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Henry V, groat

This coin is from a large collection of detecting finds, the owner of which said he wished to remain anonymous. It’s a groat of Henry V, the king who became famous for his victory over the French and their allies at the battle fought at Agincourt in 1415. The first English king to set his eyes on the throne of France was Edward III but Henry V came closest to achieving that aim.

This groat was struck at London and has a mullet on the right side of the king’s chest. The mullet can be seen on more than one type but this coin has characteristics that mark it out as a groat of series C. A feature very common to series C is the flat nose of the king. Even on specimens displaying no wear anywhere else, Henry’s nose is always flat.

In the Standard Catalogue groats of this type are listed as number 1765. They used to be very scarce but I have seen several as detecting finds. It would seem that in the past they were scarce out of the ground but not in it. As more and more specimens have become available this has had an impact on selling prices. 


The coin is weak in a few places but most of both sides would grade VF. The catalogue price in VF is £575 but collectors who shop around should be able to buy them for much less. Fairly recently a specimen in a famous collection sold at auction for £260, which even with the buyers’ premium added would still be well below £575. Leading on from this, if I was cataloguing the coin pictured here for sale at auction I would set the pre-sale estimate no higher than £250 – £300.

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