Saxon Silver Pennies

These were first issued by the early Saxon King Offa (king of Mercia) as well as the kings of Kent from about 780AD. Later other kingdoms including East Anglia, Wessex as well as the northern regions controlled by the Vikings issued coins. The Archbishops of Canterbury as well as the Bishop of London also had their own coinage. The penny was of silver and of a weight of 24 grams. They usually bore the name of the ruler and sometimes his portrait. Viking coinage was similar but the with the designs showing runes rather than portraits.

In 973 AD Eadgar introduced a change to the coinage with the ruler's portrait on the obverse and a cross on the reverse. Both the name of the mint and moneyer were present. Over 70 mints were active by the time of the Norman conquest.

(right) Anglo-Saxon penny of Edward the Confessor