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Short Cross Pennies

Class 5

Class 5a1 (1204-1205) - Spink 1350A; North 968/4

Coins of class 5a1 display a revived high standard of design and production, in marked contrast to their class 4 predecessors. The hair on the earliest examples consists of clusters of crescents, but these later give way to ringlets. The letter S is usually reversed and the reverse has a cross pattée initial mark. The crown-band usually has five pellets.

Note! The coin illustrated is a class 5a1/5a2 mule.


Mints: Canterbury, London

5a1-5a2 London.jpg

Class 5a2 (1204-1205) - Spink 1350B; North 969

Coins of class 5a2 are similar to those of 5a1, but the hair now always consists of ringlets and the reverse has a cross pommée inititial mark. A flat-topped letter R and a reversed S are now diagnostic features. There are usually five pellets to the crown-band, but occasionally six or seven. The king's title may be divided either as RE/X or R/EX. Coins are often muled as 5b1/5a2 and rarely as 5a2/5b1. Some coins have ornamental letters: C, E, R, S.


Mints: Canterbury, Durham, Exeter, Lincoln, London, Norwich, Winchester, York

5a2 London.jpg

Class 5b1 (1205) - Spink 1351; North 970

Coins of 5b1 continue the high standards of design and production set in 5a1. The hair consists of ringlets containing pellets. The letter S is now regular (with central pellet), and the initial mark is a cross pattée. The coins are distinguished from those of class 5b2 by the letter R, which is flat-topped, as in 5a2.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Carlisle, Chichester, Durham, Exeter, Ipswich, Lincoln, London, Lynn, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Winchester, York

5b1 Norwich.jpg

Class 5b2 (1205-1207) - Spink 1351; North 970

Coins of 5b2 are closely similar to those of 5b1, but can be distinguished from them by the letter R, which is now round-topped. They have a regular S (with central pellet), and a cross pattée initial mark. The hair now usually consists of two ringlets each side of the head.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Carlisle, Chichester, Durham, Exeter, Ipswich, Lincoln, London, Lynn, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Rochester, Winchester, York

5b2 London (2).jpg

Class 5b3 (c.1206) - Spink 1351; North 970

Coins of class 5b3 are as 5b2 but one or both eyes are broken.


Mints: Bury(?), Canterbury, Carlisle(?), Chichester, Durham(?), Exeter, Ipswich, Lincoln, London, Lynn, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Winchester, York(?)

5b3 Lincoln.jpg

Class 5c (1207-c.1210) - Spink 1352; North 971

The defining feature of class 5c coins is the letter X in REX, which has wedge-shaped limbs, often no longer at ninety degrees. The bust tends towards a rounder shape and the eyes, no longer broken, are increasingly lentoid.


Mints: Bury, Canterbury, Chichester, Durham, Ipswich, Lincoln, London, Northampton, Norwich, Winchester, York

5c London.jpg

5a Note

If the obverse of a coin has 5a1 characteristics, but the reverse has a cross pommée initial mark, the coin is a 5a1/5a2 mule.

5a1 Note

A rare variant of class 5a1 exists on which the sceptre is depicted on the right of the coin and the legend correspondingly occurs at 3 o'clock. An example can be viewed by clicking here.