Nearly 600-Year-Old Gold Coin From the King Who Reigned Twice

by Heritage Auctions

Published on September 24, 2020

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King Henry VI of England was not only the King of England, but he was King twice! Ruling during a period of war and instability--the Hundred Years War--he came to power the first time at only nine months old. The baby king was watched over by advisors who ruled in his stead until 1437, when he was declared fit to rule. It was during his earlier years, between 1422 and 1430, when a wonderful gold coin was struck that is now coming up for bid at Heritage Auctions.


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King Henry VI of England was not only the King of England, but he was King twice! Ruling during a period of war and instability--the Hundred Years War--he came to power the first time at only nine months old. The baby king was watched over by advisors who ruled in his stead until 1437, when he was declared fit to rule. It was during his earlier years, between 1422 and 1430, when a wonderful gold coin was struck that is now coming up for bid at Heritage Auctions.

Graded MS64 by NGC and struck during his first reign, this nearly 600 year old gold coin has survived in amazing condition. Known as a "noble," this denomination is rarely available in such high grades. This MS64 piece is sharp and really shows the best of minting technology in the 1400s. It is tied for finest graded at both PCGS and NGC grading services and is also the highest-grade example that Heritage has ever offered at auction.

The backdrop of the continuing Hundred Years' War, where England tried to claim the French throne, influenced all parts of daily English life, including its coinage. Political intrigue soon began swirling around King Henry VI's French Wife, Margaret of Anjou. The King had a series of mental breakdowns beginning in 1453, and tensions grew over political control and the succession of the throne.

The infamous War of the Roses was the next interruption, as civil war broke out in 1455. Henry was deposed in 1461 after losing the Battle of Towton, and Richard, Duke of York, took the throne as Edward IV. The former King Henry VI was kept locked up in the Tower of London until he was restored to the throne in 1470. His second time around as King only lasted about a year, however, as Edward reclaimed power in 1471. His glorious beginnings as a boy king ended in disappointment, as he died in the Tower as a political prisoner.

Despite the drama and difficulties England faced at the time, this coin stood the test of time and was set aside in uncirculated condition, never seeing any wear or use. Now, it is part of the James Dines "Original Goldbug" Collection! Lower-grade coins have sold for $5,000 to $8,000 in the past, so this coin from the Dines collection should bring in several bidders when it comes up for auction in Heritage's World Coin Auction #3088.

https://coins.ha.com/itm/great-britain/world-coins/henry-vi-1st-reign-1422-61-gold-noble-nd-1422-30-ms64-ngc-/p/3088-13012.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515



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