a groat of type XXII and is attributed to Edward IV or V. The halved sun and rose mark was first placed on coins some time before the death of Edward IV on 9 April 1483 and it continued to be used during the brief reign of his son, Edward V, from the time he came to the throne. The same mark was used for a short time after Richard III usurped the throne and again later on during his reign. Groats of this type are not of great rarity but as they are historically important they are keenly sought after.
In terms of circulation wear this coin would grade nearly VF. A negative point is its surfaces, which are grey and unattractive in appearance. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, collectors today focus much more on condition than rarity. A fairly common coin in an unusually high grade of preservation can sell for a huge premium over the catalogue price. Sale catalogues sometimes refer to coins having ‘cabinet toning’; this term is applied to coins that have acquired a very attractive tone over a very long period of time. When it comes to value, the grade of a coin (Fine, VF, etc.) is very important but just as important is its overall appearance.
This Edward IV-V groat is rare and hasn’t seen much circulation but it scores low on eye appeal. After considering its plus and minus points, if I was cataloguing this coin for sale at auction then I would set the pre-sale estimate no higher than £1,500-1,800 and would expect the hammer price to be within that range.
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