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Gold stater of the Trinovantes

This coin was found by Colin Mayes and originally appeared on Facebook but permission was granted for it to be featured on this website. It’s an Ancient British gold stater, which measures 17mm in diameter and is 6 grams in weight.

Colin’s find is a coin of the Trinovantes and will date from circa 50 BC to 10 AD. On the obverse is a wreath motif with back-to-back voided crescents in the centre, which are flaked by ring-and-dot motifs. On the reverse is a horse facing left, a branch below, various symbols in the field and some of the letters in the king’s name: Dubnovellaunos. There is some variation in the spelling of Dubnovellaunos on gold staters.

In Ancient British Coins staters of this type are listed as the Dubnovellaunos Branch type (number 2393). In the Standard Catalogue it falls under the Trinovantes as number 207.


As already mentioned, a number of varieties of this type are known – some only scarce, others extremely rare. The basic type isn’t rare but it is attractive and popular with collectors, so specimens sell for high prices.   

When considering the purchase of staters of this type collectors look for two main points:  the overall condition and the number of letters that show up on the reverse. This coin is well struck and would grade good VF, so it scores high in terms of its condition. However, whilst some of the letters can be seen on the reverse they are near the edge and several can’t be seen at all. After considering the plus and minus points of this coin, if it was offered for sale at auction I would expect the pre-sale estimate to be set at £1,200 to £1,500.

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