Short Cross Pennies
Class 4a (c.1194-c.1200) - Spink 1348A; North 968/1
Coins of class 4a usually have a crown band of seven (or more) pearls. They have a beard consisting of a variable number of irregularly spaced pellets, and hair represented by clusters of crescents on each side of the head. The letters, particularly A, N, V and M, are very wide, and incomplete letters and misspellings often occur.
Mints: Canterbury, Carlisle, Durham, London, Northampton, Norwich(?), Shrewsbury, Winchester, York
Class 4a* (c.1194) - Spink 1348B; North 966
Coins of class 4a* are distinguishable from those of class 4a proper only in respect of the stops in the reverse legend. In 4a* the usual single-pellet stops either side of the word ON are replaced by colon (double-pellet) stops. Colons may replace the single-pellet stops on one or both sides of ON, and there may be an additional colon after the mint name. If the only colon present is one after the mint name, the coin is strictly not of class 4a*.
Mints: Canterbury, Carlisle(?), Durham(?), London, Norwich(?), Shrewsbury(?), Winchester, York
Class 4b (c.1200-1204) - Spink 1348C; North 968/2
Coins of class 4b are similar to those of 4a in respect of having a beard of irregularly spaced pellets and usually a crown band of seven pearls, but the portraits and lettering are even more degenerate. It is the hair, however, that is diagnostic, it is depicted as a large single crescent (or double crescent) on each side of the head. Very late coins have the five-pearl crown band of class 4c.
Mints: Canterbury, Carlisle, Durham, London, Norwich, Shrewsbury, York
Class 4c (c.1204) - Spink 1349; North 968/3
Coins of class 4c are of comparable degenerate style to those of class 4b, but two features make them readily identifiable. Firstly, the letter S is reversed; secondly, the crown band now consists of five evenly spaced pearls (as mentioned above, this change occurred towards the end of 4b).
Mints: Canterbury, London, Norwich (or Northampton), Shrewsbury, York
Class 4a* Note
The coins now designated 4a* were formerly labelled class 2b.