The rare engraved coin designed to impress a king

The rare engraved coin designed to impress a king

When the monarchy was restored in 1660, and King Charles II became King of England, an order was issued. Invitations to design a commemorative coin were sent to Royal Mint engraver Thomas Simon, and Pierre Blondeau, a Frenchman who helped the exiled king when he was in France.

Both engravers competed fiercely for the honour of designing the new coin, but in the end it was Blondeau who won, taking the title of chief engraver. As a result, only a few examples of Simon’s coins were ever made, making them some of the rarest coins in the world.

The coin features the head of Charles II, with his long curly hair and a laurel-leaf headpiece, on one side, and the four shields of England, Ireland, France and Scotland surrounding an engraved picture of Saint George on the reverse. A message pleading with the king to choose Simon was engraved around the edge. It reads:

“Thomas Simon most hvmbly prays yovr majesty to compare this his tryall with the Dvtch and if more trvly drawn & emboss’d more grace; fvlly order’d and more accurately engraven to relieve him.”

The experimental coin may not have impressed King Charles II, but today, the few coins that remain are considered very important, and are much coveted by serious coin collectors. Here at H Cooper Glass Engravers, we are sure that our collection of fine engraved crystal will impress the most discerning customers, also becoming part of treasured collections everywhere.

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