The Historical Prestige of UK SIlver Coins

Not everyone is fortunate enough to discover a haul of silver coins like two Scottish treasure hunters Gus Paterson and Derek McLennan. Using a metal detector the duo unearthed over 300 medieval coins that will be worth a fortune. Sadly for the two Scots the term ´finder keepers, losers weepers ´doesn´t count for historical artifacts and the coins will be handed over to the Scotland´s Treasure Trove Unit.

It is not the first time Medieval, and indeed Roman coins have been discovered in the Scottish Highlands and other parts of the UK. In 2012, a hoard of Roman coins was found in Belladrum and last year a rare gold pendant dating back to 600AD was surfaced in Norfolk, England.

Early coins in the UK

The earliest record of silver coins found in the UK date can to 600BCE during the time of the Celtics. Money at the time was a crude mix of bronze and tin alloy packed into primitive bars, but by 70BCE, the Celts had developed a more sophisticated coinage modeled on silver Staters which originated in Northern Gaul and included Roman influences such as classical motifs and Lain legends.

When the Romans invaded in AD43, the Celt coins gradually faded out and by the end of Emperor Nero´s reign had all but been replaced by minted Roman coins.

In 296AD, Carausius, a Roman military leader who revolted against the empire and declared himself Emperor of Britain and Northern Gaul opened mints in Colchester and London – the latter recognized by mint marks “PLON,” “PLN” or “LON.”  Although Constantine the Great would later close the London Mint, Roman coins were minted there to meet the commercial needs of the British population.

Coin change

In the 7th Century, England was under the control of the Saxons which saw the introduction of the Thrymsa which were modeled on the Roman coins. The Thrymsa would later evolve into silver Styca and then the Saxon penny which remained as the only denomination in England for the next 600 years when it was replaced by the Tealby coinage of Henry II.

In 1180, the Short Cross penny was introduced and proved popular throughout Europe until it was replaced by the Long Cross in 1247. The silver Groat was then introduced by Edward I, which at the time was the most advanced minting process and was copied by mints throughout Europe.

Silver sovereign coins

But English coinage didn´t earn the prestige it deserved throughout the world until Henry VII produced the sovereign coin which went on to represented global power and prestige under the famous reign of Henry VIII.

When the Tudor dynasty died out and James I came to the throne he dispensed with the illustrious sovereign and it was not seen again for more than two hundred years until the Great Recoinage of 1816 which reestablished the British monarchy and the government following a shaky 200 years in which the aristocracy were losing face with their subjects.

The silver sovereign coin together with the silver Britannia are still considered among the elite of silver coins produced in the UK. Visit today and add UK silver coins to your investment portfolio.