Hardly was there a reign of any monarch in modern history where more landmark events occurred than from 1558-1603, when Queen Elizabeth I ruled the British Empire. The robust portrait of this legendary lady graces the front of this silver sixpence, and the royal coat of arms – representing her domain – is shown on the back. So eventful was her reign that it is commonly referred to as the “Elizabethan Age.”
Perhaps the most important event for the fortunes of England occurred in 1588, when the Spanish Armada was destroyed in a pitched battle in stormy waters, providing the English navy with supremacy over the seas. The world also benefited from the voyage of Sir Francis Drake took around the world, and the timeless writings of William Shakespeare, both of which occurred during Elizabeth’s reign. And this remarkable queen did not ignore her coinage either, for she bankrolled a successful experiment to have coinage of uniform appearance struck by machinery rather than by hand, but this only angered mint workers who feared for their jobs, and so the project was abandoned.