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Henry VIII sovereign type penny

This coin was unearthed very recently by Oliver Jackson. It’s a sovereign type penny of Henry VIII, of which there are many varieties.

On the obverse King Henry is depicted seated on a throne. The legend reads h D G ROSA SINE SPIA’ and the mint mark is a star.

On the reverse is a shield bearing the quartered arms of England and France. To the left of the shield is a letter C and to the right a letter D. The legend, divided into four parts by an ornate cross, reads CIVI TAS DVR RAM. There is no mint mark on this side.

Pennies of this type were issued on behalf of the Bishop of Durham, who at this time was Cuthbert Tunstall; the letters on the reverse stand for Cuthbert of Durham. In the Standard Catalogue pennies of this type are listed as number 2354.


Sovereign type pennies are often struck off centre or on flans too small for the dies. The specimen found by Oliver would grade VF, so it is an exceptional example of the type. The catalogue price is £125 and a keen collector should be willing to pay that figure for this really nice coin.

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