Sovereign: Henry VIII Enthroned (obverse); Royal Arms on Tudor Rose (reverse)

Sovereign: Henry VIII Enthroned (obverse); Royal Arms on Tudor Rose (reverse)

1526–44

Part of a set. See all set records

Gold

Diameter: 4.2 cm (1 5/8 in.)

Weight: 15.376 g (0.54 oz.)

The Norweb Collection 1969.170

Location

Did you know?

The Sovereign was first produced by Henry VII in 1489; he wanted a new gold coin to represent the power of his reign.

Description

During his life Henry VII had accumulated enormous wealth, and it took his son, Henry VIII, until 1542 to squander it. Henry knew how the English coinage had been debased in the past and did not see why it should not be debased again, this time for his personal benefit. Regardless of the inevitable financial catastrophe, he grasped at this easy revenue and in his last years not only debased the gold coinage to 20 ct., but the silver also, to one part silver and two parts alloy.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Numismatics
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Coins
Medium: 
Gold
Credit line: 
The Norweb Collection

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