Although many coins both gold, silver and copper were found distributed throughout the Mary Rose when excavated, this gold coin was one of only six half Sovereigns.
The Half Sovereign had only been introduced in April 1545, a few months before the sinking of the ship in July, as part of Henry VIII’s fiscally-inspired debasement of the currency.
Research is being carried out at the Diamond Light Source the synchrotron science facility in Harwell to investigate the source and purity of the gold.
This coin was a complete surprise discovery when it came out of a concretion that was being cracked open by a student.
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