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Henry V Noble

This pretty stunning hammered gold coin was recently featured on Twitter as being unearthed by a detectorist who goes by the name of Grumpy Dad. Stuart, as he is otherwise known, said that after seven years of detecting, hundreds of trips and thousands of holes he finally managed to find this wonderful coin.

You can read Stuart describing the find in his own words in Thrill of the Find

I was granted permission to do a write-up on the coin for my website.

A hammered gold coin is a rare find

The majority of detectorists have never found a hammered gold coin after looking for one for several decades. Therefore, in their opinion seven years would be a relatively short time. However, I was once looking at a specimen in a showcase of detecting finds and the chap at the side of me said he was the finder. He agreed when I said it must have been really great to locate. He then added it was one of six he had found in a long detecting career. All had been unearthed on different sites. Detectorists with that degree of luck are few and far between.

Henry V noble

Stuart’s find is a London noble of Henry V. The punctuation marks on both sides are single saltires. On the obverse there is an annulet and a cinquefoil by the hand holding the sword, a pellet on the tip of the sword, a small trefoil by the shield (left hand side, near the bottom) and an annulet on the side of the ship. In the centre of the reverse is a letter h with the upright sloping to the right and the lion in the last quarter has a trefoil by its tail.

Extremely rare mule

All the characteristics just described tell me that the obverse is struck from a die of series E and the reverse from a die of series F. Therefore, it is a mule. In the Standard Catalogue the obverse is number 1744 and the reverse number 1746. Nobles of Henry V are discussed in more detail by Lord Stewartby in English Coins 1180-1551 on page 319. Series E/F mules are said to be extremely rare.

So, Stuart has an added bonus. He has not only found a really nice hammered gold coin but one that’s a real rarity, too. It has been reported to the local FLO and will eventually be featured on the PAS database.


Both sides are slightly off centre but from the images on a computer screen I’d grade the coin as being in VF condition. It does have a major defect, in the shape of a noticeable bend to its edge. Perhaps at some time during the hundreds of years it had been in the soil it was caught by one of the many forms of farming machinery. Being made from very high carat gold, the edge defect could easily be put right by someone skilled in working with precious metal.

What would this find be worth? Well, it would fetch a higher price were it flat rather than bent. The straightening process would be fairly simple and after this was done then a pre-sale auction estimate on a coin as rare as this one shouldn’t be any lower than £3,000.

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