Great Britain. `Fine Work` 5 Guineas, 1701

Great Britain. `Fine Work` 5 Guineas, 1701. S.3456; Fr-310. William III. Exceptionally sharp in strike with fine hair detail not seen in other high-grade example. William III ruled alone after the death of his wife (Mary II) until his own demise on 8th March 1702 following a serious fall from a horse. The `Fine Work` gold coins of William III are among the most spectacular of the period. Seldom attributed to any particular purpose, but probably the work of John Croker, who seems to have been responsible for the experimental portraits all done within a few years of this, probably including those used on the piedfort Proof halfcrowns, the `flaming hair` shillings (S.3515), and the gold pieces of 1701 featuring the king adorned in what must be a fancy periwig hairpiece. The 5 Guinea coin, of course, shows this wonderfully detailed, deeply cut engraving off to best advantage. Seems better than the numerical grade given as the surfaces are glassy or prooflike and gleaming with luster, and it is exceptionally well struck even for this style. The king`s locks are engraved as a chisel might cut into the finest marble, of exceptional fineness, and the reverse design is equally bold. The gold itself is lovely, without flaws of any real note. tied with the best of these, as several exist in Mint State. One of the most beautiful coins in any ... read more