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Part of a hoard found in Cardiganshire

Two gold nobles of Henry VI. (1422-1461), which form the special exhibit at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, this week, were part of a hoard of 31 such coins found in making a cutting for a new road between Tre'rddol and Ynyslas, near Borth, Cardiganshire. One of the coins was accidentally lost shortly after finding; of the remainder 21 are of the reign of Henry VI., seven of Henry V. (1413-1422), and two of Richard II. (1377-1399). The two mints represented are London and Calais, and of the two coins exhibited one is from Calais and one from London.

From the various features of the coins themselves it is probable that the hoard was deposited in the year 1424 or 1425. The gold noble was first issued by Edward III. in 1344, and represents the first successful attempt to establish a permanent gold currency in this country. It had a current value of 80 pence, and the type remained in use in practically the same form for 120 years with only slight variations.

The obverse type shows the King with a sword and shield standing in a ship turreted fore and aft. The reverse shows a floriated cross with crowned lions in its angles and fleurs-de-lis at its "terminals.

Of special interest is the presence in the hoard of coins from the mint at Calais (which remained an English possession down to 1558). The distinguishing mark of nobles issued from this mint was the flag on the stern-castle of the ship on the obverse, while rare early coins have the letter "C," the initial for Calais, in the central panel of the obverse in place of the King's initial. The coin from Calais exhibited is of the rare type with both these features. The second coin, struck at London, has the more usual "H" in the central panel.

Gold nobles of Henry VI

Western Mail, 1932

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