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Great Britain Hammered Coinage (Elizabeth I)  1558 to 1603
Great Britain Hammered Coinage (Elizabeth I) 1558 to 1603

Trudy -- You have a special coin. These old coins from Great Britain are highly sought by a group of specialized collectors who want to hold history in their hands.

The coin in our picture comes from Timeline Originals, Upminster, London. It is a beautiful example of a hammered Elizabeth sixpence dated 1561. The inscription on the reverse, POSUI DEUM ADJUTOREM MEUM, means I have made God my helper.

The current Queen of England is Elizabeth II. The first Elizabeth ruled from 1558 to 1603. In those times, many coins were made by hammering, by hand, pieces of silver and gold using die stamps with intriguing patterns and inscriptions. Trudy's coin has a profile of the Queen, a rose, a coat of arms, and a cross.

These coins come in multiple denominations. All denominations look the same, but their weight and diameter is different. Very approximately, here are the weights in grams:

PENNY: 0.5 gram
THREEHALFPENCE: 0.75 g
HALF GROAT: 1.0 g
THREEPENCE: 1.5 g
GROAT: 2 g
SIXPENCE: 3 g
SHILLING: 6 g
HALF CROWN: 15 g
CROWN: 30 g

CoinQuest thanks Spink for use of the image with the multiple coins. It demonstrates how some of the various denominations look together.

The larger the denominations, not surprisingly, command higher prices from collectors. But that rule applies mainly to the crowns and half crowns. Once you get to shillings and below, the primary price driver is condition. The dates on the coins do not affect value -- all dates are equally valuable.

It is difficult to place values on such coins. They are rare, to be sure, compared to coins typically collected today. For that reason, the price goes up. However, the number of collectors seeking these pieces is small, keeping prices down. The equilibrium point between supply and demand ranges from $200 to $600 US dollars retail for small (shilling or less) silver coins, much more for gold coins. A silver crown in excellent condition can easily reach a $10000 figure. If you have such a coin to sell to a coin dealer, figure the dealer will pay about one-half the retail price.

The figure below shows three Elizabeth I sixpence, marked A, B, and C. Look at the differences in the coins, then look below for recent auction prices.



Coin A is in 'extra fine' condition and sold for $675 US dollars in a 2007 auction by Stack's Bowers. It would probably sell for quite a bit more today.

Coin B is in 'very fine' condition and sold for $220 US dollars in a 2014 auction by Heritage Auctions.

Coin C is in 'fine' condition and sold for $80 US dollars in a 2009 auction by Baldwin's.

As always, CoinQuest is indebted to top-rung auction houses such as Stack's Bowers, Heritage, and Baldwin's for use of their coin photos.

The value of specific coins depends on several factors:

1. Authenticity. Counterfeits abound in today's coin market. If your coin is a fake, it is worth zero. For this reason it is imperative to do business only with well known, respected coin dealers who specialize in hammered coinage. We list a few of our favorites at the bottom of this page. A good exposition of fake medieval coins is found at ForumAncientCoins.com, and an explanation of authenticating old coins appears on the Timeline Originals web site.

2. Lack of damage. If your coin is damaged, scratched, stained, marred, cleaned, or mutilated, its value will be very low.

3. Wear. As with all collectible coins, more wear means less value.

4. Appeal. The most subjective factor of coin collecting is known as eye appeal. Some collectors are willing to pay large sums for coins that look nice in their collections. With hammered coinage, this means the inscriptions should be easily readable and the devices (portraits, arms, etc.) should be clear and pleasing to look at.

Here is a list of favorite web sites and dealers on this subject:

- Timeline Originals
- Spink
- VCoins.com
- Classical Numismatic Group
- M-A Shops

CoinQuest thanks Timeline Originals for use of their coin image in our main picture. It is a beautiful specimen.

Coin: 10400 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: trudy, Tue, 14-Feb-2012 10:16:26 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Tue, 01-Jul-2014 23:25:42 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Tue, 24-May-2016 22:26:58 GMT
Requester description: 1562 ELIZABETH D NGER ETHIRE--NA AND THE HEAD OF ELIZABETH WITH A ROSE TO THE RIGHT AS YOU LOOK AT IT THE OTHER SIDE HAS A SHIELD WITH THE THREE LIONS AND THREE LEAVES THE LETTERS POSVI DEVAD IVTORE M:M AND THE DATE 1562
Tags: great britain hammered hammer elizabeth uk brit brittan brittain england britian britt english britan british brittish mallet mallot hammers mallets sledge sledgehammer elizabith elisabeth elisabet elizabet elizebeth elizibeth lizabeth nger head rose shield three lions lion leaves leaf letters monogram posvi devad ivtore rosettes rossette roses rosette arms sheild coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia arm coat crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon tiger cougar tigers greenery leafs boughs liafy bush leave leaved bough leafe leafed leafy leavs foliage script inscription letter monograms initial scripts initals calligraphy caligraphy inscriptions lettering scrip lettered initials queen cross adivtorem adivtor devm god pos adv torem dev mev queens adiv gods goddess deus deum dei diety deity godess deo dom divine dios floret flower florets blossom fler fleurs lises petals leis lisse flowerettes flur stems trefoils floral lily petels orchid lis posy bouquet flowers flour orcid bud lilly fleur lei petal bloomed trefoil floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals

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