Mary I, 1553-1554, Gold Fine Sovereign, 1553
Fr-192, S-2488, 15.15 grams, 44mm. 'Fine' Sovereign aka: 30 Shillings. Pomegranate mintmark after MARIA. Queen enthroned holding orb and scepter, portcullis at feet, date MDLIII at end of legend, reverse: square topped shield in center of Tudor rose, within double tressure, double annulet stops, A DNO FACTV EST ISTV Z EST MIRA IN OCVL NRIS. Mary, the daughter of King Henry VIII reigned for a brief five years before her premature death in 1558. All of Mary's gold coins are rare. This sovereign, the largest of the gold coins of the period, is unusually nice for issue. Good portrait and detail. Although the Sovereigns are often creased or mishandled, this is well centered, and struck on a remarkably straight flan. Lovely, light straw-gold toning enhances this especially nice piece. A true rarity in English numismatics, and very rare so fine.
Now valued at 30 shillings, and of larger and finer style than preceding types, the impressive "fine gold" sovereign of Queen Mary I shows the Tudor queen enthroned and holding the implements of state, a large portcullis "stop" at her feet. Dated in Roman numerals. Biblical inscription in Latin as reverse legend translates as "This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes." An excellent example of this important rarity, made possible as a large and evenly struck gold piece of high purity by improvements at the mint which included, for the first time, crude mechanical methods for rolling metal, cutting the blanks from sheets of gold, and striking them using techniques
introduced by Italian artisans. This improvement in technology may be seen here in the sharpness of the small details in the portrait, the overall clarity of impression of the dies, and the centering. Not all gold coins of this period claim these fine qualities, and it is evident that improvements were not consistent at the mint in the early 1550s.
Provenance: The Pellegrino Collection