BMC type I penny of William I

The finder of this coin wishes to remain anonymous’. It turned up on 7 October and the finder was reluctant to clean it, so I was asked for my opinion. This is an important coin so my advice was to leave it in its ‘as found’ condition. Any cleaning should be left to an expert, for amateur attempts in the past have led to many coins being devalued.

The coin found by James is a BMC type I penny of William I. As is indicated by the number of the type, this was the first issue of pennies after William Duke of Normandy became King of England.

On the obverse the crowned head of William faces left and has a sceptre in front. Within the inner circle on the reverse is a cross fleury and the surrounding legend reads +FRONA ON DIORBI. Therefore, the moneyer is Frona and the mint is Derby. This combination of reign, type, mint and moneyer is known but is extremely rare.

All the detail is clear but the overall appearance of the coin is not particularly attractive. Its appearance could be improved by skilful cleaning but, as I’ve already said, this should be left to an expert. This is a coin of considerable rarity and would be of great interest to collectors specialising in the Norman period.

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