ID Aids – Coins with Sceptre

If you are trying to identify a Henry III long cross penny with a sceptre then first try to read the moneyer and mint names on the reverse of the coin; then begin with question #20 below:

20) On the obverse of your coin the king is holding a sceptre. Look at the wording to the left of the sceptre:

– If ‘REX’ then go to #21.
– If ‘III’ go to #25.
– If ‘XIII’ go to #36.

21) You have a very scarce class 4 penny. These coins were produced with more care than the majority of the previous class 3 coins – with the exception of 3d2 and 3d3 coins – where a move to finer die cutting is equally evident. Class 4 pennies are the last Henry III pennies to include an initial mark (“IM”). This being type 5 – a star with eight rays, and the hENRICVS legend commences right after the star. On the reverse of the coin the inner circle is made up of many small pellets – typically 14-16 pellets per quadrant. An experimental issue perhaps, and which was only in use for a short period, making these coins scarce and highly sought after. The production of class 4 pennies continued from late 1250 into 1251, and these were then followed by the re-designed class 5a coinage. There are three types of Class 4 that are recognised, and to determine which you have you need to examine the central fleur above the crown-band, and the ornaments at each end of the crownband. Refer to fig. 7 for the three types.

– Pellets as end ornaments, and a central fleur of pellets: Class 4a, go to #22
– Pellets as end ornaments, and a true central fleur: Class 4ab, go to #23
– Half fleur end ornaments, and a true central fleur: Class 4b, go to #24

Fig.7 – The three different sub-classes of class 4.

22) Class 4a: These scarce coins are only found from the London mint, and were issued by the moneyers Nicole, Henri, Ricard and Davi, with Nicole coins being the ones most commonly seen.

23) Class 4ab: These were issued by Bury, Canterbury and London, with Canterbury coins the most commonly seen. Again, all of these are rare.

24) Class 4b: Only issued by the London mint, and less commonly seen than classes 4a and 4ab.

25) You have a coin with ‘III’ to the left of the sceptre. Firstly look at the king’s hairstyle in fig 8 to determine whether class 5, 6 or 7.

– Class 5 – go to #26
– Class 6 – go to #42
– Class 7 – go to #43

Fig.8 Different hairstyles.

26) You have a class 5 coin, but which sub-class? Class 5 is the commonest class but contains a few rarities well worth looking out for. The different factors we need to examine include the style of the crown-band, the shape of the eyes, and the styles of the letters ‘R’ and ‘X’. The crown-band is the best place to start – look at the types illustrated in fig. 9 below and choose the one most similar to your coin:

-Plain crown-band of ‘normal’ thickness – classes 5a, 5b, 5c, some 5g, 5h, 5i – go to #27
– Plain crown-band but extra thick – some class 5g pennies – go to #39
– Double crown-band – class 5f (Mints: L/C/B) – go to #38
– Jewelled crown-band – class 5a4 (Mint: C) or 5e (Mints: C/L) – go to #37
– Ornamented crown-band – class 5d (Mints: L/C/B) – go to #35

Fig.9 Crown-bands