Norwich penny of Harold II

This penny of Harold was found on 9 September 2023 near Attleborough, Norfolk and recorded at the EMC 2023.0366 as The legend on the reverse reads MANNA ON NOR, giving the moneyer as Man and the mint as Norwich.

The auctioneers provide some background as to how this coin has a more “fluid style” portrait than others of Harold’s coinage. In 1066, Harold enacted a mass recoinage where most of the currency was withdrawn and re-struck. Although, provincial mints were used, most of the dies, particularly in the south of England, were produced at a single centre, probably London. This provided consistency and control. Any illicit behaviour in minting coins was dealt with severely.

Therefore, Man the moneyer must have had a good reason to use a local “unofficial” die. One idea comes from the observation that these irregular coins only appear in hoards buried after the Norman conquest leading to the suggestion of that they “represent a posthumous issue in the name of Harold“.

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