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Henry V-VI Half Noble

The finder of this coin asked to remain anonymous. It’s a really rare gold half noble, which could have been struck very late in the reign of Henry V or early in the reign of Henry VI.

On the obverse the king stands in a ship and there is an annulet by the hand holding an upright sword. The ship has a sail, indicating this coin was struck at the mint situated in Calais. In the legend there is a small fleur de lis after hEnRIC and all the other stops are trefoils.

On the reverse there is a large letter C (for Calais) in the centre and in the first spandrel of the tressure is an annulet. At the start of the legend is a fleur de lis, there is a mullet after DOmInE and all the other stops are annulets.

Half nobles of Calais of this type are discussed by Lord Stewartby on page 321 in English Coins 1180-1551. The coin pictured here is classed as type IB and is said to be extremely rare.


Sadly, this find has a very significant minus point, for part of the edge, 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock, has been lost. In terms of wear the coin would grade good Fine but the edge defect would have quite an impact on its possible commercial value. As it stands, a pre-sale auction estimate would be £1,000 at best and it might not reach that figure.

However, it is a real rarity and competition in a saleroom between a couple of specialist collectors might push the hammer price over the £1,000 mark.

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