Elizabeth I, 1558-1603, Gold Pound (1591-95)
S-2534, N-2008, 11.08 grams, 39mm. Sixth issue, tun / tun mintmarks, old bust of queen left with elaborate dress and profusion of hair, ELIZABETH D G ANG FRA ET HIB REGINA, reverse: crowned square shield with E R at sides, SCVTVM:FIDEI:PROTEGET:EAM. This specimen is as nice as can be located, with a beautiful portrait intricately detailed and struck up showing the queen crowned in her elaborate dress with jewels and fancy ruff, each letter of the obverse legend crystal clear. The fields are immaculate and mostly lustrous, the reverse is equally impressive with a beautiful crowned shield, and remarkably, each letter of this side's legend is bold, as is the "E- R" at the sides of the shield. As well, the rims and edge are excellent, one tiny diagonal mark is noted (for pedigree purposes) on the queen's cheek. In short, this is one of the finest coins of this portrait type that might be found -- anywhere. It is very close to Mint State.
Sir Richard Martin who became Master of the Mint and Lord Mayor of London was born in 1534. He adopted the business of "goldsmith" and in 1594 is mentioned as one of the goldsmiths to Queen Elizabeth. In 1559-60, he was appointed Warden of the Mint, and held this office until 1594-5, and perhaps later. in 1580-81, he was appointed Master of the Mint and appears to have held this office until his death in 1617. In September 1597, he petitioned the Queen for 16 pence on every pound weight of silver coined on account of his losses in connection with the mint. He declared he had done good service in apprehending counterfeiters of the coin, and that the money made was richer by £30,000 at the least than the like quantity made by the former Mint Master.