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Silver half unit of the Trinovantes

Rob Warwick said he unearthed this Ancient British silver coin on the 21st of January. The imagery is quite clear but the coin is only 10mm in diameter and took some time to pin down.

This find is a silver half unit of the Trinovantes. On the obverse, facing right, is a horse with its head tuned back. On the reverse is another horse, which also faces right but the head looks forward.

In Ancient British Coins this type of half unit is listed as the Dubnovellaunos Scissors type. The illustration in ABC is number 2401but the detail doesn’t show up well and that’s why it took some time to pin it down. It is listed as being excessively rare.

The only specimen I traced was sold by Chris Rodd in 2019. This had been found earlier that year and was an exceptionally nice example – well struck and grading good VF. Apparently, only four others had been recorded.

Rob’s find is the same type as ABC 2401 but it is struck from a different set of dies. It seems remarkable that different die pairings are known for an excessively rare type of silver half unit.    


The coin would grade good VF but has a significant minus point: the edge is badly chipped and this has led to a loss of roughly 20% of the fabric. However, it is great rarity so even in its present incomplete state a pre-sale auction estimate should still be around £300.

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