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Long Cross Pennies

Class 3 sub-classes

This page describes and illustrates the sub-classes of class 3, generally as set out by J.J. North in volume one of English Hammered Coinage (3rd edition, 1994). To view the more recent Churchill/Thomas classification, click here.

Class 3a (1248 - 1249)

  • Long, thin face, similar to class 2, usually with at least four small pellets making up the beard between the lower curl and the chin pellet on each side

  • Vestigial neck lines are often present

  • There is usually a pellet stop between REX and III

  • Almond-shaped or oval eyes formed by a pellet between two arcs

Class 3ab1 (1248 - 1249)

  • Transitional between sub-classes 3a and 3b

  • The chin is more rounded than 3a, but the face is longer than 3b

  • Usually four (but sometimes three or five) small pellets make up the beard between the lower curl and the chin-pellet on each side

  • Neck lines are vestigial or absent

  • Pellet stop or no stop between REX and III

  • Normal X with two straight limbs, as illustrated

 

Class 3ab2 (1248 - 1249)

  • Transitional between sub-classes 3a and 3b

  • The chin is more rounded than 3a, but the face is longer than 3b

  • Usually four (but sometimes three or five) small pellets make up the beard between the lower curl and the chin pellet on each side

  • Neck lines are vestigial or absent

  • Pellet stop or no stop between REX and III

  • Distinctive X with one straight limb, and one S-shaped limb created with a comma-shaped punch

 

Class 3b (1249)

  • Wide, rounded face, usually of coarse work

  • Usually three large pellets between the lower curl and the chin-pellet on each side

  • No neck lines are present

  • Pellet stop or no stop between REX and III

  • Almond-shaped or oval eyes formed by a pellet between two arcs

Class 3bc (1249)

  • Transitional between sub-classes 3b and 3c

  • Pellet stop or no stop between REX and III

  • Usually neck lines, as sub-class 3c

  • The three letters ENR of HENRICVS are usually ligated

Class 3c (1249 - 1250)

  • Well marked beard, pointed on later coins

  • Clearly defined neck lines

  • Usually a colon stop between REX and III

  • Round eyes formed by a pellet in a circle

  • Often a pellet between the curls on each side

Class 3d (1250)

  • Transitional between sub-classes 3c and 4a

  • Clearly defined neck lines

  • Colon or pellet stop between REX and III

  • Round eyes formed by a pellet in a circle

  • Often a pellet between the curls on each side

  • Letter R has an upturned tail

  • Face of class 4a

Notes regarding class 3 sub-classes

The classification of this element of the long cross coinage has been subject to considerable attention and refinement since Lawrence set out the criteria that defined the original three sub-classes, 3a, 3b and 3c. Additional sub-classes were first introduced between 3a and 3b, 3b and 3c, and 3c and 4a, all reflecting gradual changes that occur on the dies. The first two of the additions were labelled 3ab and 3bc respectively. The third, until recently, was known as ‘3c transitional’ or ‘3c late’, but was latterly given its own label, 3d.

As a result of the tendency for one class 3 sub-class to merge into the next, it is sometimes difficult to decide whether a particular coin should be assigned to the earlier or later of two consecutive sub-classes. Experienced numismatists may themselves disagree, as there are relatively few truly diagnostic features and some of the criteria are subjective.