Elizabeth I, sixth issue, ‘crown gold’ coinage, pattern half pound, mm. tun (1593-94), small ornate bust P3 left, with tall crown, wholly within inner circle, ELIZABETH D G ANG FRA ET HI REGINA, rev. larger crowned shield of arms, ER at sides, SCVTVM FIDEI PROTEGET EAM, pellet stops, wt. 5.72gms. (W&R.13 variety; N.2040; Schneider 807; Brown & Comber G20), brilliant, practically as struck and of the highest rarity
*ex Superior, 24 January 2003, lot 818
Surely one of the most appealing of all Elizabeth’s coins, the portrait here (engraved entirely within the inner circle of the legend) is crisply detailed and, comparing it to the court artist Nicholas Hilliard’s portraits of her, lifelike. On the reverse, the royal shield is strikingly detailed, while both legends are bold. The quality is highly suggestive of this being a proof or specimen strike—such coins being extremely rare but not unknown at this period. One could rave on and on about this glorious coin, but such would be pointless—the coin itself reflects what it is.