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Alexander III penny

Bill Byford had been given an ID on this find but he asked me to check it out. It’s a hammered silver penny but just for a change it is Scottish rather than English.

This is an example of the voided long cross and stars coinage of Alexander III In England a similar coinage started a little earlier but it had pellets rather than stars on the reverse.

Over the years detectorists have unearthed lots of Scottish coins from English soil. Most are fairly common examples of reigns, denominations, mints and types. However, the finds have included some rarities and Bill’s find is one of them

On the reverse of this Alexander III penny the legend reads WI LA MO NK, with a large pellet stop after the M and the N. Therefore, this coin was struck at Kinghorn, which is one of the rarest mints of the long cross and stars coinage. The obverse has characteristics that mark it out as a coin of class VI, which is the rarest of those on record for Alexander’s first coinage. It is a variety with tiny saltires on the sceptre handle.

In Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands the coin type is listed as number 5046. See page 18 for details in regard to the Kinghorn mint.


Sadly, the coin has a small edge chip. However, it would grade VF and despite the edge chip it is still a very attractive Scottish penny. If offered for sale at auction I would expect the pre-sale estimate to be set at £500 – £600. I’ve a great fondness for Scottish coins and I’d have loved to dig up this one.

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