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Alfred the Great Penny

One of the coins most frequently shown to visitors to the Royal Mint Museum is the Monogram Penny of Alfred the Great, (871-899).   It is a distinctive coin, with its skilfully worked arrangement of the name Londonia and a stylised portrait of Alfred crude in its execution but nonetheless full of personality.  

Alfred the Great Penny

At the same time, one of the most frequently asked questions is when was the Royal Mint established but, not having a formal charter or clear record of a definite starting point, we can only know from the record of the coins themselves of the existence of the Mint from very early times.   As one of the first coins to state explicitly that it was minted in London, the Monogram Penny has come to be regarded as a particularly significant coin in the history of the Royal Mint.   But minting was taking place in London before it was re-settled by Alfred the Great so, while this coin is a convenient way in which to arrive at the beginning of the Mint's history, quite when it actually began will remain open to question.