Class 3 sub-classes

Henry III LC 3a Penny Canterbury.jpg

Class 3a (1248 - 1249)

  • Long, thin face, 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 eyes

Two varieties:

  • 3a1: The 'normal' 3a type, as illustrated
  • 3a2: An unusual variety, often with a colon stop between REX and III, as 3c, but with face and almond-shaped eyes of 3a
Henry III LC 3ab Penny London.jpg

Class 3ab (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
  • No neck lines are present
  • There is usually a pellet stop between REX and III

Two varieties:

  • 3ab1: Normal X with two straight limbs, as illustrated
  • 3ab2: Distinctive X with one straight limb and one S-shaped limb, formed by two crescent-shaped punches
Henry III LC 3b Penny Winchester.jpg

Class 3b (1249)

  • Wide, rounded face
  • Usually three large pellets between the lower curl and the chin pellet on each side
  • No neck lines are present
  • There is either a pellet stop between REX and III or no stop at all
  • Almond-shaped eyes
Henry III LC 3bc Penny London +.jpg

Class 3bc (1249)

  • Transitional between sub-classes 3b and 3c
  • There is either a pellet stop between REX and III or no stop at all
  • Usually neck lines, as sub-class 3c
  • The three letters ENR of HENRICVS are usually ligate
Henry III LC 3c Penny Canterbury 1.jpg

Class 3c (1249 - 1250)

  • 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
Henry III LC 3c Trans Penny London +.jpg

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 have been 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 are labelled 3ab and 3bc respectively. The third, until recently, was known as ‘3c transitional’ or ‘3c late’, but has now been given its own label, 3d. A further sub-division of 3c is also proposed, but this is not addressed in the present article, as the criteria are not easily described.

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. 


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