Spain (1497-1504)-S excelente Fr-136

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Goldberg sale 41, lot 4148
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg

This specimen was lot 4148 in Goldberg sale 41 (Beverly Hills, June 2007), where it sold for $4,830. The catalog description[1] noted, "Spain. 1 Excelente, ND. Seville mint. Fernando V and Isabel I, 1476-1516. Obv: Crowned facing busts of Ferdinand and Isabel, with pellet (center compass dot) between bust. Leg: QUOS: DEUS: CON IVRXIT: HOMO: NON: S: Reverse: Crowned arms of Castile and Leon, 'S' with star below on each side. Leg: FERNANDUS: ET: HELISABET. Superb example of a very popular type. NGC graded MS-63. This is one of the classics of late medieval gold coinage. Conjoined portraits of the two rulers who did so much to alter European history. Interestingly enough, Ferdinand attempted to exclude Isabella from all matters of state. Her strong personality and powerful alliances prevented her being silenced." Isabel was queen of Castile 1474-1504; Ferdinand king of Navarre and Aragon 1479-1516; their joint rule dates 1479-1504. This type was struck after 1497 at Burgos, Cuenca, Granada, Seville, Toledo and Segovia. It is priced the same as a double excelente but is much scarcer. The excelente was nominally equal to a ducat. The Seville product came with a variety of mintmarks; this specimen shows a six pointed star underneath each "S".

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: gold, this specimen 3.51 grams, 21.69 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Cayón-2875, Fr-136.


  • 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.
  • Cayón, Adolfo, Clemente Cayón and Juan Cayón, Las Monedas Españolas, del Tremis al Euro: del 411 a Nuestros Dias, 2 volumes, Madrid: Cayón-Jano S.L., 2005.
  • Calicó, Xavier, Numismática Española: Catálogo General con Precios de Todas las Monedas Españolas Acuñadas desde Los Reyes Católicos Hasta Juan Carlos I, 1474 a 2001, Barcelona: Aureo & Calicó, 2008.
  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, and Larry Goldberg, Goldberg Sale 41: Ancient & World Coins, Beverly Hills, CA: Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, 2007.

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