03 September 2023
A gold 5-guinea coin of 1692 from the reign of William and Mary was one of the highlights of the St James’s auction on 28 June (lot 47).
When this coin was struck, at the end of the 17th century, its intended use was primarily at court, with the landed gentry and by banks, with the value of the coin equal to months of labour for the common man.
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The new reign, after the removal of James II as king, required a new portrait and a new royal badge on the reverse, which was engraved by James and Norbert Roettiers.
This new badge, featuring seashells beside a crowned royal shield, replaced the crowned cruciform shields found on the large gold coins of the previous two reigns.
The obverse featured conjoined busts of the two monarchs facing right. This extremely fine example, showing the ‘apostrophe flaw’ between ‘L’ and ‘M’ of ‘GVLIELMVS’ on the obverse, reached £12,500 from an estimate of £7500 to £10,000.