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 2,611 examples.

PAS record number: YORYM-191785

Record: YORYM-191785
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A copper alloy Northumbrian Styca of Aethelred II from his first reign dating to the period AD 840 - 844. Moneyer name around cross reverse ty…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: NMS-164483

Record: NMS-164483
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: Silver cut halfpenny of Edward the Confessor, expanding cross type, North 820, annulet in one angle of reverse cross, uncertain Lincoln moneye…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: SUR-AFB0CE

Record: SUR-AFB0CE
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: An early medieval silver sceat of Secondary Phase Series K (type 33; North 94; wolf's head left), dating c.AD720-40
Workflow: PublishedFind validated and published by finds advisers

PAS record number: YORYM-98D489

Record: YORYM-98D489
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete silver Northumbrian proto-penny or sceat dating to the period AD 680 - 710. Unclear bird type. Possibly Type B. Series J.
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

PAS record number: LON-6FBBBF

Record: LON-6FBBBF
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Description: An Early Medieval cut half of Aethelred II (AD 978-1016), dating AD 1009-1017. The obverse depicts the bust of the king in profile facing left…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind waiting to be validated

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