Charles the Bold, Denier

This coin had already been tentatively identified by the finder, Chris Mcloughlin, as a Carolingian silver denier. However, Chris asked if I would confirm that the ID is correct.

Within the inner circle of the obverse is a Karolvs monogram and the surrounding legend reads +CARLVS REX FR. In the centre of the reverse is a cross pattee and the legend on this side reads METVLLO. Therefore, this is a Carolingian denier.

The Carolingian dynasty followed on from the demise of the Merovingian dynasty. The best known Carolingian monarch was Charles the Great (768-814), otherwise known as Charlemagne. Following on was Luis the Pius. After Louis died in AD 840 the Frankish kingdom was divided up between his three sons: Lothair ruled over the Middle, Louis the East and Charles (the Bold) the West. This and later divisions led to warfare, when those inheriting portions of the Frankish Empire decided they wanted more.

The coin found by Chris was struck at the Melle mint for Charles the Bold as King of West Francia (840-77). Anglo-Saxon pennies of the same period are at least scarce but far more Carolingian deniers were struck. I’ve heard of quite a number of examples as detecting finds in England.

Valuation

Unfortunately Chris’s coin has suffered whilst in the soil. In terms of wear it would grade about VF but the edge is bent over in two places. I traced one graded as EF struck for Charles the Bold in a recent auction and the hammer price was only $210 (about £165). In its present condition Chris’s coin would be worth roughly £60.

It might not be very valuable but it is still very interesting as a find unearthed somewhere in England.

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