Irish Coin Daily: A contemporary forgery of an Hiberno-Norse Silver Penny, Phase I, Class D, (small cross penny) ???

Date: c. 995-1015 ?

Hiberno-Norse. Phase V (c.1065-95) Penny ND, Uncertain mint, 1.49g, S-6147. A very rare imitation Edward the Confessor's small cross penny

Hiberno-Norse. Phase I, Class D (c.995-1015) Penny, Uncertain mint, 1.49g. An unusually heavy ‘contemporary forgery’ of an Hiberno-Norse imitation of Edward the Confessor’s small cross penny… or, is it a later forgery / counterfeit?



Although listed as a Phase V Hiberno-Norse silver penny in the Heritage Auction #3030, this coin is much more likely to be a ‘contemporary’ forgery of an Hiberno-Norse Phase I, Class D small cross penny. As such, it is also likely to have originated from an unknown Irish Sea mint. I reject the idea that it might be Hiberno-Norse, Phase V for the following reasons:

  1. It is very heavy (at 1.49g) and almost double the average weight of Phase V coins.
  2. It also weighs in at the high end of the Hiberno-Norse, Phase I, Class D too, so it would be interesting to assay the lead:silver content
  3. Struck ‘off-centre, it has an uncertain mint signature (illegible legends) and an unknown moneyer – an unusual combination for the Hiberno-Norse, Phase I series
  4. If it was of good silver, it would have been put back into the melting pot, so I am also rejecting the notion that it might have been a test piece by a moneyer in Viking Dublin
  5. For the same reasons (as 4. above) I am also rejecting the notion that it might be a Scandinavian imitation of an English (Edward the Confessor) ‘small cross penny’
  6. It is, in my opinion, either a contemporary (or much later) forgery

A very crude strike and poorly executed, leaving all but a few letters of an already badly blundered legend completely illegible. Despite that, the surfaces are remarkably well preserved and there is no evidence of peck marks, i.e. transactional usage.

  • Weight: 1.49g
  • Extremely Fine (EF)


  • A unique coin, not listed in any of the catalogues
    • Could it have originated from the Isle of Man, Galloway, the Maols, or even somewhere in Northern England?


  • Draped bust left, cross pattée behind neck
  • Pseudo-legend around


  • Small cross pattée (crudely imitating Edward the Confessor’s small cross penny)
  • Pseudo-legend around


  • Ireland


  • Hiberno-Norse
    • Phase 1 ‘contemporary’ forgery
      • Class D (Small Cross)
  • Hammered


Other Coins in this Series:

Further Reading:





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