Florin (English Coin)
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Florin English Coin

The English florin, sometimes known as the leopard or double leopard was an attempt in 1344 by Edward III to produce gold coinage suitable for use in Europe as well as in England. It was struck from 108 grains (6.99829 grams) of nominal pure ('fine') gold and had a value of six shillings (equivalent to 72 modern pence).[1][2][3]

The continental florin, based on a French coin and ultimately on coins issued in Florence in 1252, was a standard coin (3.5 g fine gold) widely used internationally. The newly-introduced English florin was underweight for its value, resulting in it being unacceptable to merchants. It was withdrawn in August 1344 after only a few months in circulation and replaced by the more popular gold noble (9 g gold, valued at 6s 8d).


The obverse of the coin shows the king enthroned beneath a canopy, with two leopards' heads at the sides; the legend is EDWR D GRA REX ANGL ? FRANC DNS HIB ("Edward, by the Grace of God King of England and France, Lord of Ireland"). The reverse shows the royal cross within a quatrefoil, a leopard in each spandrel; the legend is IHC TRANSIENS PER MEDIUM ILLORUM IBAT ("But Jesus passing through their midst went his way", from Luke 4:30).

Surviving coins

Only four examples of the coin are known to exist. Two were discovered in the River Tyne in 1857, and are now held by the British Museum. One was discoved in 2006 and was sold at auction for £460,000, then a record price for a British coin.[4] The fourth was according to a 2021 announcement found along with a noble in October 2019 near Reepham, Norfolk.[5]

A 2013 list included the coin as one of the most expensive in the world.[6]


  1. ^ Great Britain Royal Mint (1906). Catalogue of the Coins, Tokens, Medals, Dies, and Seals in the Museum of the Royal Mint (volume 1 ed.). H.M. Stationery Office. p. 40. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Emma Howard (August 2018). Coins of England & the United Kingdom 2018: Predecimal Issues. Spink. ISBN 978-1-907427-63-3.
  3. ^ Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom. 46th edition standard catalogue of British coins, 2011.
  4. ^ "News - The Scotsman". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ "Gold coins lost in Black Death confusion found in Reepham". BBC News. 20 June 2021.
  6. ^ "The 10 Most Expensive Coins and Banknotes in the World". mentalfloss.com. 2013-11-12. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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