PAS 2021 year end review: coins

PAS 2021 year end review: coins

The period around Christmas and New Year is a quiet time for recording finds at the PAS. I’ve been back through the finds recorded during the year as some will not have been picked up in my weekly review as the images were not available at the time.

This week I’ll focus on coins and next week on artefacts. Two of the coins are of National Importance.

Featured Find

Penny of Wiglaf of Mercia

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0
Period: Anglo-Saxon
Date found: 06/06/2021
Location: Isle of Wight

A penny of Wiglaf of Merica who reigned from AD 827 – 829 and AD 830 – 840. The obverse inscription starts VVIG for Wiglaf. The reverse is similar to Ecgberht of Wessex’s “Lundonia” type. This find changes the previous thinking that this reverse type was introduced by Ecgberht following his short-lived takeover of London in the late 820s. Instead, this find suggests that the reverse type began with Wiglaf. As such it has been designated a Find of Note: National Importance.

Die for denarius of Diva Faustina Senior

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0 (modified)
Period: Roman
Date found: 04/01/2021
Location: North Kesteven, Lincolnshire

Half a die matrix for commemorative coins of Diva Faustina (c. AD 141 – 161) . Coins were struck for her during the reign of her husband, Antoninus Pius.

The diameter of the die between the beading is 19 mm, which indicates that it was intended for the production of silver denarii.  The legend would have been [DI]VA FAVST[INA]. 

The irregular beading around the coin and the likelihood of an official die travelling from the mint in Rome, indicate that this was a die to produce forgeries. It appears to have been deliberately broken with a chisel. Only one other definite Roman coin die is recorded on the PAS database. That too was for forgeries and from the same period as this die. This find has been designated a Find of Note; National Importance.

Selection of other finds

Photo: Surrey County Council CC BY SA2.0

Scottish six shillings of Charles I

The coin has a right facing bust of Charles instead of the usual left, seen on English coins. It was equivalent in face value to a contemporary English sixpence. Only the fourth example recorded at PAS and designated a Find of Note: County Importance.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0

Merovingian tremissis “national” series

An early gold tremissis dating to c.AD580-670. Obverse reads CORI ALLO+ giving the mint as Coriallum (modern Cherbourg, France) and the reverse reads  +RIGNI CHARI+ giving the moneyer as Rignicharius. This was the first Merovingian tremissis of this type recorded by PAS and is a Find of Note: County Importance.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0

Penny of Aethelraed II

The reverse reads +ÆÐELVEARD MO NA which gives the moneyer as Aethelweard. It is suggested that the NA is the mint signature for Northampton or Southampton. It is a Find of Note: Regional Importance
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By 2.0

Penny of Stephen “Watford” type

This coin is a rare type of Stephen’s ‘Watford type’ lacking an inner circle on the obverse. The reverse has been tentatively read as [ ]NOD.ON:O[ ] and it is suggested that this could refer to a moneyer Æthelnoth, known to have struck Henry I’s last type at Oxford. If this is correct, the coin is the first for this moneyer for Stephen. It is a Find of Note: Regional Importance.
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