Medieval coin guide

The coins of medieval England are far more standardised than many of their early medieval forebears, and give details of the issuing mints and, until the late 13th century, the moneyer of the coins. Over 20,000 medieval coins have now been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme and they have become an extremely important resource to explore the economic and monetary history of this country.

Quite a number of medieval coins have also been found bent and pierced and these coins can tell us about ways in which people used coins in a more symbolic way. For instance, the bending of coins may be related to pilgrimage and promises to the saint. It is vital that we know such information, and shows that all medieval coins, regardless of condition, are important and should be recorded and studied.

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 medieval ruler in England from William the Conqueror to Henry VII (1066-1509) and a number of foreign rulers, including the kings of Scotland. You can also search by the coins themselves, from broader categories of coins, divided into the major groupings of coins, providing information on a wide range of types in a single search to individual coin types or mints.

From the late 13th century, the range of denominations increasing greatly with both gold and small silver fractions (halfpennies and farthings) regularly issued. You can search these by denomination


 

Latest notable coins

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 27,638 examples.

PAS record number: IOW-FC4383

Record: IOW-FC4383
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete Medieval silver farthing of Edward I (1272-1307), minted at London. Probably class 3de, 1280-1282 (North 1991: 33, ref: 1053/2; Wit…
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PAS record number: IOW-FB8540

Record: IOW-FB8540
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete and possibly clipped Medieval silver halfgroat of Edward IV, Second Reign (1471-1483), minted at Canterbury (Royal), 1477-1480. Ini…
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PAS record number: SOM-F9FD61

Record: SOM-F9FD61
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: Medieval Scottish silver penny of Alexander III (1249-1286), Single cross sterling type Stewart/North (1990) Class E2/M mule, reverse of 26 po…
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PAS record number: IOW-E9D466

Record: IOW-E9D466
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete Medieval silver petit-denier of Flanders, minted at Gent c.1259-1300, Ghyssen nos. 465-82. Obverse: No legend; Left-facing abstrac…
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PAS record number: HAMP-E71FD8

Record: HAMP-E71FD8
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: An incomplete Medieval silver penny of Alexander III of Scotland (1249-86), 'long cross and stars' second coinage, probably Class Ma (Spink 50…
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