I had a decent number of new additions this year and it was tough to narrow it down. A few rare coins didn't quite make the cut, such as a penny of Empress Matilda, because condition holds it back. Other nice coins, like a Henry VI groat and Elizabeth I shilling, just aren't rare enough to be amongst the top. I went a little nuts this year, and will probably take it easy in the year to come. Without further rambling, I give you my 10 for the year, in chronologic order. Secondary phase Anglo-Saxon sceat Mint: East Anglia Series Q II D S.809D Type 65 Abramson 64-110 O: Quadruped left, forked tail, in field of pellets R: Bird left My favorite of a small group of sceats or sceattas, this one is of the varied "series Q", thought to be from East Anglia, and depicting a variety of animal creatures Penny of Offa, king of Mercia 757-796 Moneyer: Duda Mint: Probably London S. 905 O: + OFFA + REX + R: + D V D Offa is historically an important figure in the Anglo-Saxon period. King Offa was responsible for the first pennies produced in England, which were modeled on the continental European deniers. He created a very varied series of coins, some of which have his portrait and others without. Penny of Ceolwulf I, king of Mercia 821-823 Moneyer: Werbald Mint: East Anglia, possible Ipswich S. 927 N. 388 O: +CEOVVLF REX m R: PER BALD mONE Ceolwulf I, brother of Coenwulf, succeeded to the throne of Mercia, Kent, and East Anglia after his brother's death. He did produce coins in London, Canterbury, and East Anglia. Despite multiple mints, but due to the brevity of his reign, coins of Ceolwulf are very rare. Penny of Eadwald, king of East Anglia, ca. 798 Moneyer: Lul Mint: Unknown S. 947 O: REX/+EADVA/LD R: +L V L Nothing is known from the recorded material about this Eadwald, who was king in East Anglia for a short time after the death of Offa of Mercia. Mercia had dominated East Anglia, but a dysnastic struggle after Offa's death seems to have allowed an independent East Anglia to re-emerge. It would not last, and within a few years it was again a Mercian protectorate. Penny of Æthelstan I, king of East Anglia, ca. 827-845 Moneyer: Æthelhelm Mint: Unknown (probably Ipswich) S. 951 O: AEDELS+AN REX R: +AEÐELHM MO Much like other early East Anglian kings, Æthelstan is essentially unknown from the historical record, but left a numismatic record. His coins are scarce, but prolific enough that he must have been king for a reasonable length of time. During his reign the Mercian dominance over East Anglia was weak enough that the East Anglian rulers could coin in their own name. This would last until the East Anglian takeover by the Vikings in 869. Penny of Eadward "the Martyr", king of England 975-978 Moneyer: Æthelstan Mint: Canterbury S. 1142 O: EADPEA REX ANGLOR R: ÆÐESTAN M-O CÆNT The unfortunate Eadward, with the sobriquet "the Martyr", obviously wasn't destined for long life. Just three years into his reign, the hapless Eadward was killed, probably by his step mother Ælfthryth, mother of his half-brother Æthelred II (himself destined to be an infamous figure). Groat of Edward I (1272-1307) Mint: London S.1379E O: +EDWARDVSI:GRA:REX:ANGL R: NS HIBN E DVX AQVT, LONDONIA CIVI Edward I introduced the groat denomination, or fourpence. It was not popular and was probably only produced for a short time, making Edward I groats rare. The denomination was revived by Edward III and was produced for centuries afterwards. Groat of Edward V, king of England 1483, struck during the reign of Richard II Mint: London Mintmark: boar's head 1 over sun and rose 1/sun and rose 1 S.2155 O: EDWARD DI GRA REX ANGL Z FRANC R: POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM CIVITAS LONDON Ex- M Lessen This issue was probably struck under Richard III but before Edward's death in the tower. The coin's obverse depicts the boar's head mint-mark, which replaced the halved sun-and-rose, which was in use probably from the end of Edward IV's reign until Richard. The sun and rose groats in the name of Edward cannot conclusively be attributed to either Edward IV or Edward V. On the other hand, coins with the boar's head are presumably from Richard's time, since the boar's head was Richard's symbol. This leads to a confusing coinage of 1483, where major events occurred during a period of 3 months. Edward IV died on April 9. His eldest son Edward was styled Edward V, though never had a coronation. The 12 year-old Edward unfortunately became a political pawn, and his uncle Richard, unsatisfied with his role as Lord Protector, managed to have Edward and his brother Richard of Shrewsbury declared illegitamate and marginalized. Uncle Richard became King Richard III on June 26. Edward and his brother were prisoners in the tower, and it is likely that they were murdered that year, though nobody really knows when they died. Bones purporting to be the two princes were found in the 17th century, but have never been analyzed by modern DNA testing. So we are left with a coin in the name of Edward, but depicting Richard III's badge. The Edward could be Edward IV, and there are plenty of situations of coinage continuing in the name of the recently deceased king (coins of Richard I in the name of Henry II, coins of Edward I in the name of Henry III, and Edward VI in the name of Henry VIII). It could also be Edward V, since Richard was trying, at least initially, to appear to be ruling in Edward V's name as Lord Protector. It can possibly be considered that ths coin was struck by Richard in Edward V's name before the demise of the young king, perhaps during Richard's protectorate. Or it could be a posthumous issue as it seems to be contemporaneous with other coins in the name of Richard himself. My take is that the Edward written on the coin is most likely to be Edward V, making this one of the very few coins that come from that reign. Testoon of Henry VIII (1509-1547) Mint: Tower O: hEnRIC 8 D G AGL FRA Z HIB REX R: POSVI DEVM ADIVTORIVM MEVM Ex- J Cross, EH Wheeler? An iconic portrait of the famous king, in his old age with an imposing if not-so-flattering portrait. Testoons were struck in great numbers but did not circulate greatly and were redeemed quickly, so survival is small. The first issue of testoons was in reasonably good silver but became quite debased, and sometimes the surface silver would wear away unevenly on the king's face, leading to one of Henry's nicknames- "Old Coppernose" Groat of Mary I (1553-1558) First issue (1553-1554) Mintmark: Pomegranate O: MARIA D G ANG FRA Z HIB REGI R: VERITAS TEMPORIS FILIA Ex- R Carlyon-Britton Mary, daughter of Henry VIII by his first wife Catherine of Aragon, is a controversial figure in English history because of her religious persecutions against Protestants. She gets the moniker "Bloody Mary" because under her watch several hundred Protestants were burned at the stake. Mary's husband, Philip II of Spain, was also unpopular in England. Mary died childless and her sister Elizabeth undid pretty much all of her political and religious changes.