The British Royal Mint is currently auctioning an exceptionally rare Tudor coin, dating back 500 years. The starting bid for this historic artifact is £950,000 (approximately $1.3 million). This coin is a true treasure, with only two of its kind privately owned worldwide.
The coin showcases the image of Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and father to the famous King Henry VIII, known for his multiple marriages. In the depiction, Henry VII is seated on a wooden throne, adorned in robes, and holding an orb and scepter. On the reverse side, you’ll find the shield of England along with a Tudor rose.
This precious piece, named “The Henry VII Fine Gold Sovereign of Twenty Shillings,” will go up for bidding in a digital auction on March 2021. If you wish to participate as a bidder, there’s a requirement to place a refundable deposit of £20,000 ($27,000). Alternatively, you can also register as an observer if you’re not looking to bid actively. Both bidders and observers must register their interest by midnight on March 1st.
Henry VII, who was also the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I, ordered the production of this coin in October 1489. It was meticulously crafted by hand at the Royal Mint, which was located in the Tower of London at that time. This coin holds the distinction of being the largest from the Tudor era, measuring 40mm in diameter and weighing 15.3 grams.
The Royal Mint, which began selling rare and historical coins only two years ago, has traced the ownership of this coin back to the Victorian era. Notably, the coin was once in the possession of the renowned banker J.P. Morgan until his passing in 1913. According to Rebecca Morgan from the Royal Mint, the chances of encountering such a coin are extremely rare, and this particular specimen is the “earliest example of a gold Sovereign that a collector can own.” She also mentioned that the Royal Mint set a record by selling a British historic coin for £1 million ($1.37 million) last year, so there’s a possibility that this coin might surpass that record.
In the past, another British coin featuring the Queen’s uncle, Edward VIII, who later abdicated the throne, fetched an astonishing £1 million in a sale. This coin, made of 22-carat gold, was one of only six minted in 1935 as a trial when Edward assumed the throne. However, they were never released to the public because Edward VIII gave up his position as monarch in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.