This is the first design group in Series Y, and the first part of the old Class I. This series was minted on the west side of the River Rance. Not only is the style very different from those of Series X, but the production technique is also different. Series Y coins were struck at a higher temperature than those of Series X. This results in coins that are less flat in the fabric and that suffer sometimes from edge cracking and porosity, as well as from weakness in the obverse strike. The reverses, however, are often very crisply struck as a result.
The dies were engraved by a very different person than the artist that produced most of the dies for Series X. The engraver of Series Y was less concerned about evolving the design for artistic ends in an ongoing way. He did improve the design a number of times, but between these changes he often resorted to minor and arbitrary differences.
This engraver was well versed in symbolism, and in this group he utilized some interesting 'variations on a theme' to demonstrate this knowledge in a cleverly occult manner.