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Ferry IV, Continental Sterling

This is one of those coins that look like and Edward I-II penny but it was struck on the Continent. It was found by Paul Marland, who asked for a full ID and a valuation. On the obverse is a crowned bust and the legend reads +EC MONETA NOSTRA. The reverse is the same as on English pennies of the same period but the legend reads LVN TOL ENG IEN.

Lots of foreign penny-sized coins (usually described as sterlings) were imported into England during the reign of Edward I. The first type came to be known as Crockards (they had roses in the hair) and Pollards (due to the hair style). However, when their circulation was banned those in Europe who were exporting coins to England started to copy more closely the design of English pennies; that is why the obverse on this sterling is the same as on a penny of Edward II.

Over the years I’ve seen lots Continental sterlings as detecting finds but this is the first specimen of this type. It was struck for Ferry IV, Duke of Lorraine (1312-28), the date of issue is circa 1320-22 and the mint is Toul. A number of different varieties are known and this one is described as being very rare.


The reverse looks to be slightly oxidised but it is in Fine condition. The obverse is not as oxidised and is also in Fine condition.

I traced a similar specimen on the internet, which was priced at 425 euros. However, that was in VF condition and Paul’s find isn’t as good. The 425 euros was a retail price, so an auction figure would be likely to be a good deal less. After taking into consideration the plus (rarity) and minus (a lower grade of preservation) points, if I was cataloguing Paul’s find for sale at auction I would place upon it a pre-sale estimate of £90 – £120.

To fetch the highest price an item like this would stand the best chance if it was offered up in a specialist sale that included some other Continental sterlings.

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