1000 Years of English Coins

As you may know, Goddy’s boyfriend Rafael is a coin collector, and wants to become a coin dealer. I love research (just look over my adventures!) so what could I do but become a coin collector? The scramble after good American coins is fierce. I’m an Anglophile, so what am I to do but collect English coins?

English coins have variety. In early days there were many small kingdoms a-coining in the British Isles. Go far enough back, and there were Romans. I got started accidentally, over forty years ago, when I found an inexpensive Edward III penny in a pile of random coins in a collector’s shop. In the days of Edward III (king 1327-1377) the penny was a mighty silver coin, though not so mighty as the silver groat (fourpence) let alone the gold Noble.

With an Edward III coin, I began searching after its friends and relations. William the Conqueror was fairly easy, and Queen Elizabeth II was easier. Finally I settled on a thousand years of coins, starting with Canute the Great (king 1016 – 1035). That ended up being something like forty-seven monarchs. The number can be adjusted — do the Cromwells count as monarchs? And what to do about Edward VIII, who abdicated so rapidly the mint of England never got around to minting coins for him? (There are rumors of a mint test piece. One coin. Even Scrooge McDuck couldn’t afford it.)

After a while, I had quite a few coins, enough to make a display. So I did. Here are twenty coins, starting with Canute and ending with Elizabeth II:


The display is 36″ x 24″, and not very readable. But you can see the background before the coins were mounted: CoinDisp-Page001. The tricky part was finding roughly  contemporaneous portraits, but thanks to the Bayeux Tapestry and funeral sculpture, it was surprisingly possible.

About Ellen

Professional Mad Scientist for several years. Retired.
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