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Edward VI – the Boy King’s 30-Shillings

This Friday (19 February) sees the 469th anniversary of the Crowning of Edward VI at Westminster Abbey – with the young King coming to the throne at the rather tender age of just 9 years.

Despite his obvious immaturity, Edward was oft regarded as something of an intellectual, and he took a personal interest in the affairs of the Mint, a fact revealed by his own diaries.

In 1551, Edward was just 13 years old, and his involvement with the Mint produced one of the rarest and finest Gold Sovereigns produced at any time within the British Isles. Indeed, in his Tudor Coinage (pub. 1978), Christopher Challis suggests that this coin was perhaps for the use of the King himself.


Edward VI (1547-53), Fine Gold Sovereign of Thirty Shillings, Southwark Mint. Bold very fine and very rare.


This particular coin once adorned the cabinets of the British Museum in London, but was sold at private Treaty at some unrecorded time in the past.

Its rarity is beyond question – this is what is believed to be one of just eight examples currently in private hands. It was issued at a 30-Shiling face value, 23carat and 3 ½ grains fineness (0.995 fine gold), and weighs in at 240 grains (15.552g). These exquisite coins were issued for a mere six months, and feature the Mintmark of an ostrich head attributed to the then Treasurer Edward Peckham – a reference both to his surname and a nod to his family arms which featured the same symbol.

Edward VI passed away at the (still very young) age of 16 from tuberculosis, and left behind a particularly contentious (even by the standards of the time and his parents Henry VIII and Jane Seymour) succession. And of course, one of the finest and rarest Gold Sovereigns that you can own.

The Edward VI Fine Gold Sovereign of Thirty Shillings is available from our Fixed Price List for £250,000.

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