Pendant of a penny of Sven Estridsen

Pictured here is a coin of Sven Estridsen, who was King of Denmark from 1047 to 1075. The coin has been converted into a pendant by adding a suspension loop to the top edge. It was found in Suffolk during 2009 by Colin Barton and there is a surprising and cautionary story in regard to its discovery.

On the obverse of the coin is a geometric design and on the reverse is a cross with incurving sides, within which is a voided cross with trefoil tips and an annulet in the centre. It was struck at a mint situated in Reskilde.

Sven Estridsen was born in England. His father was Ulf Thorgilsson and his mother was the daughter of Sweyn Forkbeard and sister of Harold II and Cnut. The coin is not particularly rare in itself but it may well be unique when converted into a pendant.

Breaking the pendant and reporting as Treasure

When this find turned up Colin had no idea what it was. In its ‘as found’ state it was encrusted and when Colin tried to clean it the pendant ended up in two piece, so he glued it back together. He eventually took it to Bury St. Edmunds Museum and said what he had done. He was told that he had made a decent job of the repair but informed that he should have taken it straight to the museum after it was found. It was eventually classed as Treasure and Colin shared a reward of £450 with the owner of the land on which the pendant had been found.

If Colin had found this item when he had more experience in the identification of detecting finds then I’m sure he would not have tried to clean it. Hammered silver coins that are roughly one thousand years old can be very brittle and if not handled with care they can end up in two or more pieces. Do remember this fact and leave any cleaning or restoration to experts. And, if you are ever in doubt about the age of a find then do get the item in question checked out.

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