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Christmas Coin Quiz – Answers

Christmas Coin Quiz - Answers

Here are the answers to the Christmas Quiz, with the percentage of entrants that got each question correct. If you haven’t had the chance to do the quiz, it is available [here]; you will get an instant score when you complete it.


Three Kings - in which order did they reign?

Photo: © DNW





Answer: BCA

Correct: 68%

The three Kings are:

A: Edward I : 1272 – 1307

B: William I : 1066 – 1087

C: Stephen : 1135 – 1154


This coin is inscribed with “Dec” for “December” because it’s …

Photo: © DNW

c  Gun Money

c  Maundy Money

c  Siege Money

c  Special Christmas Issue

Answer: Gun Money

Correct: 49%

Gun money was issued by James II during the Williamite War between 1689 – 1691.

Minted in base metal, the intention was to redeem them gradually for silver coins following a victory for James II.

They bore the date in months to allow this gradual replacement.

The name comes from the idea that cannons were melted down to mint them.


What event in this King’s life occurred on Christmas Day?

Photo: © Spink

c  Became Duke of Normandy

c  Crowned King of England

c  Died

c  Invaded England

Answer: Crowned King of England

Correct: 70%

The King is William I. The dates for the events in his life are:

July 1035 – Became Duke of Normandy

28 September 1066 – Invaded England

25 December 1066 – Crowned King of England

9 September 1087 – Died


There is more about his life in my article William I


What type of coin is this?

Photo: © Spink

c  Angel

c  Guinea

c  Florin

c  Ryal

Answer: Angel

Correct: 73%

The angel was first issued by Edward IV in 1465 and derives its name from the representation of the archangel Michael slaying a dragon.



Which mint is this coin from?

c  Calais

c  Canterbury

c  London

c  York

Answer: Calais

Correct: 29%

On the obverse of this Edward III gold noble, a flag flies from the stern, which indicates the coin was struck at Calais.


What appears in the spandrels of this coin?

Photo: © Spink

c  Crowns

c  Leopards

c  Quatrefoils

c  Trefoils

Answer: Trefoils

Correct: 36%

This is an Edward IV Ryal or Rose Noble

The spandrels are the areas behind the cusps of the tressure. In this coin they are occupied by trefoils.

In both coins, the crowns and leopards appear in the angles of the coin.


For which King was this penny minted?

Photo: © Spink

c  Æthelred

c  Eadred

c  Edward the Elder

c  Edgar the Peaceful

Answer: Edward the Elder

Correct: 39%

This is a penny of Edward the Elder, Floral type, c 910 – 915. 



Where does the gold come from for this James II Five-Guineas?

Photo: © Spink

c  Africa

c  Asia

c  Europe

c  South America

Answer: Africa

Correct: 56%

The elephant and castle mark below the King’s bust indicate that the gold was mined by the Africa Company.

The coin’s name comes from the Guinea Coast of Africa.


George III twopence. What nickname was given to this type of coin due its size and thick rim?

Photo: © Detecting, CC BY-SA 3.0

c  Broadside

c  Cartwheel

c  Pan Lid

c  Wagon Wheel

Answer: Cartwheel

Correct: 86%

In the 18th century, copper coins were being melted down to make lightweight forgeries. As a solution, Matthew Boulton proposed that each coin should contain its value in copper. Due to its unusually large size, it earned the nickname “cartwheel”.


Which Edward is on this Groat?

Photo: © Spink

c  Edward I

c  Edward II

c  Edward III

c  Edward IV

Answer: Edward IV

Correct: 40%

Edward III Groat
Edward II Groat

Photo: Somerset CC, CC By SA4.0

Edward I Groat


Henry VIII Crown – which of his wives is acknowledged?

Photo: © Spink

c  Anne of Cleves

c  Catherine of Aragon

c  Catherine Howard

c  Catherine Parr

Answer: Catherine of Aragon

Correct: 48%

Henry VIII, with Catherine of Aragon, Crown of the Double Rose. Catherine (or Katherine) is indicated by the “K” on the reverse.

The “K” was replaced by an “A” and then “I” for Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. After Seymour’s death, this became “R”, to form “HR”.


Which type of William I Penny is this?

Photo: © Spink

c  B.M.C. III

c  B.M.C. IV

c  B.M.C. V

c  B.M.C. VI

Answer: B.M.C. VI (Sword Type)

Correct: 34%

BMC III Canopy Type
BMC IV: Two Sceptres type
BMC V: Two Stars type


Which phrase appears in the legends of this coin?

Photo: © Spink

c  But Jesus, passing through the midst of them, went His way

c  I have made God my Helper

c  This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes

c Through concord kingdoms flourish

Answer: This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes

Correct: 44%

The abbreviated legend in Latin on the reverse reads:


In full this is:


This is from Psalm 118:23 and translates as 

“This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes”


Which period is this coin from?

c  Ancient British

c  Gaulish

c  Medieval

c  Roman

Answer: Ancient British

Correct: 66%

This is an Ancient British coin:

a Quarter Stater of Cauvellauni and Trinovantes



Which letters are ligated on this Henry III long cross penny?

Photo: © Spink

c  E and X

c  N and R

c  S and R

c  V and S

Answer: N and R

Correct: 37%

The legend reads: 


Pairs of letters are ligated when the second upright of one letter, an “N” in this example, forms the upright for the next letter, in this case an “R”.



What error is present in this Charles I Unite?

Photo: © Spink

c  “C R” missing from the field

c  Kings head facing the wrong way

c  Legends are transposed

c  Spelling mistake

Answer: Spelling Mistake

Correct: 37%

The “O” is missing from “FLORENT”

The legend on the reverse should read:

FLORENT CONCORDIA REGNA (“Through concord kingdoms flourish“) as shown in the coin below


Photo: © Spink


Which of the seven issues of hammered coins of Elizabeth I is this?

Photo: © Spink

c  First

c  Third

c  Fifth

c  Seventh

Answer: Seventh

Correct: 32%

The coin was issued in 1601, as shown by the “1” at the top of the coin, which means that this is a coin of the seventh issue.


In which part of this coin is the date written?

Photo: © Spink

c  Exergue

c  Field

c  Regulatory arc

c  Unification Area

Answer: Exergue

Correct: 56%

The meaning of Exergue is one of the terms shown in the Glossary


Is this King Edward I Penny a …

Photo: Numisantica, CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

c  Continental imitation

c  Modern Copy

c  Mule

c Standard striking

Answer: Mule

Correct: 32%

This is a mule because the obverse is of one type of class and the reverse is of a different class. In this case, the obverse is class 10ab and the reverse is class 9b.


The obverse of a Richard I silver penny – which type of cross would appear on the reverse?

Photo: PAS, CC by SA2.0

c  Cross Moline

c  Long Cross

c  Voided Long Cross

c  Voided Short Cross

Answer: Voided Short Cross

Correct: 51%

Richard I reigned from 1189-99

The dates for the changes to the cross on the reverse of coins are:

1180: Henry II introduced the voided short cross 

1247: Henry III replaced this with the voided long cross.

1279: Edward I replaced the voided long cross with a long cross (ie not voided)


How many Scottish pennies was this Scottish coin worth?

Photo: CNG, CC BY-SA 3.0

c  10d

c  20d

c  40d

c  80d

Answer: 80d

Correct: 28%

This a James VI half merk.

A merk was originally valued ay 13s 4d, which was 160d or 2/3 of a Scottish pound.

Therefore, this half merk is 6s 8d, as shown by “6” and “8” on the coin, or 80 Scottish pennies.


What does EIC mean on this George II Five Guinea Piece?

Photo: © Spink

c  East India Company

c Edward Isaac Croker

c Emergency Inflation Currency

c English Industrial Council

Answer: East India Company

Correct: 81%

The EIC provenance mark on the obverse indicates that this coin was struck with bullion supplied by the East India Company.

It occurs only on gold coinage of George II.


Which letter appears after the mascle stop on the reverse of this coin?

Photo: © Spink

c  C

c  L

c  N

c  P

Answer: L

Correct: 44%

A mascle is a diamond shape often used during the reign of Henry VI.

On this Henry VI groat, a mascle appears before the “L” of “LONDON” on the reverse.




In which century was this coin minted?

Photo: © Spink

c  5th

c  6th

c  7th

c  8th

Answer: 8th

Correct: 48%

This was minted for Eadberht “Praen” the last independent king of Kent, from 796 -798.



This 8 Reales is countermarked with which King’s head?

Photo: © Spink

c  George I

c  George II

c  George III

c  George IV

Answer: George III

Correct: 58%

As an emergency measure, during the reign of George III, foreign silver coins were countermarked with the king’s head.

This countermarked 8 Reales circulated at 4 Shillings 9 Pence in 1797.



Where was a hoard discovered that gave its name to this type of coin?

Photo: © Spink

c  Gayton, Northamptonshire

c  Ryther, North Yorkshire

c  Tealby, Lincolnshire

c  Wainfleet, Lincolnshire

Answer: Tealby, Lincolnshire

Correct: 66%

The Tealby hoard, discovered in 1807, consisted of some 6000 silver coins of Henry II.

Many of this type of coin are poorly struck on irregular flans.



Where was this Edward I Class IV long cross penny minted?

Photo: © Spink

c  Bury St Edmunds

c  Ipswich

c  Sudbury

c  Thetford

Answer: Bury St Edmunds

Correct: 54%

The legend on the reverse reads:


IOH = John, ON = of, SEINT=Saint. ED=Edmund

This is the moneyer and mint, John de Burnedisse of Bury St Edmunds:


This coin is engraved with “OBS” for a siege coin. A siege of where?

Photo: © Spink

c  Carlisle

c  Newark

c  Pontefract

c  Portsmouth

Answer: Pontefract

Correct: 37%

Charles I, in the name of Charles II, Octagonal Shilling. The coin was made during the third siege of Pontefract Castle in 1948-9. Charles I had just been executed and Pontefract was the only Royalist stronghold left in Britain.




What is the minting error called on this J. Caesar Denarius?

Photo: © Spink

c  Brockage

c  Double Strike

c  Transposition

c  Uniface

Answer: Brockage

Correct: 32%

When a coin got stuck to one of the dies and wasn’t removed then the next coin to be struck would end up with an incuse (concave) impression on one side. This is known as brockage.

 Brockage is a term that is defined in the Glossary


Who are being suckled by the wolf on the reverse of this Roman Denarius?

Photo: © DNW


c  Castor and Pollux

c  Hypnos and Thanatos

c  Romulus and Remus

Answer: Romulus and Remus

Correct: 92%




Where was this Edward VI Groat minted?

Photo: © Spink

c  Canterbury

c  Coventry

c  London

c  York

Answer: Coventry

Correct: 44%

Coventry mint is indicated by a “C” on the king’s breast and by CIVITAS COVE TRE on the reverse


Where is there a mullet on this Henry V Groat?

Photo: © Spink

c  After POSVI on the reverse

c  Before POSVI on the reverse

c  King’s hair

c  On the King’s shoulder

Answer: On the King's shoulder

Correct: 49%

A mullet is a five or six pointed star.



From whom was the metal captured from to mint this Queen Anne Crown?

Photo: © Spink

c  Dutch

c  Portuguese

c  Italians

c  Spanish


Answer: Spanish

Correct: 66%

In 1702, an Anglo-Dutch fleet attacked a Spanish Treasure Fleet which was in the process of unloading at Vigo Bay and seized 4,500lb of silver and 7lb 8oz of gold.


The recently crowned Queen Anne requested that the word “Vigo” was added to coins made from the captured bullion.


Probably the most important Celtic coin to be auctioned this year. Who is the warrior depicted?

Photo: © Chris Rudd

c  Brennus

c  Caractacus

c  Olyndicus

c  Viriathus


Answer: Caractacus

Correct: 71%

Sold at auction by Chris Rudd for a hammer price of £71,000


On which side of this Richard III groat is there a tressure?

Photo: © Spink

c  Brennus

c  Caractacus

c  Olyndicus

c  Viriathus


Answer: Obverse

Correct: 41%

On this coin, the tressure surrounds the king’s head on the obverse and is comprised of 9 tresses.

Richard III groat - tressure


Which Archbishop minted this half groat?

Photo: © DNW

c  Bainbridge

c  Crammer

c  Warham

c  Wolsey


Answer: Bainbridge

Correct: 31%

The keys below shield indicate that is was issued by the ecclesiastical mint at York.  The Archbishop of York at the time this coin was minted was Bainbridge.


What type of cross is on the reverse of this Thrymsa?

All Photos: © Spink

c  Fourchée

c  Pattée

c  Pommée

c  Potent


Answer: Potent

Correct: 29%

Long Cross Fourchée

Cross Pattée, in the centre

Cross Pommée, in the centre


Which Earl gave his name to this type of coin?

Photo: © DNW

c  Earl of Essex

c  Earl of Leicester

c  Earl of Ormonde

c Earl of Strafford


Answer: Earl of Ormonde

Correct: 34%

These crudely made coins were issued in Ireland in 1643-1644 under the authority of the Lord Justice of Ireland, the Earl of Ormonde, and are known collectively as “Ormonde Money”


Where did the metal come from to strike this George II Crown Piece?

Photo: © Spink

c  Lancashire

c  Wales

c  West Country

c  Yorkshire 

Answer: West Country

Correct: 27%

Four roses in the angles, (between the shields), on the reverse signify silver from the West Country.




Which period is this Edward III HalfGroat from?

Photo: © Spink

c  Pre-Treaty Period

c  Treaty Period

c  Post-Treaty period

c  Not possible to tell

Answer: Treaty Period

Correct: 39%

Following the Treaty of Brétigny in 1360, Edward III dropped his claim on the throne of France and hence “FRANC” was removed from the obverse legend.

When the treaty broke down in 1369, the claim on the throne of France was once again recognised on coins issued after that date.


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