at 400 dots / inch
This coin is a Hiberno Norse penny struck in Dublin in about 1100 AD.
This is a Phase VI coin - working from the chronology of the series put forward by Michaels Dolley in the "Sylloge of Hiberno Nornse Coins in the British Museum".
Phase VI coins are less scarce than the other later phases and only the Phase III coin are as commonly available. Phase VI coins are more uniform than the other later phases (Phase IV- Phase VII). However the coins are generally poorly made and the silver quality is poorer leading to more darkening and corrosion than the earlier phases (Phase I - Phase III).
This example is a scarcer variety - not actually listed in any published catalogue - the distinguishing feature is that the opposing quarters on the reverse contain annulets and sceptres, as opposed to the more normal varieties of pellets and sceptres or crosses and sceptres. (the sceptre is a line with a trefoil of pellets at its head.
The obverse design is a very degraded version of the Aethelred II radiate bust from the 'long cross' issue and it has the additional feature of a crozier (or similar device) in front of the face.
The legend makes no attempt at intelligibility being made up entirely of vertical strokes. The legend is broken by the bust on the obverse (where the bust has a pellet terminated cross on the neck). The reverse legend has no clear initiator or terminator (which is usually a cross on teh earlier issues) .
This example is in Very Fine (VF) condition on the basis of its appearance, however given it has excellent quality surfaces and traces of original lustre so it is probably not very far from its striking condition except of the darkening of the surfaces. (the scanner tends to flatten the lustre somewhat - a photo brings out the lustre, but usually looses some detail !)
Coins which are in relatively low grades but where the low grade is a result of poor striking rather than subsequent wear or damages are described as 'As Struck' rather than 'Mint State' which term is reserved for coins which are well made and in original condition.
On this basis this coin would be described as 'Very Fine, dark, otherwise almost As Struck'. Since Phase VI coins rarely turn up in nicer condition than this it is a perfectly understandable grade to a collector of the series.
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