Rare Gold Coin from War of Roses Battlefield Goes to Auction

November 15th, 2012 by

A rare, large gold coin from 1484 found on Bosworth Field in England, site of the death of King Richard III and the last battle of the Wars of the Roses, is slated to go to auction December 4th in London.

Minted the year before the battle, the coin carries the image of a ship on one side, and the winged figure of St. Michael spearing a dragon on the other. Excitingly, it also carries a royal coat of arms featuring the boar’s head of Richard III.

From the excellent condition of the coin and the location it was found, it is assumed that it was lost by a high-ranking noble in the battle.  Even in the era when it was minted, the coin’s face value represented nearly two weeks’ wages for a skilled artisan – not the type of coin that would be casually lost and not recovered.  The location of coin’s discovery adds to its already spectacular numismatic value. and has set the expected auction price at between £12,000 and £15,000 ($19,000 to $24,000).

(from the Leicestershire Mercury newspaper)