Showing posts from July, 2024

7th century Runic Gold from Suffolk

Early Medieval runic gold coins are very rare. One type, a shilling or thrymsa found in East Anglia, is known from only two examples (plus a broken contemporary plated forgery). Dating to about 660-70, in the "Trophy" series (the earliest East Anglian coinage), it is known as the 'Runic Reverse' or ‘Runic Ring-Bearer’ shilling (Marsden 2016, Marsden & Pol 2020). The example shown here was found in 1998 by a detectorist near East Bergholt, Suffolk (about 25 km from Sutton Hoo) and is registered with the Fitwilliam Museum's Early Medieval Coin Finds . The other known example  was found near Billockby, Norfolk. The obverse shows the head of an emperor facing left with a floating cross in front and above, and a nine-rayed starburst with two connected rings and a slightly disconnected third (with attached line) below. The floating cross on this coin is particularly reminiscent of Constantine's vision (as recounted in "Life of Constantine" by Eusebius)