England (1594-96) pound Fr-219
"Simply Magnificent in Every Respect Elizabeth I gold Pound ND, MS62 NGC. 6th Issue, Woolpack mm (struck 1594-96). A lovely and choice coin having abundant satiny mint luster. The queen's portrait is clearly detailed from the top of her crown to the bottom of her long hair and richly ornamented bejeweled dress; the inner circle around the portrait is also really sharp. All obverse legend letters, as well as the woolpack mintmark to left of her crown, are good and sharp in detail; the reverse details are just as pleasing, showing only slight softness here and there. The flan is broad and the luster is a delightful golden-greenish hue. During all of Elizabeth's reign, the coinage was mostly silver, not gold, but her three mint-masters (Thomas Stanley, John Lonyson, and Richard Martin) were all goldsmiths. It is clear from the coinage itself that the finest portraits of the queen were employed on her gold coins -- much as had been true of the imperial coins struck at Rome in ancient days. The largest gold coins gave the view of her enthroned, and it was on the gold Pound, as seen in this lot, that the largest portrait in gold appeared. This was the mint-master's finest image of their sovereign, intended to impress the wealthy and the royal both in England and abroad, and in particular the traditional French enemy. This coin was both a political statement of power and a fine work of Renaissance art, and in this lot we see an unusually fine example."
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: gold, 180 grains.
Catalog reference: S-2534, North-2008, Fr-219.
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