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Grosso of Pope Clement X

I’ve seen lots of foreign milled silver coins that have been unearthed by detectorists but never one like the 19mm diameter example featured here. It was found during the morning the 8th of April by Kevin Wakeford, who managed to identify it as a grosso of Pope Clement X. Kevin has a 50/50 agreement with the owner of the land that gave up the coin so he asked if I could provide a valuation.

On the obverse is a bust facing right and the legend on this side reads CLEMENS X PONT MAX. The image on the reverse is meant to represent the closed Porta Santa (Holy Door) with 1675 below; the legend on this side reads APERVIT ET CLAVSIT. In the Roman Catholic tradition, 1675 was a Holy Year or Jubilee and was a great religious event when, amongst other things, sins could be forgiven.

Back in 1675 most English people were not at all keen on Catholics. One of the reasons for the Civil Wars’ of the 1640’s was the widespread belief that King Charles I was too close to Catholicism. Leading on from this, it seems peculiar that a coin like this was in someone’s possession at a time that England was staunchly Protestant.


Last month an EF example of the same coin was sold at auction and the hammer price was $120. Kevin’s coin would grade about VF at best. It’s a highly unusual con as a UK find but is not rare in itself so in its present condition my price range would be no higher than £30-40.

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