SUSS-DE6F92: Medieval Coin : Penny of John (obverse)

Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
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Rights Holder: Sussex Archaeological Society
CC License:

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Unique ID: SUSS-DE6F92

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A silver penny of King John (AD 1199-1216) (class 5c - c.1207-c.1210). Found 4 yards away from SUSS-DE5307. Both coins are silver pennies of the Short Cross coinage, the type produced between 1180 and 1247. The silver content of English coins at this period was that of the medieval sterling standard, c. 92.5% fine metal.


Both coins belong to the plentiful class 5 issues, the result of a partial recoinage initiated by King John in 1205 to rid the currency of light-weight coins. Both are of quite good weight and have not seen heavy wear, so one would envisage that they had not been in currency many years before deposition. As regards their potential status as Treasure, the question to be answered is whether these two coins were deposited together on one occasion, or else lost separately and independently. In general, it is in the early 13th century that the English coinage reached a large-enough size and monetisation was sufficiently developed for coin-loss to occur on sites at reasonable levels: Short Cross pennies are probably the earliest medieval coins to be found routinely on sites productive over long periods of the currency. If the site of the find is one from which other coins of the medieval and early modern periods have been recovered, then it might seem probable that the coins were separately lost (they could easily have been deposited a decade or so apart). However, the coins are quite close in date, are in relatively good and comparable condition, and are full pennies, not the cut halfpennies and farthings which tend to dominate on sites where many Short Cross coins have been individually lost. So, it certainly is possible that, although being found a few yards apart, the coins were deposited together, albeit as part of a small loss, and thus they do have the potential to be considered as Treasure under the terms of the Act. If other finds were to be discovered on the site, this provisional interpretation of the current finds might well change. This potential Treasure case was disclaimed from the process because no museum was able to purchase them.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Returned to finder/ landowner
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1207
Date to: Circa AD 1210

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 0.9 mm
Weight: 1.38 g
Diameter: 19.09 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 13th March 2005

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mrs Liz Andrews-Wilson
Identified by: Mrs Liz Andrews-Wilson
Secondary identifier: Dr Barrie Cook

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Treasure case 2005 T225

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Complete

Coin data (numismatics)

Denomination: Penny
Ruler/issuer: John of England
Mint or issue place: Canterbury
Category: English coin short and long cross period 1180 - 1278
Obverse description: Crowned bust facing with hand and sceptre in left field.
Obverse inscription: HENRICVS REX
Reverse description: Voided short cross.
Reverse inscription: +IOHAN.N.ON.CAN
Die axis measurement: 1 o'clock

Coin references

No coin references available.

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: East Sussex (County)
District: Rother (District)
To be known as: Udimore

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
Current location: Returned to finder/ landowner
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUSS
Created: 13 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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