Struck by the king’s goldsmith William Fitzotto of Gloucester at twice the weight of a silver penny, one side of the coin shows Henry in the guise of England’s first patron saint Edward the Confessor, on his throne on the Great Pavement in Westminster Abbey.
To the reverse is a cross and five-leafed petals of the planta genista – the yellow flower that gave the Plantaganet dynasty its name.
Just eight are known. This newly discovered example, offered by Spink in January 23, is thought to be the UK’s most valuable single coin find to date. Its sale at £540,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) represents a life-changing event for Michael Leigh-Mallory, who found the coin buried in just 4in (10cm) of soil on farmland near the village of Hemyock in 2021.