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Anglo-Saxons, Eadbald of Kent (616-40), gold shilling, Canterbury mint, c.625

Obv. REG[ ]N[V?]ALD or [ ]N[ V?]ALD / REG[ ], diademed bust right; rev. +DOR[ ]NIS.M (for Dorovernis, Canterbury), cross-on-globe (unique, unpublished); 1.28g, c.74% gold (based on SG analysis). Found Goodnestone, Kent, Sept. 2001.

This exciting new coin, from the very earliest phase of Anglo-Saxon coinage, shows that coinage was being struck at Canterbury during the reign of Eadbald, son of King Æthelberht who received the mission of St Augustine. The five coins of Eadbald previously known were struck at London, and have a stylised version of the same bust/cross-on-globe design. This new coin seems to have been the prototype, struck at the kingdom of Kent’s capital. Only one coin naming Canterbury as its mint was previously known from the period before the ninth century, and that too showed strong Merovingian influence in its design and style. Unfortunately the obverse inscription is incomplete, and it is debateable whether it is rendering a version of the king’s name and title (Audvald regis) or the name of a moneyer (Regenvald).

Purchased with a grant from the National Arts Collections Fund.