Edward III, Plantagenet King 1327-1377
Third Coinage (1344-1351); the first “regular” issue of a gold coin by a Plantagenet king (Henry III issued a “gold penny” late in his reign, in the 1270s: S-1376, N-1000). Exceedingly rare. One of the earliest gold coins made in England and one of the rarest of all English coins. Of a type struck only briefly from January to August of 1344, this spectacular coin is among the few survivors (three believed known) of an issue that was almost entirely melted for gold to produce later coins. Edward is shown enthroned and crowned, holding a large orb and a scepter (symbols of majesty), with a crowned facing leopard’s head on each side of him, beneath an elaborate canopy, while its reverse side consists of an elaborate jeweled cross with a crown at the end of each beam and crossbar, inside a quatrefoil, with floral flourishes within and a leopard passant outside of each incurved juncture of the quatrefoil. The Latin legend (“IHC TRANSIENS PER MEDIUM ILLORUM IBAT”) surrounding this complex image of royalty was frequently used on later hammered gold coins; it translates to mean “But Jesus passing through the midst of them went His way”—Luke iv, 30). The only example of this issue in private hands. Perhaps the most important coin in the Tyrant Collection of English coins.
Struck on a full broad flan with pleasing surfaces, gold color, and all details sharply detailed.