News Stories

Rare Petition Crown Sells for Big Bucks

Published May 29, 2024 | 1 min read

By Sydney Stewart

On May 8, a Petition crown of Charles II sold for $1 million, making it the most expensive silver British coin sold at auction. The piece appeared in a joint sale of the Cope Collection of roughly 1,000 prized British and Roman coins, which Numismatica Ars Classica, Classical Numismatic Group, and Numismatica Genevensis held.

Medalist Thomas Simon struck the Petition crown in 1663 to convince King Charles II to rehire him as the sole chief engraver at the mint. With a strikingly detailed portrait of Charles II on the obverse, the specimen features Simon’s two-line request to the king on its edge. Ultimately, Simon’s petition failed, and Charles II did not use his work for coinage.

The Cope Collection sale totaled $8.8 million, and the auction as a whole realized $22 million across 3 days.

The Petition crown is the most expensive silver British coin sold at auction. (Photo: Classical Numismatic Group)

A version of this article appears in the July 2024 issue of The Numismatist (