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Richard II Penny

Peter Vernon sent in this coin but it was unearthed by a detecting colleague, who wanted to know more about his find. It was thought to be an Edward penny from the archbishop’s mint at York. The obverse legend is partly flat but DVS—AnGLIE can be seen. The bust of the king has pellets on the shoulders and what looks like another pellet on his breast. On the reverse the legend reads CIVI TAS EBO RACI, with a single pellet before EBO and in the centre is a quatrefoil. Coins like this can be awkward, as the DVS on the obverse could be the end of both Edwardus and Ricardus.

Two clues help to pin this coin down: the crude dies and the pellets on the obverse; these two characteristics point towards this coin being a penny of Richard II. The dies are not up to the usual standard because they were made locally, rather than being cut in London and then sent up to York. The profit made from putting these pennies into circulation would go to the Archbishop of York rather than to the king. This perk was not taken away until Henry VIII brought about radical changes in the 1530s. In the Standard Catalogue pennies of this type are listed as number 1692.


They aren’t particularly rare but they aren’t common, either, so even in its present condition this example shouldn’t be worth any less than £40-50 to a collector..

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