Great Britain Aethelred (Ethelred) II Penny (Fakes are possible)  997AD to 1003AD
Great Britain Aethelred (Ethelred) II Penny (Fakes are possible) 997AD to 1003AD

Aethelred II achieved the rather unfortunate moniker of Aethelred 'The Unready' after a mistranslation of Old English 'unręd' as 'unready'. A better translation might be 'ill-advised' or 'poorly-counseled'. He had not even reached puberty when the previous King was murdered (his half-brother Edward), and as such he was definitely not ready for the task of ruling a kingdom. His short reign consisted mostly of paying Danegeld to the Vikings, and tired this, he ordered all Danish men in England to be massacred on 'St. Bryce day' (November 13th, 1002 AD). In 1003 the Viking king Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark-Norway invaded England in retaliation, and thus Aethelred's rule came to an abrupt end.

These silver pennies were the main currency of the time, used for most marketplace transactions of everyday life. The obverse inscription reads '+ AEDELRED REX - ANGLO(X)', with the 'NG' of 'ANGLO' sometimes written together in a ligature, making it look like a single letter. The reverse inscription on requester Timmy's coin most closely fits 'LEO - FRIC - MTO - CENT', with 'Leofric' being the name of the moneyer, and 'CENT' being an abbreviation of Canterbury, the city where the coin was minted. Other reverse inscriptions are possible.

The coin in our main picture (upper left) is a superb specimen from Spink in London. It sold for 1700 GBP (about $2500 US dollars) during a 2015 auction.

Very approximately, catalog values go like this:

worn: $500 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $1000
well preserved: $2500

To give an idea of the variability of pricing for a coin like this, the (A) coin to the right sold at auction for $200. It is bent and this detracts from value. But the (B) coin also has damage. It sold for $1000 at auction. Go figure! The (C) coin sells as a novelty for a few dollars. It is a fake.

The values cited above are catalog values - please read our Important Terminology page to translate into actual buy and sell values.

Coin: 20290 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: Timmy, Sat, 21-Nov-2015 14:59:05 GMT
Answered by: Chris, Sat, 21-Nov-2015 17:17:56 GMT
Requester description: Front: Man with a Mohawk-like haircut. Back: A cross
Tags: great britain aethelred ethelred ii penny cent fakes counterfeit uk brit brittan brittain england britian britt english britan british brittish edelred peny cents pennys pennies replica forger counterfet fake counterfiet reproductions repro reproduction counterfeits replicas forgery man mohawk cross male mens mans molvnd mocent leo leopold leopoldvs leopoldvsdu


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