Elizabeth I, sixth issue, ‘crown gold’ coinage, pound, mm. tun (1593-94), bust 7A left, ELIZABETH D G ANG FRA ET HIB REGINA, rev. crowned shield of arms, ER at sides, SCVTVM FIDEI PROTEGET EAM, annulet stops, wt. 11.23gms. (S.2534; N.2008; Schneider 798; Brown & Comber F4), an exceptional example, practically as struck, rare thus, in fact a miracle of survival in this grand condition. Certainly one of the finest known examples.
This beautiful coin is a superb example of English Renaissance metallic art. While the trend away from stock images of royalty, seen through the Middle Ages, had progressed from changes begun in the reigns of the earlier Tudors, in Elizabeth’s coinage it bloomed. As contemporary miniature paintings of her underscore, the portrait of her here and on other sizes and period-issues of this style was lifelike. Elizabeth was extremely fussy about her appearance and she wore elaborate and luxuriously decorated dresses, many of them heavily bejewelled. Doubtless, she personally inspected examples of her portrait coinage and chose designs, as it is known that she had paintings of herself which she judged to be inferior destroyed. What a regal coin this is!