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Auction: 22027 - The "Ellerby Area" Hoard of English Gold Coins
Lot: 101

The Remarkable "Ellerby Area" Hoard of English Gold Coins (1610-1727) | NGC F15 | *Top Pop* | Charles II (1660-1685), Guinea, 1675, CRAOLVS II [sic] DEI GRATIA, fourth laureate head right, rev. no stop after HIB, crowned shields cruciform, emblem-adorned sceptres in angles, six strings to harp, edge obliquely milled, 8.14g [125.6grns], 6h (PAS: YORYM-18E848 = BM 2019 T668/83 this coin; MCE 72 variety; Farey 163 [ER]; EGC 252 [R4]; Spink 3344), flecked and scuffed in otherwise residually lustrous fields, strictly fine, the reverse marginally bolder, the extraordinary die-sinker's error exceptionally clear, excessively rare, and the second finest of only four to appear at global public auction this millennium, with NGC 'Ellerby' Certification, graded F15 (#6380983-083) [Single Finest Certified]

Mystery surrounds this truly extraordinary error, was it deliberate or a genuine mistake by a bleary-eyed and befuddled die sinker unfamiliar with the correct latin spelling for his King? Careful examination of the RA punches would indicate that the R was in fact double-entered with no further evidence or attempt to rectify the error. Besides the 'N in Shield' 1836 Sovereign, this must stand as one of the most overt, implausible and frankly ridiculous errors in the long and illustrious history of English coinage. Bizarrely all of the few known examples appear in heavily circulated grades suggesting the error slipped the attention of even the most eagle-eyed numismatists until an exhibition of a pair of examples at a Numismatic Society gathering in 1867. However convenient it may be to give an 'ignorance is bliss' excuse in this regard, it is tantalising to think that such a move was a deliberate protest by a disgruntled Mint employee in light of the King's 'Great Stop of the Exchequer' for 18 months from early in 1672, restricting the abilities of gold merchants such as Elmes Spinckes, one of the noble Spink Auction family's earliest goldsmiths, from loaning and collecting debts from all strata of society up to the King himself.

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