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'enricv' / 'Alein' Bendy Coin

 
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 Posted 08/14/2020  10:00 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add iamchrisd to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
i have been trying to identify this coin or a while now, its bugging me so I need your help and expertise! sorry for the state of the coin.

1) This is a bendy coin, would it be made out of tin?
Observe: can only make out 'alein'
Reserve: can only make out 'enricv' ('henricvs' I am guessing).

I know alot if the coins were silver, but would anything be made out of a bendy material like tin in that time?


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 Posted 08/14/2020  11:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Probably just a silver coin with a slight bend. Quality control hadn't been invented yet.

Maybe one of the German (Ottonian dynasty) Henries, rather than English? Huge numbers of late 10th/early 11th century denars minted in their names. Although I think more often it is spelled HEINRICVS (and mints like Regensburg=RATISBONA, Augsburg= AVGVSTA, Strasbourg =ARGENTINA tend to show up most frequently on the reverse)

(Moderators may want to move this to the Ancient/Medieval subforum)
Edited by tdziemia
08/14/2020 11:31 am
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 Posted 08/14/2020  7:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
agreed.

Added: with what looks like a short, voided cross I wonder if this isn't a silver penny from 12th Century England/Scotland? Compare to Spink 1351:

https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=l...3509&lot=284
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 Posted 08/14/2020  9:44 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting coin in that it does appear to be and English voided short cross penny issued in the name of Henry. Coins issued in the Name of Henry were struck under Henry II, Richard I, John Lackland and Henry III. What is odd about this coin is that it is missing the pellets between each arm of the Cross and the void between each arm appears wider than normal. I wish there were just a little more detail to go on.
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 Posted 08/14/2020  10:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It also strikes me that the lettering is not at all the well formed gothic lettering of the link from @spence, but something more crude.

I don't know the significance of this, but just adding it to the discussion.
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 Posted 08/15/2020  01:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gincoin43 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree tdz. Though I'm not convinced it is English and not from some where like Frisia.
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 Posted 08/15/2020  04:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'd ascribe the apparent crudeness of design and lettering to it being an "esterling" - an imitation or contemporary counterfeit coin originating from the east of England (i.e. the Low Countries of Europe) that copied the design of English coinage, but was made of slightly less than pure silver. Esterlings plagued the English financial system and were banned from circulating in England, so they are more commonly found in Europe than in England itself. This guy has a whole website about them.

These coins, incidentally, are where we get the word "sterling" from, to describe an alloy of 92.5% silver.

As for the question about the "bendy metal": pure or nearly-pure silver is quite bendy enough, when it's as thin as these coins are. Not only were many mediaeval silver coins "bendable", they are often found in a bent condition when dug up. A common method for carrying coins around back then was to bend the coin about a piece of string and carry the string around your neck; when you needed a coin, you just grabbed one and pulled it off the string. Many hoards in Europe are from a lost string, where every single coin is bent around a now-rotten-away piece of string.

Note that while the coins may have been quite "bendy" back when they were made a thousand years ago or thereabouts, they are no longer bendy today. Silver slowly "crystallizes" and becomes more brittle over the centuries, so a coin that a mediaeval person would have been able to bend would just snap if you tried to bend it today. "Unbending" a coin that has been found bent is a skill and art, as it needs to be done very slowly and carefully in order to prevent the coin simply snapping into pieces.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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