Reference material

The following is a compilation of works that are of especial interest to students of the medieval coinage, many of which have been utilised in the preparation of this guide and are available from Spink & Sons. Both guides to the minutia of classification, as well as broader, more discursive works have been listed. 

General Works

British Numismatic Journal (BNJ) - The annually published journal of the British Numismatic Society contains articles relating to all aspects of British numismatics, with a bias on the material from the medieval period. Many of the early classifications of the different series were first published in this journal and it continues to provide a fine reference for current numismatic thinking.

Numismatic Chronicle (NC) - The Chronicle is the journal of the Royal Numismatic Society and its content encompasses the entire vista of world numismatics. As such articles on medieval hammered coinage found in the UK are found sparingly, even so the medieval and modern hoards section is a useful section for finding relevant and recent material.

Spink's Numismatic Circular -

  •  Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom, (London: Spink, 2005) At just £20 the annually updated Spink guide should really be a must for the beginner wishing to start out with coin identification. It lists all English coins from the Iron Age to the present day (many illustrated) with a concise coverage of the hammered coins. Back issues from the last few years are available very cheaply and will differ only very marginally from the most recent issue.
  • Spink, Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands , (London: Spink, 2002) In a similar way to the above example this book comprehensively covers the coinage of Scotland, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, Man and Lundy. A useful book but the £25 list price is rarely found, only back issues of the 2002 edition are available (and these sparingly).
  • Sutherland, C.H.V., English Coinage 600-1900, (London: Batsford, 1973) In its day this publication provided a strong history of the coinage spanning 1100 years. Now out of print and with some areas superseded by later finds and research (notably the Saxon) this book still provides a solid historical account of the development of the coinage.
  • North, J.J., English Hammered Coinage Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, (London: Spink, 2000) - In 2 volumes North's works provide a solid corpus for the identification of the entire hammered coinage from the earliest thrymsa'a and sceatta's to the final hammered coinage under Charles II. At £44 per volume they are expensive and the limited graphics within deserve revamping, however for anyone wishing to identify English coinage these books remain the key works of their type.


  • Blackburn, M.A.S. et al. Kings, Currency & Alliances: History and Coinage of Southern England in the 9th century . £75
  • Gannon, A. The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage . £60
  • Metcalf, D.M., Thrymsas and Sceattas Vol 1, 2 & 3 (RNS) £60 £55 £65
  • Metcalf, D.M., An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon and Norman Coin Finds , (RNS/Ashmolean, 1998) £42
  • Pirie, E. 'Coins of the Kingdom of Northumbria' (1996) £75


  • Archibald, M.M., & Cook, B.J., English Medieval Coins Hoards I: Cross and Crosslets, Short Cross and Long Cross Hoards, (British Museum Press, 2001) - This volume provides a useful insight into specific hoards of the period 1158-1279 and at £28 remains affordable.
  • Buck, I.R., Medieval English Groats , (Greenlight) - £15
  • North, J.J., The J.J.North Collection of Edwardian Silver Coinage 1279-1351 S.C.B.I. 39 (British Academy, 1989) -
  • Mass, J.P., The J.P. Mass Collection of English Short Cross Coins, 1180-1247, S.C.B.I. 56 (British Academy, 2001) - This hefty volume is the definitive publication on the short cross coinage with comprehensive illustration of the types and over 80 plates this is a must for numismatists and scholars, but at a price of £50 Wren's smaller book is a legitimate alternative.
  • Withers, P. & B.R., The Small Change series in 5 volumes; I: Farthings and Halfpennies: Edward I & II, (Galata, 2001, £10); II: Halfpennies and Farthings: Edward III & Richard II, (2002, £10); III: Halfpennies and Farthings: Henry IV, V and VI, (2003, £12); IV: Halfpennies and Farthings Edward IV-Henry VII (2004, £12 ); V: Small Silver, Henry VIII - The Commonwealth . (2004, £12) - These inexpensive volumes form a strong resource for an area of the coinage that has not received extensive coverage in the past. Although the beginner may find some of the classification over elaborate, concordance with other classifications and good images make these books a useful tool.
  • Wren, C.R., The Short-Cross Coinage, 1180-1247, (Plantagenet, 1993) Out of print; * The Voided Long-Cross Coinage, 1247-1279, (Plantagenet, 1993) £12; The English Long-Cross Pennies, 1279-1489, (Plantagenet, 1995) £15 - These 3 affordable volumes are an excellent starting point for those wishing to identify the coins they describe. The lack of photographic examples is a slight hindrance but is offset by the lists and tables used to ease the identification of specimens.

Tudor & Stuart

Continental Imitations
  • Mayhew, N., Sterling Imitations of Edwardian Type, (RNS, 1985) £35

Web-based Resources