979 Penny – Aethered II (Ethelred the Unready) Ipswich


The 979 Penny - Aethered II (Ethelred the Unready) Ipswich

Silver Penny of Aethered II (Ethelred the Unready), minted about 979–985 at the Ipswich mint of moneyer Leofman. Diameter 20mm, weigh 1.48g. SCBC 1144. This coin graded as VF.

This is known as the First Hand type as the Reverse shows the Hand of God (Latin: Manus Dei) descending from the clouds and this is also known as Dextera domini/dei, which means the 'Right hand of God'. Moneyer's name surrounds: LEOMΛN M–O GIIP.

The Obverse shows King Aethered facing right with legend ÆÐELRED REX Λ(NG)LQX.

Image credit: CNGCoins.

Read more about King Ethelred below.


Mintage: Not known
Minted at Provincial mints.
Ethelred the Unready (Ethelred II) (978-1013 and 1014-106)
Classification: ANGLO-SAXON, Kings of All England. Hammered.

Ethelred the Unready (Æthelred the Unready, Ethelred II or Aethelred the Redeless) ruled twice, 18 March 978 until 1013 and then 1014 to 23 April 1016. He was born about 966, making him 12 years old when he took the throne first time.

'The Unready' was probably a poor translation, as in the day this was a pun as 'Etherlred' means well-advised but he was actually 'the poorly advised'. On most accounts he was spoilt, inconsistent, and a bit of a back-stabber even to his own noblemen. His rule altogether totalled 37 years, but it was considered poor, if not disastrous.

Ethelred's military ability was also lacking, and this was a problem with the Danes making frequent attacks on England since the 980s. Ethelred tried to stop this by paying the Danegeld (a tax, more like a bribe, given to the Vikings to prevent raids) but not long after in 1002 made the mistake of massacring all the Danish Settlers in York. King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark eventually came looking for revenge and Ethelred fled to Normandy and Sweyn became King in 1013.

When Sweyn died the following year, Ethelred returned and ruled for a couple more years. Ethelred died 23 April 1016, aged about 50.
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.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Penny page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
Anglo Saxon-England, Continental Phase (695-740), Sceat, Series E
Anglo Saxon-England, Continental Phase (695-740), Sceat, Series E
£ 150.00
Northumbrian Anglo Saxon Sceat Sceatta Reproduction coins Struck in Pewter
Northumbrian Anglo Saxon Sceat Sceatta Reproduction coins Struck in Pewter
£ 35.00
ANGLO-SAXON, Secondary Sceattas. Circa 710-725. AR Sceat (12mm, 1.01 g). Series
ANGLO-SAXON, Secondary Sceattas. Circa 710-725. AR Sceat (12mm, 1.01 g). Series
£ 350.00
CNUT SAXON PENNY QUARTERFOIL TYPE (MUSEUM SPECIMEN COIN) AN 250  1016- 1035 AD
CNUT SAXON PENNY QUARTERFOIL TYPE (MUSEUM SPECIMEN COIN) AN 250 1016- 1035 AD
£ 4.99
ANGLO-SAXON, East Saxon Kingdom, Lundenwic (London mint), (c. A.D. 680 - 710)
ANGLO-SAXON, East Saxon Kingdom, Lundenwic (London mint), (c. A.D. 680 - 710)
£ 300.00
Anglo Saxon and Viking Reproduction Coins
Anglo Saxon and Viking Reproduction Coins
£ 4.00
Anglo Saxon Period Coins Slate 6 Coaster Set
Anglo Saxon Period Coins Slate 6 Coaster Set
£ 24.00
Rare circa.600 - 800 A.D England - Anglo Saxon Longbow Socketed Iron Arrow Head
Rare circa.600 - 800 A.D England - Anglo Saxon Longbow Socketed Iron Arrow Head
£ 165.00

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