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Henry VIII sovereign type penny

The first attempt at ‘modernising’ the silver coinage of England was made during the reign of Henry VII. A profile portrait appeared on some coins and on the later pennies the portrayal of the king was the same as on the large gold sovereigns.

Featured here is a sovereign type penny, which was found by John Lashmar. It was during the reign of Henry VIII when he became king on the death of his father. It belongs to Henry’s second coinage, which commenced in 1526 and lasted until 1544.

On the obverse the mint mark is a star. The legend on this side reads h D G ROSA SINE SPIA. On the reverse is a shield of arms with T to the left and W to the right; the letters are the initials of Thomas Wolsey. Beneath the shield is a cardinal’s hat. The legend on this side reads CIVI TAS DVR RAM. Therefore, this penny was struck for the profit of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey during time he was Bishop of Durham. In the Standard Catalogue it is listed as number 2352.


The coin has been struck slightly off centre but is otherwise in about Fine condition. It’s not a particularly scarce coin so my best price range would be £30 – £35.

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