Portcullis Trade Coinage
1 Testern, 1601
Royal Mint, London
Issue by The Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies, 1601

These coins have also been attributed to India. In addition to Testerns, they are also known as Reales and Dollars and sometimes as Crowns with British fractions. Testerns was the term used in the Royal Warrent authorising their production. They were based on, and intended to replace, the Spanish and Spanish American coins commonly called reales and dollars and were probably called by these names during the very short time they were in trade. Crowns and other British terms are incorrect and seem to be derived from their production in London.

Obverse Description

At centre within a partial beaded circle, Royal shield of arms crowned between E and R, both letters crowned; around, 0: ELIZABETH D:G: AN: FR: ET . HI: REGINA

Reverse Description

At centre within a partial beaded circle, crowned portcullis with chains; around, 0: POSVI DEVM ADIVTOREM MEVM (translation: I have made God my helper)

Edge Description


More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Numismatics & Philately

  • Acquisition Information


  • Date Issued

    1601 AD

  • Issued By

    East India Company, England, Great Britain, 1601

  • Mint

    Royal Mint, London, Great Britain, 1601
    The in the Tower of London and known as the Tower Mint

  • Previous Collection

    Prinze Philipp von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, pre 1928
    From Prinze Philipp von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha Collection, sold at Leo Hamburger (Frankfurt) Auction, 20 February 1928, Lot 1469.

  • Previous Collection

    A. H. Baldwin
    Purchased by Baldwin from Prinze Philipp von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha Collection at Leo Hamburger (Frankfurt) Auction, 20 February 1928, Lot 1469.

  • Previous Collection

    R. C. Lockett
    Purchased by R.C. Lockett from Baldwin for £4 GBP, date unknown.

  • Previous Collection

    Nehemiah Asherson
    Purchased from R.C. Lockett Collection, Glendining (London) Auction, 4 November 1958, Lot 3310, bought by Spink for £18 GBP.

  • Previous Collection

    R. M. Greig
    Purchased from Nehemiah Asherson Collection, Spink (London) Auction, 10 October 1979, Lot 13, bought by Dolphin Coins, £320 GBP. Sold by R.M. Greig Collection, Spink (Sydney) Auction, 10 March 1983, Lot 1675. Purchased by Museum Victoria.

  • Denomination

    1 Testern

  • Series


  • Material


  • Axis


  • Classification

    Coins, Indonesia, Working strikes

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Dimensions

    25 mm (Outside Diameter), 3.181 g (Weight)

  • Shape


  • References

    KM#1 (India - British) Pridmore 4
    [Book] Bruce, Colin R. 2008. Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1601 - 1700., 1012 Pages
    [Book] Pridmore, Fred. 1962. The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations, Part 2, Asian Territories., 331 Pages

  • Keywords

    British Empire Coins, British Commonwealth and Empire Coins