England (1561-64) 1/2 pound Fr-223
"Elizabeth I gold Half Pound ND (Milled, 1561-68/70), made of crown gold, star mm (struck 1561-64), AU55 NGC, a coin having exceptional eye appeal for a lot of reasons: the barest hint of wear, an almost perfectly round flan with incredibly smooth and lustrous surfaces, and only slight waviness to it, splendid detail of the queen in her bejeweled dress with long locks flowing out of her crown and down her back, on the reverse the royal shield showing marvelous and even detail, the crown above splendidly engraved and struck, legends entirely sharp, triangle-shaped border teeth remarkably even in strike and uniformly present, surfaces not perfect but still exceptionally pleasing despite a single long fine and ancient hairline scratch from one point of the obverse star mm into the field above the queen's face, and the whole made simply beautiful by its rich reddish gold toning. Wow! The cataloguer has both written about and handled slightly finer pieces, but not in years, and this coin is so impressive that it would make anyone beam with ownership. It has an historical presence that in a way is priceless, except that it is presently for sale to the highest bidder. Our estimate deserves to be exceeded. From the Highlands Park Collection of British Coins."The second specimen was lot 20120 in Ponterio sale 176 (Chicago, August 2013), where it sold for $15,275. The catalog description noted, "GREAT BRITAIN. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. Half Pound, ND (1562-64). Star. Milled Coinage. Handsome Milled Half Pound Crowned bust left wearing elaborate dress. Bust D. Crowned square topped arms; ‘E’ and ‘R’ flanking. A handsome example of this milled type. This is highest denomination from the series, as the milled Pound was never struck. The lightly cleaned surfaces have retoned back to a golden yellow hue. Very Fine Plus. Ex: Lubbock, 1985." This half pound was tariffed at ten shillings. Milled half pounds are much scarcer than the hammered issues such as Fr-203.
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: gold, 90 grains, the second specimen 84.3 grains.
Catalog reference: North-2019/3; S2543, Schneider-757, Fr-223.
- 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.
- Tucker, Warren, Scott Cordry and John Kraljevich, Heritage Sale 3010: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2010.
- Ponterio, Richard, and Bruce Roland Hagen, Ponterio sale 176: The Thos. H. Law Collection of English Gold Coins, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers, LLC, 2013.
- Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
- Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.