Henry III gold penny error expected to make £500,000

One of the first English gold coins will be auctioned by Heritage Auctions. It is expected to make around half a million pounds. 

The coin shows the name of the goldsmith, William of Gloucester. Image: Heritage Auctions. 

This example of the coin was struck using too much gold. This meant it was not viable as currency as the gold was worth more than the face value of the coin. 52,000 were produced but only eight are known today. Just three are not owned by institutions, making it a particularly rare item. 

The coin shows the King with a long cross. Image: Heritage Auctions.

Cristiano Bierrenbach from the numismatics department of Heritage auctions said: "These gold pennies were the first gold coins made in England.” "King Henry III tried to establish a trade conversion value for a coin to match the Ducat coin which was used on mainland Europe.” "He ordered the creation of a gold coin for his kingdom to be struck at twice the weight of a silver penny.”

"After that the coin was pulled from circulation and they were melted down and more gold pennies were struck at the correct weight.” "It is incredibly rare to come across one of these. It is a big ticket item and we expect it to go for higher than the estimate.” 

The auction will take place on January 8th.  

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