Coincraft

08. February 2019

Fixed-price offers

Unique silver double Penny of Henry III at Coincraft

For those aspiring coin collectors seeking out rare finds in their change and with so much attention being paid to the worth of some rare 2 pence pieces, consider one coin which is perhaps the rarest 2 pence coin in existence. Coincraft, one of the largest sources for coins, banknotes and many collector objects in the United Kingdom have announced that they are offering for sale one of the rarest coins ever minted.

Henry III, 1216-1272. Double-Penny of Canterbury, thought to be unique. GBP 24,500.

Henry III, 1216-1272. Double-Penny of Canterbury, thought to be unique. GBP 24,500.

The coin, a silver double penny piece, minted during the reign of King Henry III (reigned 1216-1272) is thought to be unique. More than 770 years old, it is believed to have been struck around 1247 as a pattern or test piece which was struck from ordinary penny dies of the time and not from specially prepared dies. There was no documentary authority for such a coin, and nothing else aside from its weight and slightly larger diameter would have distinguished it from an ordinary penny during the era.
The front of the coin features a front-facing crowned image of Henry III with his sceptre surrounded with the text “HENRICUS REX III”. Henry became king at the age of nine in 1216, and whose reign is the fifth longest in English history at 56 years, 19 days. The back of the coin shows a long cross design, introduced onto silver penny pieces around 1247. The cross is surrounded with the inscription “WILLEM ON CANT” which identifies the minter’s name and mint location, Canterbury. 
This coin was known to have been offered at a Sotheby’s auction almost 100 years ago in 1920 when it was sold for the princely sum of £250 – which would have been equal to nearly £11,000 today according to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator. Most recently, the coin was auctioned by Sotheby’s as part of the Stack Collection in 1999 when Coincraft bought the piece and later sold it to a private collector. The historic silver piece weighs 43.8 grains of silver (2.83 grams) double that of an ordinary silver penny of that era with a diameter of 22.3 mm. and is graded Good Very Fine. It has traces of having been previously mounted, possibly to wear as jewellery and includes contemporary gilding on both sides.

For further information go to the Coincraft website.

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