Early Edwardian Pennies
Type 2a (1280) - Spink 1385; North 1014
Coins of type 2a are very similar to those of type 1d, in all respects except the crown. The crown of 2a is from a single punch, and has a thin headband, which is shaped to the ornaments. The left leaf of the central fleur is usually incomplete as a result of damage to the punch. (The crown of 1d is composite, and has a wide plain headband and ‘detached’ ornaments.) The N’s of 2a are usually reverse-barred, but normal N’s also occur. Contractive marks are wedges. The neck of type 2a is short and the drapery is wider than that of 2b.
King’s name: EDW
Mints: Canterbury, London, York (royal)
Type 2b (1280) - Spink 1386; North 1015
Coins of type 2b have a new portrait, and the central fleur of the crown has an undamaged left leaf. The face is smaller with a pointed chin, and the neck and drapery are less spread than on 2a. The neck is also usually longer, and the drapery shows little or no hint of the slope of the king's shoulders. The N’s of 2b are invariably reverse-barred. Contractive marks are wedges.
King’s name: EDW
Mints: Bristol, Canterbury, Durham, London, York (royal)
Under the Fox classification, coins now designated 2a were grouped with 1d, and group 2 consisted of the single type now designated 2b.
North (SCBI 39) describes certain coins of group 2 as transitional between types 2a and 2b, and labels them 2ab. He further divides these transitional coins into two discrete sub-types, firstly those with the crown of 2a and the portrait of 2b, and secondly those with the crown of 2b and the portrait of 2a. In most cases coins of these two sub-types will be readily identifiable, but in certain circumstances their identification can be problematic.
The problem arises because the crown of type 2a in its undamaged state and the crown of type 2b in its early unworn state are virtually identical. In fact the same punch, but in its original and recut states respectively, may have been used for the two crowns. With varying degrees of die-tooling, striking force and wear, it can be impossible to distinguish between them on some coins. The transitional coins that are readily identifiable are those with the damaged crown of 2a and the small face of 2b on the one hand, and those with the worn crown of 2b and the large face of 2a on the other.