Society for Creative Anachronism ARCHIVE
Ian Cnulle's Trade Penny
 
 
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Ian Cnulle's Long Cross Trade Penny
Society for Creative Anachronism $4 (One Penny) Trade Token
19.7mm .999 Silver

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   Unlike most other coins minted in the SCA, Ian Cnulle's silver trade penny is one of several denominations of "trade coins", minted for use in the merchants' square that the populace may experience the monetary values of the original Middle Ages. At those events where he serves as moneychanger, he sells the trade penny for U.S.$4; he buys them back at the same price at any time.

   The trade penny is "hand hammered" in the medieval manner using hand cut steel coining dies. These coins are struck in "fine silver" (i.e. 999/1000's pure silver); the original medieval penny the trade penny is based on was struck in "sterling silver" (i.e. 925/1000's pure silver). Each coin weighs approximately one "pennyweight" (i.e. 1/20th troy ounce) - the weight of the original medieval penny unit.

   The design of Ian Cnulle's trade penny is based on the "long cross" type penny of King Henry III of England struck from 1247 to 1272. It is most similar to the Class IIIa and IIIb varieties catalogued in Seaby's Coins of England as #1362 and 1363. The specific model coin used was struck in Canterbury by the Moneyer Nicole, attributed to the period of the re-coinage of 1248-1250.

   The long cross penny type (struck up through 1279 in the reign of Henry III's son, King Edward I) was the last English coinage to have the name of the moneyer appear on the coin. The moneyer so named was the mintmaster responsible for the production of the coins; in the early days, moneyers were more like private contractors than government employees.

   The traditional formula for the cross side inscription was the moneyer's given name, the word "on" (meaning "in"), and the name of the mint town, usually abbreviated and sometimes in its Latin form. In this tradition, the trade penny's cross side inscription is "IAN ON VIL ARG". "Vil. Arg." is short for "Villa Argens", a Latin rendition of "silver town" (G.P. Franck-Weiby lives in Silverton, Oregon; Ian Cnulle, a much travelled Englishman living in the reign of Edward I, calls it "Silberbyrg").

   Consistently with the practice of the period, the "head" side of the original long cross penny types shows a generic king- head image rather than an attempt at a realistic portrait. The original coins used variations of "Henricus Rex III" (King Henry III in Latin) for the inscription. Ian Cnulle's trade penny substitutes "Secula Media Presens" - abbreviated "SECVLA MED PRES" - an attempt to Latinize "Current Middle Ages".

   The intention is that these changed inscriptions identify the trade penny as a "fantasy coin" or a "semi-replica", rather than a copy or a "forgery" of the original medieval penny type.

Enlargements only available on ScrapBook CD-ROM
Ian Cnulle's Short Cross Trade Penny
Society for Creative Anachronism $4 (One Penny) Trade Token
20.0mm .999 Silver

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Obverse
or
Reverse
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   The short jeweled cross is copied from a 12th century French feudal billon denier of the Abby of St. Martial in Limoges. The inscription is simply a Latin form of the mint name written out.

The Moneyer of Silberbyrg ... EMail:Ian Cnulle (Greg Franck-Weiby)