Edward I Penny – Class 10ab

Pennies of Edward I are amongst the hammered silver coins most frequently found by detectorists. Many types, varieties and mints are on record and most are fairly common. However, there are some rarities and this is one of them. The coin under discussion here was unearthed by a detectorist I know just as Tom. It’s an Edward I penny of London but the obverse has been struck from a die of class 10ab and the reverse from a class 9b die. For a collector this would certainly add to its appeal but there is something even more significant: there is a pellet in the centre of the king’s breast.

Class 10ab with annulet on the King’s breast

An extremely rare variety of class 10ab has an annulet on the king’s breast and another great rarity has pellets by the hair and another on the breast. A specimen of the annulet on breast type was exhibited before the British Numismatic Society in February of 1947; at the time this might have been a new discovery. Another specimen, described as being extremely rare, was in lot 797 in the sale of the collection formed by the late Lord Stewartby. Lot 796 was made up of seven class 10ab/9b London mules and sold for £100. Lot 797 contained only six coins but one had an annulet of the breast; this lot sold for £290. There can be no doubt that the much higher price for lot 797 was because it included the annulet coin.

Pellet or annulet

It has been suggested that the pellet on Tom’s coin might be an annulet with a filled-in centre. However, the annulet on the Stewartby coin was very clear; the pellet on Tom’s coin is also clear and in my opinion too small to have once been an annulet. To the best of my knowledge Tom’s find is a new variety for class 10ab and even though its overall condition is not particularly good it would be of great interest to specialist collectors.

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