1000-year-old Norwich penny sells for £3,600

A coin found in Langham dating back to Anglo-Saxon times.

A coin found in Langham dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. - Credit: Archant

A rare 1,000-year-old Norwich penny has been sold at auction for £3,600.

The silver coin was found by a metal detectorist at Langham, near Blakeney, last year.

Although the coin is not 'mint-signed', meaning that the word Norwich or its Latin name or abbreviation does not appear on the coin, there are enough details and clues to convince experts that it is a Norwich penny struck during King Edgar's reign from 959-975, about one hundred years before 1066's Battle of Hastings.

Jon Mann, a coins expert at London auctioneers Spink, said: 'The find spot - Langham - and the fact that the coin is typical East Anglian style and that it has the name 'Bruninc a moneyer' on it, whose name appears on other Norwich coins, all point to this being a Norwich penny.'

Although little is known about Bruninc, it is believed he was a merchant and that he oversaw production of coins at the Norwich mint. Despite its age, the rare coin is in a good condition.

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Mr Mann said: 'It is particularly unusual to be able to see the die sinkers' guide marks as on the reverse of this coin. The crescent-shaped marks were clearly made using a compass for accuracy.'

The coin went under the hammer on Thursday, March 26, and had been expected to fetch between £3,000 and £4,000.

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Although the location remains unclear, it is believed the Norwich mint was in the north of the city during Anglo-Saxon times.

King Edgar I is commonly known as Edgar the Peaceful, or the Peaceable, due to his untroubled reign.

Do you have an unusual story for us? Email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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