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Continental silver denier of Merovingian Francia

Detectorists unearth lots of foreign coins, an early example of which is illustrated here. It was found by Keith Brown and identified by Dr Martin Allen (based at the Fitzwilliam Museum) as an early Continental silver denier of Merovingian Francia. It was described as a contemporary copy of the coinage of Uzerche, struck at an unidentified mint between Poitou and the lower Loire Valley.

Keith had four questions about his find and asked if I could provide answers to any or all of them. First of all I said that the denier was struck during the migration period, when many issuing authorities copied coin designs issued by others. There were times when copies were made of copies. Keith’s questions were as follows:

1: Would my copy have the same importance/standing as the original coin?

Answer: a contemporary copy, even one that copied another, would still be of interest to a collector.

2: Would it be classed as more or less desirable by experts?

Answer: It would be classed as just as desirable.

3: Am I right in saying a Merovingian denier would be equivalent to an early Anglo-Saxon penny?

Answer: The coin is a bit light in weigh but many other Merovingian deniers are similar. In England it would have circulated alongside Anglo-Saxon and other Continental silver sceattas.


4: I have never sold any finds but just out of curiosity could I have a rough idea of the value of this one?

Answer: The condition could be better but as it stands around £150-200. Interestingly, in regard to detecting finds in England, Merovingian gold coins turn up much more frequently than those made of silver.

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