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 2,453 examples.

PAS record number: SF-7B42A0

Record: SF-7B42A0
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A silver Anglo-Saxon sceatta, Series QIE, c.710-750 AD. As Metcalf, 1994, p. 491.
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: SF-E9F8A6

Record: SF-E9F8A6
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A cut silver halfpenny of Aethelred II, either First or Last Small Cross coinage, however most likely the last, c.978-1016 AD. Moneyer: Aescma…
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PAS record number: NMS-BE2246

Record: NMS-BE2246
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver cut farthing of Edward the Confessor, Hammer Cross type, weight 0.32g, broken in two fragments, North 828, further details illegible, …
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PAS record number: NMS-6A2694

Record: NMS-6A2694
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver penny of Beornwulf of Mercia, partly garbled legends, East Anglian mint, moneyer's name EADGAR on reverse, North 396 (Type III), weight…
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PAS record number: NMS-6A0923

Record: NMS-6A0923
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver sceat, Continental Series E, Plumed Bird type, weight 1.05g, c.AD700-20 (field RG5)
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

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