Henry IV (1399-1413), Noble, Type IB, ‘Heavy Coinage’, Tower

Item Reference: C212001919 Share
Henry IV (1399-1413), Noble, Type IB, ‘Heavy Coinage’, Tower, HEN | RIC : DI : GRA : REX : ANGL . S . FRANC : DNS .’ HIB .’ Z…
Read more

Out of stock


Henry IV (1399-1413), Noble, Type IB, ‘Heavy Coinage’, Tower, HEN | RIC : DI : GRA : REX : ANGL . S . FRANC : DNS .’ HIB .’ Z . AQ, double saltire stops, King standing in ship, holding sword and shield, crescent on rudder, three lis in shield, ropes 3/1, ornaments 1-1-1-1, quatrefoils 4/4, rev. + IhC .’ AVTEM : TRANSIENS : PER : MEDIV .’ ILLORVM : IBAT :, double saltire stops, including after IBAT, floriate cross, crowned leopards in angles, large H in centre, 6.75g, 11h, i.m. cross pattée (Schneider I, 194 same obverse die; N.1337; Spink 1706). Some clipping but a well struck example. Bold Good very fine or better and one of the best portraits you could hope to acquire for this very rare series.

The gold noble coinage (23ct fine, or .995 pure gold) of this reign was officially reduced in weight (from 120 gr. to 108 gr.) early in 1412. The earlier Heavy Coinage varieties, such as the example offered here, all bear one of four initial or mint marks — the crescent, coronet, star or pellet — by which they are most easily distinguished from subsequent issues. While the style did not change from that of the previous reign, these were the first gold issues of the House of Lancaster. One of the main purposes of issuing these coins was for merchants’ use in the Flemish weavers’ trade, and in fact since Edward III the noble had existed in large part as an international trade coin, but also of course for homeland banking transactions. Numerous imitations made in Flanders undermined confidence in the wool-forgold trade in England while in Flanders Flemish law forbade use of the real thing, the English gold coin. In this reign, for over a decade, the English weight remained as it had from the previous reign, but so many imitations circulated in England that a crisis was reached by 1408. The competing coins did not represent the same value in gold content. A decision had to be reached, either to convert the imitations or to bring the English noble to the same gold value. The latter course of action was chosen as most efficacious. Fineness was maintained but the weight was reduced to match that of the Flemish piece. It is uncertain exactly when lighter pieces began to be struck thereafter, but Easter of 1412 marked the official date of change. For the early Heavy Coinage, mintage had slowed to a halt at Calais by 1404, while London Mint production continued albeit much reduced, accounting for the rarity of these coins today. London production began again in considerable numbers following the weight reduction of 1412. This brief period up to 1412 provides modern collectors with one of the most intriguing gold issues for study. Heavy Nobles are rare per se, let alone in such a condition as is seen on this strong specimen.


Period 1399 - 1413
Coin Group




Coin Ruler

Henry IV



Coin House

House of Lancaster



References Schneider I, 194 same obverse die; N.1337; Spink 1706
Weight 6.75 g

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)20 7930 6879


Receive updates on our latest coins & medals and be the first to hear about our special offers.

Follow Us

Follow us on social media for
unmissable posts and updates…