Tag Archives: Coins

Interesting British Museum document on the analysis of the Coenwulf Mancus

The analysis of the Coenwulf Mancus

Analysis of a gold mancus of Coenwulf of Mercia and other comparable coins by Gareth Williams and Michael Cowell [PDF]

This very interesting document describes not only the Coenwulf Mancus and the various processes the British Museum used to examine and authenticate it, but also shows the other six ‘later’ Anglo-Saxon gold coins in the British Museum’s collection. There are only eight known ‘later’ Anglo-Saxon gold coins in existence, seven held at the BM and number eight is in a museum in France, or Belgium or somewhere, can’t remember.

Also, there was a great photo of a Coenwulf silver penny on page 37 of the November issue of The Searcher.

Metal Detecting UK

Frome Hoard Fundraising – The 1st of February 2011 deadline draws closer

Somerset Museum in Taunton has until February 1, 2011 to raise the £320,250 purchase price of the Frome Hoard. On top of the purchase price, money also needs to be raised to cover the ongoing costs of conserving the 52,503 third century Roman coins, discovered by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. You can donate to the Frome Hoard campaign fund online via the Art Fund web site. Not only has the Art Fund already donated £40,250 to the Frome Hoard campaign fund, but they will match, pound for pound, donations by members of the public up to a total value of £10,000.

Another way of supporting the campaign to keep the Frome Hoard in Somerset is to buy the Frome Hoard book: The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on Amazon.co.uk, a snip at £4.49 delivered. 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the campaign fund and the cost of conserving the coins. Worth every penny of the cover price for the stunning photographs of the coins of Carausius alone!

Book on the Frome Hoard to be Released on October 11

The British Museum is releasing a book on the Frome Hoard!

Found in April 2010 by metal detectorist Dave Crisp, the Frome Hoard consisted of a very large roman pot filled to the brim with 52,503 Roman coins. The coins in the pot weighed around 160 kilograms (that’s 352.7lbs in old money), one of the largest coin hoards ever discovered! The coins are mostly third century radiates, some of them in a remarkable state of preservation. The book, titled simply ‘The Frome Hoard’, will be released on the 11th October 2010.

Denarius from the Frome HoardAbove: A Denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard. Photo courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Flickr photostream.

Another interesting point to note is that the British Museum still needs around £30,000 for conservation work on the coins, and 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the cost of conserving the coins and the acquisition campaign apparently being run by Somerset County Heritage Service so that the hoard can stay in Somerset and be displayed in Taunton Museum.

I’ll provide some more information on the book and probably a review when I receive my copy.

The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on Amazon.co.uk

Earliest Known Sighting of Halley’s Comet – Comets and Meteors on Ancient Greek and Roman Coins


It seems the ancient greeks spotted Halley’s comet in 466BC.

This got me thinking about ancient greek and roman coins that depict comets or meteorites (or at least appear to depict a comet or meteorite). There are more than a few of them, but wasn’t there a very rare ancient greek silver coin minted sometime in the fifth century BC that depicted a “meteorite”? I wonder if the coin was really commemorating the appearance of the Halley’s comet?

I have been searching around the web trying to find pictures of it and some more details, but so far it has eluded me. Trying to remember the details of this is doubly frustating because I am pretty sure I recently saw one of these coins for sale on ebay.com.

I guess I might be thinking of the Armenian king Tigranes the Great, who produced a coin depicting what is believed to be Halley’s Comet in 87BC.

Did anybody out there see a greek coin depicting a comet or meteorite on ebay in the last few weeks?

See this link for more ancient coins that depict comets and meteorites.

The ancient greeks are believed to have worshipped meteorites and kept them in their temples. Until recently The Black Stone of Paphos, a large dark coloured stone found at The Temple of Aphrodite in Paphos, Cyprus, was believed to be a meteorite.

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams, Shire Archaeology

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams
Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams, Shire Archaeology

I recently picked up a copy of Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams, published by Shire Archaeology. This is one of the ‘new and improved’ Shire Archaeology series, sporting not only the modernized cover design, but a great many photographs accompany the text and the great thing about those photographs is that they are all in colour!

The book will be of limited value for identifying Anglo-Saxon coins (although there are many colour images of Anglo-Saxon coins and you may get lucky) – a guide to identifying Anglo-Saxon coins was not the authors intent, rather, this book is the story behind those coins and how they came to be here in the United Kingdom.

I hope all of the new look Shire Archaeology publications are produced to this standard, the production values and all the colour photographs are wonderful! When I get time I will write a full review of this book for the main website, in the mean time, I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Anglo-Saxons or Anglo-Saxon coinage, a must read for metal detectorists and coin collectors everywhere.

The cover image is a hoard of Anglo-Saxon silver pennies, buried around 730AD, found at Woodham Walter in Essex.

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins (Shire Archaeology)

Buy on Amazon.com

Early Anglo-Saxon Coins (Shire Archaeology)

London Coins Auction – Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September 2010

London Coins Auction – Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September 2010

The latest London Coins Auction‘s sale is happening this coming weekend (Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September 2010).

The catalogue for the auction is up to London Coins Auction usual high standard, as are the the offerings within. The sale catalogue contains more than 2400 individual lots.

Some highlights from the sale catalogue (Auction 130):

Phillip and Mary Ireland shilling dated 1555. VF. Catalogue number 522. Estimate £750-£1500.

A stunning Solidi of Constantine the Great, Nicomedia mint. Good VF. Catalogue number 918). Estimate £3000-£5000). This coin is a new one on me, very unusual.

The most stunning Commonwealth Crown I have ever seen. Dated 1656. Graded choice EF.  Catalogue number 957. Estimate £2500-£5000.

And too many other fantastic items to list.

Bids by e-mail : bids@londoncoins.co.uk, or snail mail to 4-6 Upper Street South, New Ash Green, Kent DA3 8JJ, phone 01474 871464 or fax 01474 872173.

Now if only I could win a few million on the lottery…