Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

England’s rarest coin

Chris Skinner Author Avatar
Eadbald coin

I like auctions and collecting stuff so when it was announced that England’s rarest coin was going to be sold by Spinks Auction House last week, I had to have a look.

The coin is a real rarity dating back to the 7th century and King Eadbald of Kent, who ruled from 616 to 640 A.D. 

Eadbald coin

This type of coin was long known to be amongst the earliest of English examples, and is peculiarly Anglo-Saxon because it does not have motifs found on similar coins of that time, and does not try to copy Roman ones.

On the back of the coin can be seen the word londenv, indicating London as the mint for the coin.

The real significance though is the inscription naming King Eadbald, as this makes it the earliest coin identified as being issued in the name of an English king.

Eadbald succeded Aethelberht as king of Kent in 616.

Aethelberht is principally remembered for having accepted St. Augustine into his kingdom and his subsequent conversion to Roman Christianity.

According to Bede, Eadbald fell foul of the young Church after his accession by rejecting Christianity, ejecting its Bishops and incurring the wrath of the Church for committing 'such fornication as the Apostle Paul mentioned as being unheard of even among the heathen, in that he took his father's wife as his own.'

Whatever Eadbald did at that time the situation did not last, as he later repented and was duly baptised, rejecting his wife and favouring the Church within his kingdom thereafter.

These events reflect the conflict and confusion amongst the Anglo-Saxon elite at this time as Christianity sought to assert itself over the Pagan religion.

As to the date of these named coins, the presence of Christian iconography dates them to after his conversion between 620 and 635.

Only six coins other than this example are known to exist and are held mainly in institutional collections.  Only one example, other than this one, is therefore in private hands and is the reason why the auctioneers put an estimate on this coin’s value of between £6,000 to £8,000.

As most of the other coins in the catalogue were estimated at under £1,000, this was their star piece and attracted quite a lot of attention therefore ... and maybe even they were surprised when it sold for £26,000!

Now where’s my metal detector?

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

Digital Transformation Programme

Learn directly from from one of the most influential people in technology, gain insights from the world's most innovative companies, and build a global network.

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech 2022

Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

Thinkers360 Thought Leader

Contact Me

Best Financial Services Blogger

Chris’s latest book

Chris Skinner’s ‘Digital For Good’ Book Launch Event – CFTE

Global Awards

Best CEO of the Year UK 2022

Best Digital Finance Provider of the Year UK 2022

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Corporate America Today Annual Awards

Best Financial Markets Adviser of the Year UK 2022

Portal to the Knowledge Base of the Financial Services Club UK 2022

Financial Markets Advisor of the Year UK 2022

Nominee of MAD33 2021

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

Join me on Linkedin

Follow Me on Twitter!

UK’s most influential person in technology

Captain Cake and the Candy Crew

Captain Cake Winner of a Golden Mom’s Choice Award


TheNextWeb – #tnw

Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

Presentation at ZBP, September 2020, Warsaw, Poland

Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser