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Halfpenny of Alexander III

The coin pictured here was unearthed by Mickey Richardson, who asked for a valuation. Mickey said he knew it was a silver halfpenny of Alexander III of Scotland but he had difficulty in getting any more information about it, so asked if I could help.

Well, this halfpenny was struck during the second coinage of Alexander III, which commenced close to 1280. The new coins replaced those of the first coinage, which had a voided long cross on the reverse. Pennies, halfpennies and farthing of the second coinage are almost invariably well struck and often in good condition when they turn up as detecting finds in all parts of the UK.

On the reverse of Mickey’s find the angles in two quarters are occupied by a single mullet of six points; the other two angles are vacant. Halfpennies of this type are listed in Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands as number 5061.


Second coinage pennies of Alexander III are fairly common and one estimate puts the number struck at around 50 million! I’ve seen quite a few halfpennies as detecting finds but they are far scarcer than pennies. This halfpenny will have been in circulation for some time before it was lost but it would still grade nearly Fine/Fine, so I would price it at £60.

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