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Quatrefoil type penny of Cnut

The finder of this coin, Michael Richardson, had already identified it but he asked if I could let him have a valuation. It’s a quatrefoil type penny of Cnut, which is listed in the Standard Catalogue as number 1157.

A few round halfpennies were issued by earlier Anglo-Saxon kings but from the reign of Edward the Martyr onwards the sole denomination was the silver penny. The standard of production was extremely high. Those responsible for striking pennies always ensured that the design was well and centrally struck. There can be no doubt that all strikes were not perfect but substandard coins are so rare that most must have been rejected and sent back to the melting pot. The standard was still high when William I came to the throne but it gradually declined and many of the later Norman pennies have defects of one kind or another.

On the reverse of Michael’s coin the legend reads +SPI LEMA NON PINC; at this time the letter P represented a W. Therefore, the moneyer is Swileman and the mint is Winchester. The bust on the obverse is a good example of the Winchester style.


This Cnut penny is in VF condition and has good eye appeal, so if it was offered for sale at auction the pre-sale estimate shouldn’t be any lower than £250 – £300.

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