England (1470-71) angel Fr-137

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Heritage sale 3029, lot 30112
England c1470 angel rev H3029-30112.jpg
This specimen was lot 30112 in Heritage sale 3029 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $22,325. The catalog description[1] noted,
"High-Quality Early English Hammered Gold Piece Henry VI (restored, 1470-71) gold Angel ND, MS61 NGC. London mint, made of 23ct gold, with a nominal value at issue of 6 shillings and 8 pence. This type is immediately distinctive because of a cross in the nimbus above the angel's head as well as the appearance of the letter "h" to left and a Lis to right of the cross above the royal shield at the ship's center on the reverse. Stops in the legends are trefoils, and here there are three above Saint Michael's haloed head, serving to separate the beginning of the Latin titles from their end. The legend is fully readable and rimmed by a raised line extending about halfway. The dragon is crudely engraved, but Saint Michael is finely feathered and his spear seems sharply pointed indeed. On the reverse, the ship is also sharply struck up, as are all letters in the legend, and again about half of the raised rim shows. The mintmark at the beginning of the legend on this side is a Restoration (or "pierced") Cross, curving inward at each of four ends and having an open center. Overall this is a very choice example, unusually sharp in strike on an essentially full flan, with exceptional surfaces. Minted between October 3, 1470, and April 11, 1471, this was the largest gold coin issued during the return of Henry VI, exactly in the midst of the 30-year (1455-85) Wars of the Roses, as the Plantagenets sought control of the throne, leading ultimately to the rise of the Tudors. Seldom seen and rarely so fine. Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate' Partnership of Eric P Newman/B.G. Johnson."
Lobel[2] notes that in the 1460's the price of gold rose to where nobles were being exported from England to the Continent. To forestall this, in 1464 the king raised the value of the noble to eight shillings four pence and introduced a new coin, the rose noble, tariffed at ten shillings. It was superseded in 1470 by the gold angel, worth six shillings and eight pence.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: gold, 5.18 g (80 grains).

Catalog reference: S-2078, North-1613 (rare); Fr-137.


  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Stuart Levine and Bruce Lorich, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3029, featuring Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part III, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.
  • [2]Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.

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