This is the second of two coins recently found in Cumbria by Steve Bartlett. It looks a bit like an Edward I-III penny but is actually altogether different.
Steve’s find is a Continental sterling of the pollard type, so-called because of the style of the hair on the head on the obverse. On the obverse the legend reads +MONETA COMIT DE LO. The reverse copies the standard English type but the legend on this side reads COM ESA RNO LDVS.
This sterling was struck for Arnold V, who was Count of Looz from 1279 to 1323. A number of different varieties were struck for Arnold of Looz and this one is quite rare.
Lots of Continental sterlings were imported into England and we’ve had a number of examples on this website. However, this is the first of this particular type. A specimen in VF condition was recently sold at auction for £300. Steve’s example would sell for a great deal less, for it would grade only Fine and has a large piece missing from its edge. It is nonetheless an interesting and rare detecting find.