1189 Penny – Richard I

Penny - Richard I (Richard the Lionheart)

The 1189 Penny - Richard I (Richard the Lionheart)

Richard I silver penny, probably struck around 1189-1190. Short cross type class II at the London Mint, Moneyer Ricard. Diameter 20mm, weighing 1.47g. SCBC 1346.

If you're looking for Richard's name in the legend then you may be disappointed as it says HENRICVS, as the coins were struck in the name and design of Henry II (and continued to be so in the next reign too). The only coins with Richard's name are those minted in Aquitaine and Poitou in France which were areas ruled by Richard.

Obverse shows a crowned bust facing holding a sceptre. This particular type is identified by small curls as the whiskers, no side whiskers, and by the number of pearls in the crown.

The Reverse shows as a voided short cross with quatrefoil in angles.

Coin shown is graded VF.

Image credit: CNGCoins

Mintage: Not known
Minted at Provincial mints.
Richard I (1189-1199)
Classification: PLANTAGENET, King of England.

Richard I was born on 8 September 1157 in Oxford, England. He was the son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He became King of England on 8 September 1157 but also ruled over several French territories.

He had a great reputation as a military leader and is often referred to as Richard the Lionheart (French: Richard Coeur de Lion). He fought in the Third Crusade and when not fighting spent most of his time in Aquitaine, south-west France. He died in France on 6 April 1199 (aged 41) a short time after being shot by a crossbow.
General Description: Penny
The Penny is one of the most famous British coins. The coin itself has been around since 600AD and at various times has been struck in silver, copper and bronze. Originally split into halfpennies and farthing, it is now itself the least denomination coin currently in circulation. Made from copper (actually copper plated steel).

Originally there were 12 pennies in one shilling and 240 pennies in £1; since decimalisation in 1973 there are 100 new pence in one pound.

Specifications of the Penny

  • Diameter: (Bronze) 31 mm (since 1860)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Composition:
    • (1707–1796) Silver
    • (1797–1859) Copper
    • (1860–1970) Bronze
  • Years: 1707–1970
Which Mint: Provincial mints
Not all mints are located in a single place. From the Roman days through to the middle ages it was easier to have local moneyers (trusted people who were allowed to mint coins) rather than make the coins centrally and then have the security and logistics problem of distribution.

There were often dozens of mints, sometimes all making the same coin. The variations and mintmarks are exciting for numismatists, although sometimes it takes an expert to analyse them.

Most English Provincial Mints began to close after 1279 when the Royal Mint opened The Tower Mint (called so as it was housed at the Tower of London), although some continued working for much longer. The central mint gave the King and the Master of the Royal Mint much more control over the production and quality of English coinage.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

The orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
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