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Stephen, penny

Reo Freitas asked if I would provide a full ID and a valuation on this hammered silver coin. Reo’s find is a penny of Stephen, during whose reign there was conflict between his supporters and those who believed that the Empress Matilda should be the ruler of England rather than Stephen.

On the obverse, holding a sceptre, is a bust of Stephen facing three-quarters to the left. The legend is partly weak but +STIFN shows up reasonably well.

Within the inner circle on the reverse is a short voided cross with a mullet in each angle; what can be seen of the legend reads +PV——E:ON LVN. If the full legend was visible then it would read +PVLFPINE ON LVN, so Wulfwine is the moneyer and London the mint.

The characteristics just mentioned add up to this penny being an example of BMC class 2, which turns up less regularly than BMC 1 (the ‘Watford’ type).    


A couple of small striking cracks show up in the edge but the coin is otherwise Fine for the issue and period. The reign, type, mint and moneyer are known and as coins of Stephen are popular with collectors. This one shouldn’t be worth any less than £280 – £300.

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