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 29,343 examples.

PAS record number: IOW-163AFA

Record: IOW-163AFA
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A clipped Medieval silver halfgroat of Edward IV (1461-1470), minted at Canterbury. Light Coinage, 1464/5-1470. Initial mark: illegible (North…
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PAS record number: WMID-15F121

Record: WMID-15F121
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: silver, Medieval, penny, John (AD 1199 to AD 1216), probably Short cross type 6b2 (c. AD 1209 to c. AD 1217). Mint: London. Moneyer: Ilger. Cl…
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PAS record number: LVPL-15C7A9

Record: LVPL-15C7A9
Object type: COIN WEIGHT
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: An incomplete cast lead alloy uniface coin weight of Medieval date. The object is quatrefoil in plan with a raised central mascle bearing a fl…
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PAS record number: WMID-154118

Record: WMID-154118
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: silver, Medieval, penny, probably Edward I (AD 1272 to AD 1307), possibly Class 3 (AD 1280 to AD 1282), possibly Mint: London. Clipped. Probab…
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PAS record number: IOW-1531CD

Record: IOW-1531CD
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A complete and bent Medieval silver short cross penny of Henry II (1154-1189), minted by Osber at London. Class 1b, 1180-1185 (North 1994: 220…
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