Own Britain’s very first colonial coinage
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Own Britain’s very first colonial coinage

Testern Coin Obverse/Reverse
Testern Coin in Box
Testern Coin Reverse
Testern Coin Obverse

Own Britain’s very first colonial coinage

In 1601, following the signing of a Royal Charter awarding The East India Company the right to monopoly on trade in the East, Queen Elizabeth I instructed The Royal Mint to mint  Britain’s very first colonial coinage  - the Testern coin.

Struck specifically for The Company’s first voyage to the East, legend has it that Elizabeth issued the Testern to demonstrate to the world her growing power and international ambitions. It was the very first currency minted for trade outside of Britain.

Nicknamed ‘Portcullis money’ for the main motif, the coin was struck in silver to the same size and weight as the era’s dominant ‘international trade coin’, the Spanish Real.

Just over £6,000 worth of ‘Portcullis Money’ was originally minted, however when the fleet arrived in the East many of the coins were melted down, and very few returned to England.

Only found in museums 

In fact so few of Queen Elizabeth I’s Testern coins survived that first voyage that today you will only find these coins in museums - and even then only a very small number of the Testern ‘Portcullis Money’ coins will be exhibited across the world.

Second ever minting of the Testern

In light of this, The East India Company has issued this special Silver coin, making 2017 the second-ever minting of the Testern silver coin.

Struck from 999/1000 Fine Silver to the exact same specifications as the 8 Spanish Real and 8 Testern coins, each coin has an impressive antique finish and features a design based on the original Portcullis money.

Just 10,000 worldwide 

Limited to just 10,000 coins worldwide, your coin has been fully approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and comes housed in an official East Indian Company presentation case.

So don’t delay. Add this incredible piece of history to your collection today by clicking ‘add to basket’ now.

Order Ref 185/T482/3
Orders and payment terms are subject to acceptance and status. We may perform a credit check.
Price £125.00 (+ £3.99 p&p)


  • Country of Issue: St Helena
  • Metal: .999 Silver
  • Weight: 26.7g
  • Diameter: 38.6mm
  • Finish: Proof
  • Denomination: 25p
  • Edition limit: 10,000
  • Year of issue: 2017

Numismatic pieces should be owned primarily for collector interest.
The Westminster Collection does not offer them as an investment and makes no guarantees in terms of future value.