Encyclopedia > English coin Half Florin or Leopard

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English coin Half Florin or Leopard

The Half Florin or Leopard was an attempt by English king Edward III to produce a gold coinage suitable for use in Europe as well as in England (see also Florin or Double Leopard and Quarter Florin or Helm). The half florin was largely based on contemporary European gold coins, with a value of three shillings. Unfortunately the gold used to strike the coins was overvalued, resulting in the coins being unacceptable to the public, and the coins were withdrawn after only a few months in circulation, in August 1344, to be melted down to produce the more popular gold Noble. This is unfortunate as few specimens survived of what is often regarded as one of the most beautiful medieval English coins ever produced.

The obverse of the coin shows a leopard with a cloak of the royal arms; the legend is EDWAR D GRA REX ANGL Z FRANC DNS HIB (Edward by the Grace of God King of England and France Lord of Ireland). The reverse of the coin shows the Royal cross within a quatrefoil, a leopard in each quarter; the legend is DOMINE NE IN FURORE TUO ARGUAS ME (O Lord rebuke me not in Thy anger).

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