1480, England, Edward IV. Medieval Gold Angel Coin.
Mint Period: 1477-1480
Denomination: Gold Angel
Reference: Friedberg 139, Seaby 2091, N. 1626, S. 2091.
Material: Pure Gold!
Obverse: Winged standing figure of Saint Michale spearing dragon.
Legend: EDWARD D GRA REX ANGL FRANC DNS HB ("Edward by the Grace of God King of England and France, Lord of Ireland.")
Reverse: Central shield within sailship with cross-shaped mast, flanked by initial (E) and rose.
Legend: PER CRUCE TUA SALVA NOS XPC REDEMPTOR ("By Thy Cross save us O Christ our Redeemer.")
The Angel is a gold coin introduced into England by Edward IV in 1465 as a new issue of the Noble, thus is was first called the “angel-noble”. It is based on the French coin known as the Angelot or Ange, which had been issued since 1340. It varied in value between that period and the time of Charles I, when it was last coined in 1642 from 6s. 8d. to 11s. The name was derived from the representation it bore of the Archangel Saint Michael.
The angel was such an iconic coin that many English pubs were named after it. The Angel Inn in Islington (after which the Angel tube station is named) was one of these. The angel was traditionally given to sufferers of the disease known as king’s evil, in a mediaeval ceremony intended to heal them with the “royal touch”. After it was no longer minted, medals with the same device, called touch-pieces, were given instead.
Edward IV (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483) was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death in 1483. He was the first Yorkist King of England. The first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death. Before becoming king he was 4th Duke of York, 7th Earl of March, 5th Earl of Cambridge and 9th Earl of Ulster. He was also the 65th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.