Great Britain: Edward VI (1547-53) gold Sovereign ND,...
A Golden Sovereign from a Fleeting Moment in HistoryEdward VI (1547-53) gold Sovereign ND, S-2433, N-1906, very rare, 2nd Period issue, Y mintmark (struck 1549-50, in fact minted for only 16 months), AU55 PCGS, normal weakness of detail in the centers, a problem seen on the vast majority of this reign's gold and silver coinage, and yet some luster remains, the king's miniature face is unusually well detailed, the surfaces show few abrasions, and the flan is broad and therefore the surrounding legends are fully present and sharply delineated. An early Sovereign coin (Edward being only the second English monarch to issue one) of historical import showing the enthroned boy-king facing his subjects, holding the implements of power. In fact, his grasp was tenuous as he was sickly and his realm was governed by men (the Lord Protector Somerset and more insidiously by the Duke of Northumberland) whose best intentions were not to sustain the Tudor dynasty. Tried for various felonies including treason, neither of them outlived their king; their scheming influence quickly waned but court intrigue did not. King Edward inherited his powerful father's throne at the tender age of nine, frail since birth but intellectually keen, having been schooled in the classics at which he was adept; the greedy factions at court manipulated him incessantly, and although he possessed Henry VIII's obstinacy it was to no avail, as his body let him down, his health began its final decline some time in 1552, and he died on July 6, 1553, at the age of sixteen, at which moment the monarchy passed to his sister, Mary. Aside from pictures and royal artifacts seen in museums, only Edward's gold Sovereign remains for us to ponder as the best testament to his swiftly passing symbolic strength.
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