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William I Half Penny

This is the last coin from a group of four that Clint Baker sent in to my website. It’s a cut halfpenny of the first Norman King of England: William I.

The coin belongs to type I, which is one of the rarer types for William I. On the obverse is a crowned bust facing left with a sceptre in front. On the reverse is a cross fleury with an annulet in the centre.

Cut halfpennies are often problematic, for there is only half of the legend on the reverse. What can be seen on this specimen reads +BRIHT, which is the start of the moneyer’s name. Unfortunately, this reading would fit the start of the name of a number of moneyers at a number of mints. Therefore, I’m unable to positively identify neither the moneyer nor the mint, which is a pity.


Both sides of the coin are well struck and in VF condition. Cut halfpennies sell for much less than whole coins, but they can do reasonably well when they can be attributed to a mint.

On the plus side this is an attractive and rare coin but a significant minus point is the doubt about the moneyer and the missing mint. As it stands, a pre-sale auction estimate would be in the region of £200 – £250.

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