Medieval Coins

Medieval coins are, as the name might suggest, coins minted during the period known as the middle ages. When did this period started and how long it lasted is an area of contention. Most historians seem to agree that the medieval period started with the fall of the Western Roman Empire, but there’s heated debate on when exactly did it end. Was it when Christopher Columbus reached the shores of the American continent in 1492 A.D.? Or did it end when the Renaissance started? Or maybe it began when the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) collapsed?

We will let you take your pick. We like to think that all of these factors have contributed to the sea change that occurred during this transitionary period. But since we are talking about coins, perhaps the most important transition (or at least the first step towards a very important transition) around this time to us, came about in 1561 A.D. As this is the date when the first milled coins were minted for the first time.

The Medieval coins presented below are divided into Medieval British Coins, and Coins of Medieval Europe span between the time period of 476 A.D. (fall of the Western Roman Empire) and 1561 A.D., when the first Milled coin was made by a European Kingdom (England).

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Cilician Armenia, Levon I (1198-1219), AR Tram  Extremely Fine_obv

Cilician Armenia, Levon I (1198-1219), AR Tram Extremely Fine

On 6 January 1198, the Armenian Kingdom was formed when the then Prince Levon (The Lion) II was crowned as King Levon I, King of Cilician Armenia. He became known as ‘Levon the Magnificent’ due to his numerous contributions to political, military, and economic influence. His growing power made him a particularly important ally for the neighbouring crusader state of Antioch. The coinage of King Levon I set the standard for that of following Cilician rulers, comprising coins struck in silver, copper, and bronze and the odd, very rare, gold issue. On these silver Trams he is shown seated facing on an ornamented throne, holding a cross and fleur-de-lis with the legend ‘Levon King of the Armenians’ around. The reverse depicts a pair of lions standing back to back flanking a tall cross with the legend ‘By the Will of God’ in Armenian around. These are nice grade silver coins available in Extremely Fine condition, and are now over 800 years old, from a once-influential but now long-forgotten kingdom.
Jalayrid, Shaykh Hasan, Silver Dinar, Baghdad Mint, Square Kufic style, 1335-1356 AD_obv

Iraq, Jalayrid, Shaykh Hasan, Silver Dinar, Baghdad Mint, Square Kufic style, 1335-1356 AD About Very Fine

The Jalayirid Sultanate was a dynasty that ruled over Iraq and western Persia after the breakup of the Mongol khanate of Persia in the 1330s and which lasted about fifty years. The Jalayirid dynasty takes its name from Jalayir, the name of a Mongolian tribe from which it was descended. These silver dinars were struck in Baghdad in the name of Shaykh Hasan, the founder of the dynasty, between 1335-1356 AD. The beautiful calligraphy is typical of the period displaying Kufic-style script in a square on the obverse. Now over 650 years old and offered in About Very Fine condition and very affordable at this price but limited availability. This is the first time we have offered these coins.
Turkey, Anatolia, Kaykhusraw II, Dirham Lion & Sun Type Good Very Fine_obv

Turkey, Anatolia, Kaykhusraw II, Dirham (Lion & Sun Type - Seljuq sultans of Rum) Good Very Fine

Ghiyath al-Din Kaykhusraw II was the sultan of the Seljuqs of Rûm from 1237 until his death in 1246. He ruled at the time of the Babai uprising and the Mongol invasion of Anatolia. He led the Seljuq army with its Christian allies at the Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243 and was the last of the Seljuq sultans to wield any significant power, he died a vassal of the Mongols. Between ca. 1240–1243 a series of remarkable silver dirhams were struck in Kaykhusraw’s name depicting a lion and sun. Generally, Islamic traditions forbid representations of living things so it is very unusual to find such iconography on Islamic coins. Several explanations of the lion and sun have been offered to suggest that the images represent the constellation Leo, the astrological sign of Kaykhusraw’s beloved Georgian wife Tamar or that the lion represents Kaykhusraw and the sun Tamar. Grading Good Very Fine, these are beautiful silver coins struck around 780 years ago. Limited availability and the first time we have offered these coins.

How Were Medieval Coins Made?

Coins in medieval times were, for the most part, Hammered coins, which were made by placing the flan for the coin between two dies and striking the top die with a hammer.

Medieval English Coins for Sale

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you since we are coin dealers based in London, England, that most of the medieval coins presented here are from this country. England was (and still is) the largest country in the UK, and so the medieval coinage from the country is a lot more abundant, too. In the future, you might be able to find the coins you’re looking for in our new stock uploads. Subscribe to our newsletter to be one of the first to know when new stock arrives!

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