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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > *Alex > BRITAIN - HAMMERED COINS
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1327 - 1377, EDWARD III, AR (billon) Denier au Leopard, struck at Bordeaux, France
Obverse: + EDVARDVS : REX around beaded inner circle containing legend ANGL between two lines, Leopard facing left above, trefoil of pellets below. Cross pattée in legend.
Reverse: + DVX AQITANIE around beaded inner circle containing cross pattée. Cross pattée in legend.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 0.70gms | Die Axis: 3
Second type issue. Scarce
SPINK: 8090

Unlike English silver coins which, with few exceptions were maintained at sterling fineness, these small denomination continental coins were often debased. At the time of issue they would have had a good silver appearance, but after some use their color darkened, hence they became known as “Black Money”.
Black money coins were hastily produced in large numbers and often poorly struck. They were the common circulating medium at the time and consequently they became very worn so that, during the ensuing years during which there were frequent re-coinages, they were the first into the melting pot. Surviving examples are therefore now quite rare and most of those that have survived are of a low grade.

Edward III was King of England from January 1327 until his death. He is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. During his long reign Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His reign also saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, though it also saw the ravages of the Black Death.
Edward was crowned at the age of fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella of France, and her lover Roger Mortimer. But at the age of seventeen he led a successful coup d'état against Mortimer, whom he executed, and began his personal reign.
In 1337, after a successful campaign in Scotland, Edward declared himself the rightful heir to the French throne which started what was to become known as the Hundred Years' War. Following some initial setbacks, the first part of this war went exceptionally well for England, the victories at Crécy and Poitiers led to the highly favourable Treaty of Brétigny in which, though Edward renounced his claim to the French throne, England made great territorial gains. However Edward's later years were marked by international failure and domestic strife, largely as a result of his inactivity and poor health.
Around 29 September 1376 Edward fell ill with a large abscess and, after a brief period of recovery, the king died of a stroke at Sheen on 21 June. He was succeeded by his ten-year-old grandson, King Richard II, since Edward's son, heir and Richard's father, the Black Prince, had predeceased Edward on 8 June 1376.
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