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Penny of King Offa of Mercia

The detectorist who unearthed this coin wished to remain anonymous. He described it as a penny of King Offa of Mercia and asked for a full ID and a valuation.

In the centre of the obverse is a large pellet, from which spring four arms with rosettes on the tips. Surrounding the larger pellet are four smaller ones, each enclosed by segments of a broken circle. The legend, divided up by rosettes, reads OF FA RE X.

On the reverse is a lozenge centred cross crosslet with pellets in the centre. In the outer spaces will be the name of the moneyer but the lettering is unreadable.

The standard reference work on coins of this period is The Coinage of Offa and His Contemporaries by Derek Chick, edited by Mark Blackburn and Rory Naismith. This lists all the coins known at the date of publication (2010). The obverse and reverse are similar to some of the types in that reference work but the exact die combination is not included.


The obverse and reverse dies are both very crude. Those used to strike some genuine coins are not of the best quality but none are as crude as the set that made this coin. I’d suggest it is likely to be a contemporary imitation. As such it would still be of interest to specialist collectors but in its present condition a pre-sale auction estimate would be unlikely to be any higher than £400 to £600.

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