Great Britain 1656 gold broad

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Eliasberg sale, lot 369
Great Britain 1656 broad rev Eliasberg 369.jpg
This specimen was lot 369 in the Eliasberg sale, where it sold for $29,900. The catalog description[1] noted,
"1656 broad or 20 shillings. Oliver Cromwell. PR-61 (NGC). Milled or 'grained' edge. Commonwealth. Laureated bust of Cromwell to left, legends around/crowned arms, date above, legends around. Deep gold with deepening highlights, surfaces somewhat reflective around the devices. Scarce and desirable, especially so finely preserved as here. Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, was born in Huntingdon on April 25, 1599. A deeply religious man, he became known for his wisdom, gaining recognition when he spoke. In time he went to Parliament, where he was acclaimed for his oratory. The temper of the times was against the "divine right of kings" and for power to be placed in the hands of the people. The situation evolved into a revolution against the despised King Charles, who had tortured and otherwise oppressed English Puritans who resisted the official Episcopal Church. The Puritans, with Cromwell as captain of their cavalry, triumphed in a revolt against the king. The Commonwealth was set up, with Cromwell as Lord Protector. His tenure was brief, just long enough to create a series of coins of great numismatic interest today. He died on September 3, 1658, after which the Commonwealth foundered. The monarchy was restored, but with respect for new rights gained by the general populace. From the John H. Clapp Collection; Clapp estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., 1942."
This was valued at twenty shillings and is the ancestor of the gold sovereign.

Recorded mintage: unknown but rare.

Specification: 9.0-9.1 g, 29-30 mm diameter; this specimen: 9.05 grams, 28.90 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: CRBR-005; Fr-273, S-3225.


  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 9th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2017.
  • [1]Kraljevich, John, John Pack, Elizabeth O. Piper and Frank Van Valen, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., Collection of World Gold Coins and Medals, Wolfboro, NH: American Numismatic Rarities, 2005.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • 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.

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