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An affordable Charles I half crown, Tower Mint


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With the installation of a new sewer line on my property in the next month or so, the sooner the better (I need to budget for the $10K cost) my coin purchases currently have a budget focus.  So when this coin was available at auction, I decided to place a bid.  

This is a half crown of Charles I, minted between 1640 and 1643, which hammered at £50. As these crude hammer struck coins go it is fairly typical.  The primary issue with these coins is the often weak obverse.  This coin is no exception.  However, compounding the problem for this coin is that it was in a slab, now freed.  As many of you know photographing coins in plastic slabs is a challenge.  With a coin such as this one, the challenge increases significantly.  The primary problem with the slab, along with the reflections, is that the coin was basically nested in a recessed, dark hole, which makes lighting more of challenge.  These two factors make for a photo that is washed out, with much of the obverse detail, in particular, quite blurry. 

While this coin does have some weakness on the obverse (the reverse is generally quite bold), the die was also engraved crudely and in a very shallow relief, really flat.  

I used to have a couple of Charles I crowns, one Tower Mint and the other Exeter, but they were sold many years ago, so aside from the Oxford half pound and an Ormonde money crown from Ireland, this is a good start to adding a few of his silver coinage to the collection.

This coin was graded by NGC as VF30.  I suppose that's accurate, though I would tend to grade it an overall Fine.

Here's the photo of this coin in the holder for the auction:

Catalogue Image

Here's the coin photographed after removal from the holder. Even this photo doesn't capture the subtle detail on the obverse, but it is an improvement over the slab photo.

Charles I, half crown, Tower Mint, Triangle, 1640-1643.  From Roma Medieval and World Sale 1 lot 224.


14.93 grams



Edited by robinjojo
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Nice coin for £50. These are very often poorly struck, but they’re big and enjoyable to hold.

I’m not sure what the point was in grading one of these. Or how it gets graded, given the strike. I thought the Sheldon scale didn’t account for strike anyway.

Here’s my only Charles I halfcrown, also with a weak strike.

Charles I Group 3a1 Halfcrown, 1636-1638image.jpeg.1c3d55270fd3e19752df4bb3bd81d22b.jpegTower. Silver, 15.02g. King on horseback left with scarf flying from waist, sword upright, larger horse, mintmark tun over crown; CAROLVS DG MA BR FR ET HI REX. Oval scroll garnished shield of arms; CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO (S 2773). From the Bledington Manor House (Gloucestershire) Hoard c1910 of 11 halfcrowns.

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That's a  really nice half crown!  The flan is very broad to accommodate the legend on both sides.  The horse/rider and shield are also very nice.  Obviously your coin was prepared with greater care and better dies.

I was a bit surprised by the grade assigned to my coin by NGC, since the often very crude strikes make grading this hammered type quite problematic. 

The coin has a sticker on the slab from Heritage, where it sold for $110 about two years ago. 

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