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 2,552 examples.

PAS record number: YORYM-6E25C1

Record: YORYM-6E25C1
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete copper alloy blundered styca of Early-medieval date. Kings of the Kingdom of Northumbria and Archbishops of York. (AD 810-900).
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PAS record number: YORYM-6DF20C

Record: YORYM-6DF20C
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete Early-Medieval silver sceat Series X, Type 31, Wodan type with bust facing. (AD 675- 750). Abramson 2006: 15 and 74 North 1994: 6…
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PAS record number: IOW-602BF4

Record: IOW-602BF4
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) silver penny of Ethelred II (978-1016), minted by Godwine at London. First small cross type, 978-979 (…
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PAS record number: GLO-3118C0

Record: GLO-3118C0
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: An early medieval silver sceat of Secondary phase Series E (uncertain subclass); mint: probably Netherlands although possibly England; date: c…
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PAS record number: SUSS-F224B6

Record: SUSS-F224B6
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: An Early Medieval silver penny of Harold I, dating from AD 1036-1038. 'Jewel Cross' type. Moneyer: Brihtred; Mint: Canterbury. Cf. North 1994 …
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