SUSS-393F48: Post Medieval Silver Coin, Gilt and Pierced as Pendant

Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
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Unique ID: SUSS-393F48

Object type certainty: Probably
Workflow status: Published Find published

I have examined a coin reported found near Chichester. The coin is a half-groat (2-pence) in the name of Henry VIII, but struck in the early part of Edward VI's reign, 1547-51, at the Southwark mint. Although single coins are not normally eligible for consideration under the terms of the Treasure Act, coins converted into jewellery are so eligible. This coin has been pierced, more or less aligned with the king's portrait on the obverse, and also, it appears, has been gilded.

This coin was issued during the Great Debasement and has a fineness of about a third silver, instead of the traditional sterling level of over 90% silver. Coins of the Debasement were not well regarded and virtually all surviving examples were finally removed from currency by Elizabeth I in 1560-1, although it is possible most of the coinage in Henry VIII's name was eliminated some years earlier. It is a surprise to find such a poorly-regarded coin converted into a piece of jewellery, though perhaps this was done because it was no longer usable as a piece of currency.

On balance, there is enough evidence to suggest that, as a coin of 30% silver that has apparently been converted into a decorative item, this object fulfils the criteria of Treasure, according to the terms of the Act.

Dr Barrie J. Cook

Curator of Medieval and Early Modern Coinage

Department of Coins and Medals

British Museum




Probably Treasure. Did not realise this was in the finds bag. Need to contact finder. 12.11.14

Evidence of reuse: Pierced for probable use as a pendant.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Donated to museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2014T911


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Period of reuse: UNKNOWN

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 0.56 mm
Weight: 18.94 g
Diameter: 0.96 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 17th May 2014

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Stephanie Smith
Identified by: Miss Stephanie Smith

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2014T911

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: West Sussex (County)
District: Chichester (District)
To be known as: Near Chichester

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Find was found in very large collection of finds by FLO, who was not aware it was within the collection. Find initially discovered on 17.5.14; Treasure form recorded 12.11.14
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Recording Institution: SUSS
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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