Source: Albert R. Frey, Dictionary of Numismatic Names, Barnes and Noble Inc., 1947; p. 160.
The "Noble," first issued in 1344 as a successor for the florin, was valued at 6 shillings 8 pence (6s 8d, i.e. one third of a pound). Simultaneously there were issued half nobles ("Maille Nobles," 3s 4d) and quarter nobles ("Ferling Nobles," 1s 8d).
The original design showed a king with raised sword and shield, standing on a great ship -- hence the nickname "Ship Noble." It may commemorate an English naval victory over France at Sluys on Midsummer's Day, 1340.
The name "Noble" supposedly refers to the unusual purity of the original gold, only 1/2 grain of alloy to 138 6/13 grains of gold.
Edward IV stamped a rose on each side to distinguished his new, higher-valued (10 s) "Rose Nobles." The white rose was a symbol of his family.
Under Henry VII (1485-?), a double-royal was struck, called a "sovereign" (a name that would endure for 20-shilling gold pieces).
|date||legal value||gold weight||1914 $US equivalent (1 oz troy= $20.67)||remark|
|6s 8d||138 6/13|
|1346||6s 8d||128 4/7|
|10s||120||0.25||-||$5.17||"Rose Noble," later corrupted to "Royal" or "Ryal"|
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