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Henry VI half noble

Steven Simmons is the finder of this rather attractive hammered gold coin. It’s a half noble, which was struck at the mint in the Tower of London during the early part of the reign of Henry VI.

On the obverse the king is depicted holding a sword whilst standing in a ship. There is an annulet by the hand holding the sword, a trefoil over the ship’s sail, a fleur de lis after hEnRIC but the other stops in the legend are trefoils. On the side of the ship is a row of marks made up of lis, lion,. lis, lion, lis.

The reverse has a letter h in the central panel and an annulet in the first spandrel of the tressure, with trefoils in all the others. There is fleur de lis before and a cinquefoil after DOmInE and all the other stops are annulets with pellet centres.

All the distinguishing features add up to this half noble being a product of the annulet coinage of Henry VI. I didn’t trace a source that mentioned the pellet in annulet stops but they do occur on half nobles.


Hammered gold coins of this coinage aren’t particularly rare. However, this is an undamaged example, which is unusual for a detecting find. The outer edge is slightly irregular but Steven’s find is otherwise in VF condition. If I was cataloguing it for sale at auction I would place upon it a pre-sale estimate of £1,500 – £1,800.

It should fetch at least the lower figure and on a good day the hammer price could exceed the higher estimate.

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