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BM02605

Anne 1703 VIGO Halfcrown

Anne (1702-14), silver Pre-Union Halfcrown, 1703, VIGO. below draped bust left, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, ANNA.DEI. GRATIA. rev. Pre-Union crowned cruciform shields, garter star at centre, date either side of top crown, .MAG BR. FRA. ET. HIB REG. edge inscribed in raised letters, .+. DECVS. ET. TVTAMEN. ANNO. REGNI. TERTIO, weight 15.02g (Bull 1358; ESC 569; S.3580). Attractively toned, good very fine.

The Latin legends translate as on the obverse "Anne by the Grace of God," and abbreviated on the reverse as "Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland." and additionally on the edge "An ornament and a safeguard, in the third year of the reign."

The Vigo gold coinage represents the pinnacle of provenance mark currency coin collecting rarities, not just in the reign of Queen Anne but across the whole range of British coins showing a mark or word of where the metal was sourced to strike the coinage. The most intrepid of stories is behind the capture of the Vigo treasure as opposed to the other companies or privateers who had their mark placed upon the coins. The Battle of Vigo Bay occurred on 23rd October 1702 and it was after the Battle that the treasure largely of silver, with a tiny proportion of gold was captured and transported back to Southampton on the south coast of England. From there the treasure was brought with great pomp and ceremony to London, overseen by the Mint Master himself, one Mr Isaac Newton, to then be turned into coinage at the Royal Mint in the Tower of London. The treasure consisted of absolutely thousands of pounds in weight of silver, but a mere seven pounds and eight ounces of gold.

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