William the Lion, penny

John Hill asked if I could identify and place a value on this coin, which is a silver penny of William the Lion of Scotland. I’ve heard of far more coins of this king being unearthed in England than in the country where they were made.

As is usually the case with pennies of, the left-facing head on the obverse is rather crude. Within the inner circle on the reverse is a short voided cross with mullets in the angles.

The darkness on parts of the legend on the reverse obscures some of the letters and others are unclear or ambiguous. The only part I could be sure about is in the section reading R.ON; the letter R is the end of a moneyer’s name and ON is situated before the start of the mint signature. All I can say is that this coin was struck during phase A of William’s short cross and stars coinage (circa 1195 to 1205)     

Valuation

Pennies of phase A bear the name of a moneyer and a mint and are much scarcer than coins of phase B. The obverse of this specimen is weak in places and has been struck off centre; the reverse is much better. As it stands it might be worth £50 – £60 but this price range would shoot up if it was possible to interpret the legend on the reverse. I couldn’t make it out on the photograph but it might show up much better on the actual coin.        

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