Antique shop find

I’ve heard of all sorts of things being found in queer places and the one pictured here is a good example. The person who sent it in wanted to remain anonymous but asked for my opinion. He said he collects hammered coins and spotted this in an antique shop. After examining the coin he decided to buy it but didn’t say how much it had cost.

This was described to me as a key ring, on which is a ‘Victorian automatic pencil’, an 1843 silver threehalfpence and (best of all) a penny of King Stephen.

The latter is roughly half flat and half Fine. It’s an example of the Watford type and looks to be perfectly genuine. The moneyer’s name, WILLEM, stands out clearly but the mint signature is off the flan. It could have been struck at one of several mints where a moneyer named Willem was an official.

It’s always worth looking in antique shops as you never know what might be on offer. Few people have a good all-round knowledge of coins and this could mean that bargains might be available. This penny of Stephen would have been worth far more had it not been pierced but even with the hole it should still be worth £80-120 to a collector.

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