Diameter: 38.000 mm
Weight: 47.480 g
Coins and Medals
Gold 5 unites of King Charles I ('Juxon Medal'), probably from dies engraved by Abraham Vanderdoort
England, AD 1630s-40s
A royal gift made on the scaffold?
This unique piece hovers between being a coin and a medal. In terms of its weight and gold content it is a five unite (that is £5) coin, although this very high value denomination was not then being produced for ordinary currency. It has sometimes been called a pattern coin, one produced to showcase a proposed new design, but the unusually high relief would always have made it unsuitable for normal coinage. The legend on the reverse of the coin, Florent Concordia Regna ('United kingdoms flourish'), is that used on the currency gold unites. It refers to the three kingdoms of England, Ireland and Scotland united under the Stuart dynasty. The coin was probably made to serve as a presentation piece, to be given by the king as a gift or favour. Special coins like this were a fashion of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Smaller, similar coins, equivalent to one unite, are also known.
According to tradition, Charles I (reigned 1625-49) gave this piece to William Juxon, the Bishop of London, on the scaffold just before his execution.
J.J. North, English hammered coinage II (London, Spink and Son, 1991)
C. Adolfo and J. Cayon Herrero, Las monedas Españolas (Madrid, 1998)
B.J. Cook, 'Showpieces: medallic coins in early modern Europe', The Medal-4, 26 (1995)