Elizabeth I sovereign, £75,000 at Baldwin’s of St James’s.

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The first tranche was offered by Baldwin’s of St James’s in October. Sold well above the £40,000-60,000 estimate at £75,000 was this Elizabeth I sovereign. A coin such as this, the largest denomination at the time, had huge purchasing power in its day and few entered general commerce or survived the melt.

This one is the best of eight known coins with a rare ‘crescent and escallop’ mint mark giving it the probable date of c.1587-88, the timeframe of the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

The sovereign has a long collecting history dating back to the sale of the W Talbot Ready collection at Sotheby’s in 1920, when it took £20.

It last sold at Sotheby’s in November 2000 for £6000 and had been purchased by Comber from Roderick Richardson.

The buyer's premium at Baldwin’s of St James’s was 20%.