Early Medieval coin guide

Early-Medieval Visigothic 'pseudo-imperial' gold tremissis

The coins of early medieval England are extremely varied ranging from the early gold and silver coins of the 7th century with their pictorial designs and little or no inscription to the Late Anglo-Saxon pennies of the 11th century which give names of kings, moneyers and mint places.

Around 2,000 coins dating to this period have so far been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and these are helping to further our understanding of how early medieval coins circulated and were used. All early medieval coins are important, regardless of condition, and it is important that all are recorded. Our database overlaps significantly with the Early Medieval Coin Corpus (also known as the EMC) based at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge. We work closely with them, so coins reported to us, will have their details passed on.

This guide has developed over several years and will continue to do so over time. It provides an introduction to the coins of the period, a visual aid to identification of coins commonly found in England and Wales, and will allow for easy searching of the database. You can search on any early medieval ruler in England and a number of foreign rulers, as well as broader categories of coins such as the coins produced by certain kingdoms.

You can also search by denomination, although the vast majority of coins listed are either 'sceattas' or 'pennies'. By the late 10th century, the mint places of coins are regularly listed and these can also provide a useful search tool.

Latest notable coins

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 2,597 examples.

PAS record number: GLO-DECE34

Record: GLO-DECE34
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver Sceat, Series L Type 15a, dated to AD 710-750, Obverse description: Diademed right facing bust with cross in front Reverse description:…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: NMS-B53BC9

Record: NMS-B53BC9
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver penny of Harold I, Fleur-de-lis type, moneyer Brunstan of Thetford, North 803, weight 1.10g, c.1038-40
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: SUSS-9DD4D6

Record: SUSS-9DD4D6
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: An Early Medieval silver penny of Coenwulf of Mercia (AD 796-821). North Group II type, dating from c. AD 805-810. Mint of Canterbury. Moneyer…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: LVPL-5E7AED

Record: LVPL-5E7AED
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A silver Saint Eadmund memorial penny, c.AD 895-910. Obverse, +OARI.VS (A inverted), in centre A. Reverse, +O_IICIS; cross pattee. Memorial c…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: LVPL-5E4380

Record: LVPL-5E4380
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: An early-medieval silver sceat of late Primary Phase Series W, obverse ¾ length figure looking right, holding long cross pommee either side. …
Workflow: PublishedFind validated and published by finds advisers

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