It is not often you have the chance to really hold history in your hands, but Stanley Gibbons is offering just that opportunity in Jersey. A very rare Viking coin, struck around 940 AD, has been brought to the head office of the premium collectibles’ company.
The Viking penny was struck in the name of the Viking King of Dublin, Anlaf Guthfrithsson who had created a kingdom around York in 939. At this time, at the end of the ninth century, much of northern and eastern central England was under the control of the Vikings. The York Viking Kingdom lasted around ten years. This archetypal Viking coin, the ‘Raven Penny’, was minted during his short rule, for he died two years later in 941.
The obverse legend means ‘King Anlaf’ (Olaf) in Old Norse and is one of the earliest surviving texts in this language. It features the Viking war standard – what is believed to be a raven, or possibly an eagle as both birds were associated with the Norse god Odin.
Director of Investments, Keith Heddle said the coin literally took his breath away when he saw it: ‘This is a very rare coin and this particular piece is especially exciting as it is very likely the best example in existence. It’s the first Viking coin that I have ever had the pleasure of holding and seeing so up-close and is exactly what you would imagine a Viking coin to look like.’
It is available for sale for £25,000.