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Celtic coins were produced in two ways, conventionally described as struck and cast. Both methods required a considerable degree of technical knowledge to ensure successful results.

The process of striking a coin began with the production of a blank. This was probably formed in a clay mould, but it is still uncertain how the metal alloy was placed in the mould. It probably wasn't poured in, which would make precise weight control difficult, but perhaps put into the mould in powder or nugget form, or possibly as sections from carefully measured ingots.

Celtic dies were made of iron and/or bronze. They are extremely rare, since they were clearly carefully looked after while they were in use, and thus very rarely lost, and they were often used to destruction.. The quality of engraving on many dies is superb, and it is difficult to imagine how some tiny details were engraved on dies just a few millimetres in diameter.

The engraving ability of the moneyers was matched by their control of the weight and alloy of the coinage. They were capable of producing thousands of coins deviating just a few milligrams each side of the intended weight, and they could make subtle alterations to the quality of the alloy, masking a decrease in the precious metal content.

Most gold and silver Celtic coins also occur as plated forgeries. They were produced by coating a base metal core with gold or silver alloy before striking took place, either by dipping the core in molten alloy, or by hammering a thin layer of gold or silver around the core until it bonded with the base metal. Dies used for genuine coins were sometimes also used for plated examples; alternatively, dies could be faked by making a cast from a mould bearing the impression of a genuine coin, or by pressing a genuine coin into soft metal which was then hardened to form a die; sometimes the design of a coin was simply copied onto a new die, resulting in the reversal of the correct image.

The production of cast coins required very different techniques. The cast coins from south-east Britain were produced by pouring molten alloy into a set of moulds joined by runners, which were broken apart when the metal had cooled. The breaks were not always neat and often parts of the sprue - the joining portion between the coins - remain attached to the coin itself.

The earliest examples of these coins in Britain have relatively fine images, which were presumably made by pressing a coin into the mould. As this process was successively repeated, the quality of the image being reproduced became ever worse, eventually becoming a featureless blob

45 BC Addedomaros Addedomaros (King) of TRINOVANTES

Location of the tribe
Essex and part of Suffolk

The Trinovantian Kings
Identified from Coinage Evidence

Addedomaros Was the next identifiable ruler of the Trinovantes after Mandubracius in Caesar's time, though it is not known whether any others preceeded him. Almost immediately upon his succession to the throne sometime between 25 to 15BC, he moved his centre of government from Braughing on the eastern headwaters of the river Lea to a new site on the east coast which he named 'the fort of the war god Camulos', or Camulodunum. It is possible that he either warred with or was client to Tasciovanus, for around 15-10BC the Catuvellaunian monarch produced a coin issue with the mint mark CAMV[lodunum]. He reigned for about a decade or so before being succeeded by his son Dubnovellaunus c.10-5BC. It is possible Mandubracius died intestate or leaving no heirs; the family of Addedomaros, possibly championed by his father, succeeded to the throne after a brief struggle between the remaining Trinovantian noble houses; the Catuvellaunian king Tasciovanus later claimed that he was the true heir to the thone (perhaps his mother was the daughter of Mandubracius) and went to war on that pretext; thanks primarily to the interest of Rome, Tasciovanus was forced to withdraw and Addedomaros resumed the throne.]
Dubnovellaunus Succeeded Addedomaros to the Trinovantian throne c.10-5BC and ruled for several years before being supplanted by Cunobelin of the Catuvellauni. Like his contemporary Tincommius of the Atrebates, he appeared as a suppliant to Augustus and paid tribute on the Capitol in Rome before AD7. He should not be confused with Dubnovellaunus of the Cantiaci.

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold coin 5.58g, 15.72mm CCI 05.0752 found by Mass Bruce

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater found by Texas Gary

5.45g, 18.78 mm

'thanks very much for these, nice to see another Addedomaros after a gap of a few weeks! This one will be CCI 05.0749. The obverse is good, looks like one of the earlier dies in the series with the pellets between the arms. It's interesting that this one is that much further from the bulk of the other coins; it still fascinates and puzzles me, trying to work out exactly what sort of site you've got there, or what the precise pattern is behind the deposition of the coins'.

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater found by Texas Gary

5.45g, 18.78 mm

'thanks very much for these, nice to see another Addedomaros after a gap of a few weeks! This one will be CCI 05.0749. The obverse is good, looks like one of the earlier dies in the series with the pellets between the arms. It's interesting that this one is that much further from the bulk of the other coins; it still fascinates and puzzles me, trying to work out exactly what sort of site you've got there, or what the precise pattern is behind the deposition of the coins'.

45BC Celtic gold full stater 18.62 mm,v5.48 g

'that's a fine coin to start the season with! It'll be CCI 06.0412.'

Addedomarus 45BC Celtic gold full stater 17.75mm, 5.64g

Ark Gary's second 45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold stater 5.50g, 16.35mm

CCI 05.0679

Illinois Tim's 45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold stater 5.63g, 17.96mm

CCI 05.0678

Ark Gary's 45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold stater 5.55g, 16.02mm sent to CCI for recording

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater 5.51g - 19.05 mm found by Ohio Mike

This one will be CCI 05.0667.

As you say, a very well-used reverse die. I think I recognize the die - after looking at these quite intensively over the last year or two, the individual dies start to become recognizable. The obverse is on the other hand pretty sharp, and must have been struck from a fairly fresh die.'

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater found by Florida Don

'this one's a real cracker!

Certainly one of the best I've recorded in recent years, with just a little wear, as you say. The quality of the engraving is also extremely high - I'm sure these must have been among the first dies engraved for this type. The horse's muzzles which I mentioned last time are particularly neat here, it's really unusual to see them quite so clearly. I also suspect, though I haven't worked out how to prove it yet, that the coins with the pellets between the spiral arms are the earlier examples of this type.

I'll record this one as CCI 05.0655'

45 BC Addedomaros Celtic gold full stater found by Ark Gary

'Well, this is a nice one, and as you say with those intriguing symbols above the horse visible. What they seem to be is three horse's muzzles - on some dies they are virtually identical to the muzzle actually on the horse. Curiously, at roughly the same time that Addedomaros was using this motif on his staters, so was Commios, down in Hampshire. In fact since Commios is generally dated a little earlier than Addedomaros, it's not impossible that the latter encountered one of Commios's staters and decided to copy this feature. It quite often appears blundered, which suggests that the die engravers didn't always know what they were looking at. I'll record this one as CCI 05.0603, and I look forward to more!

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC - 5.53g 18mm

CCI 05.0290 Veggie Mike

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 5.62g 17mm

CCI 05.0291 Mass Linda

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 5.63g17mm

CCI 05.0293 Mass Bruce

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 5.57g 16mm

CCI 05.0292 Mass Bruce

Addedomaros type 45- 30 BC 17mm 5.50g found by Canadian Rod

'This will be CCI 05.0283. What is unusual about it is that the reverse is struck quite far off-centre, so that much more of the inscription is visible than is usually the case. Although the initial A of Addedomaros is not visible (at least I can't make it out on this image), what you can see then reads DDIID working clockwise round the top of the horse - with the first two Ds represented by the Greek letter theta (so with a bar across the middle), then the II representing the fourth letter, E, then a conventional D for the next letter. And obviously the rest of the inscription would carry on round in front of the horse's head and beneath the cornucopia under the horse. It is more common to see these coins offstruck so that the lower part of the design is visible, and relatively very rare to see the early part of the inscription as you can here'.

 

Addedomaros 45- 30 BC found by Mass Linda 19 mm 5.45g CCI 05.0285
Addedomaros 45- 30 BC found by Canadian Rod 17mm 5.42g sent to CCI for logging
Addedomaros 45- 30 BC found by Mass Linda 18 mm 5.62 g CCI 05.0286

Addedomaros 45- 30 BC Chicago Ron's 2nd full Celtic stater

5.30g 16mm

CCI 05.0267

Addedomaros 45- 30 BC, Chicago Keith's and Chicago Ron's full Celtic staters

Left example 5.64g 16mm CCI 05.0212
Right example 5.54 g 17mm CCI 05.0213


Addedomaros 45- 30 BC found by Palatine Bob - 5.56g 17mm

CCI 05.0211

Celtic stater of Addedomaros 37 - 33 BC found by Dakota Dennis 5.50g 17mm

Thanks to Philip at the CCI for this update 'a very nice example of the Addedomaros spiral stater, VA 1620. Lots of them about now (150 plus) but this is a very decent example - though as usual without a trace of the reverse inscription, all off the edge of the flan. VA's dating is a bit unrealistic, I would suggest anywhere between 45 and 30 BC, but certainly a little later than the Gallo-Belgic stater you recorded before. This one will be CCI 05.0196.

Celtic stater of Addedomaros 37 - 33 BC found by Arkansas Gary

CCI No 04.0678

'this is a very good example, both sides nice and sharp. I'm doing some detailed work on the dies of this type at the moment, there are quite a lot - something like 25-30 obverse dies and maybe 50 for the reverse - so it must have been quite a sizeable coinage, probably produced over a number of years. Somewhere between about 45 - 25 BC is probably a reasonable guess'.

Celtic gold 1/4 stater Addedomaros Floral Trinovantes tribe, 30 BC found by Billericay Mark

'CCI No 04.0680 is the quarter stater, VA 1623. Probably an issue of Addedomaros, so similar date to the stater VA 1620, although since there's no inscription we can't be certain. The style of the horse is very like other coins of Addedomaros though so it's a reasonable guess. Just under 60 of these recorded'.

 

 

Trinovantes Clacton type Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50BC 1.28g, 13.72mm CCI 06.0492
Trinovantes Clacton type Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50BC 1.26g, 14.04mm CCI 06.0491

Trinovantes Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50BC- 1.29g 14mm found by Mass Bruce

'yet another very interesting coin. This is a Clacton quarter stater, unlisted in Van Arsdell but in the British Museum catalogue (in the wrong place, with the Corieltauvi) as BMC 192, and in 'Coins of England' as no. 42. These coins were almost unknown in the late 1980s, but there are now about 60 of them recorded here, mostly from Essex and Suffolk. The reverse design is basically the same as the better-known Clacton stater (VA 1455), while the obverse has yet another interpretation of the three men in a boat design, here with two 'men', and sometimes looking like a human face. Unfortunately not readily visible on this one, though you should be able to pick out the outline of the boat.

Of those 60 or so examples, possibly as few as two are struck from the same reverse die as this coin, which has several large flaws and is probably from late in the series (as the use of a nearly plain obverse die also suggests). Both of the earlier two coins came from Suffolk, one from Ipswich and the other near Alderton. The type probably dates to c. 50 BC and was definitely a production of the Trinovantes.

CCI 05.296.

Trinovantes Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50BC

'This is an example of the Clacton 1/4 stater - it's not listed in VA, but there's one in the British Museum catalogue, at BMC 192 (where it's incorrectly attributed to the Corieltauvi). These coins were virtually unknown until the 1980s, but we now have records of more than 50 of them, predominantly from Essex, and it seems certain to be the quarter stater type associated with the full Clacton stater. There is strong Gallo-Belgic influence, as you mention - the obverse seems to be copied from the 'three men in a boat' design found on the imported Gallo-Belgic quarter staters, while the reverse is indeed nearly identical to the Clacton stater type. Its date is probably c. 50 BC.

This one will be in the Index as CCI 04.2136'.

found by Manhatten Gary(b)
50BC Trinovantes Celtic gold (Clacton type)1/4 stater - 1.13g, 13.71g CCI 06.0188

Trinovantes Clacton type Celtic gold 1/4 stater 50BC 1.25g, 12.94mm

'Clacton quarter is CCI 07.0124. The Clacton looks like one of the last issues of the type, with a fairly simple design of a mass of pellets over the horse

Hard to imagine the skill required in those days to to put two thin gold sheets over a bronze inner. Contemporary forgery of 'Clacton' type gold stater circa 70 BC

'It's a very nice example of one of the rarer Clacton types - only just over 20 of the basic type (VA 1458) are recorded, and there are some variations within that group (mostly in minor elements of decoration, and in particular the form of the 'flower' beneath the horse)'. It will be CCI 04.0481. '70 BC Found by Nevada Gary(b)
Dubnovellaunus succeeded Addedomaros to the Trinovantian throne about 10-5BC and ruled for several years before being overthrown by the Catuvellauni under the leadership of Cunobelin

Dubnovellaunus Late 1st BC to Early 1stC AD Full Celtic gold stater found by Texas Dave

'The Dubnovellaunus stater is VA 1655-5, and will be CCI 04.2295. We have records of just under 100 of the basic Dubnovellaunus stater type (VA 1650-1655); it can be very difficult to split them further without studying the individual dies, because key motifs such as the inscription are often off the edge of the flan, as here. In fact this example is struck a long way off-centre on the reverse, since it's unusual to see just about the whole of the motif beneath the branch under the horse.

Gold stater Dubnovellaunus 70BC found by Boston Al

Celtic gold 1/4 stater of the Cunoblein tribe 1stC BC to 40AD.(Biga type) head facing left found by Wis Paul

1.38g, 10.89 mm

 

'another cracking little coin. It is the biga type as you say, still quite rare: we have just over 20 of the quarter recorded. I had hoped to have a look at the dies in comparison to the rest of the coins in Oxford this morning, but ran out of time and I'm now back in Guernsey again. That'll have to wait a while, but in the meantime it looks as though it's one of the later strikings of this type, because of the simplified CAMVL inscription on the obverse. The earliest examples have each letter very clearly defined, but they soon merge into what looks almost like a zigzag on some coins.

Saying it's a 'late striking' is all relative of course: it's possible that the biga type was struck over a very short period, perhaps even just months and certainly unlikely to be more than say five years or so, sometime around 8 - 13 AD I would estimate. It'll be CCI 05.0688

Cunobelin tribe full stater AD 20 found by Boston Al

'CCI No 04.0679 is the Cunobelin wild type stater, VA 1933-1. Again a nice example, 75 of the basic VA 1933 type recorded although there are some minor variations in the size of the star over the horse (Van Arsdell splits them into small and large, but it's not always easy to decide where small ends and large begins!). Probably somewhere around the middle of his reign, perhaps c. 20 - 25 AD'.

Cunobelin (Colchester Celtic King) gold Qtr stater 10 to 40 AD found by me 1.23g 10mm

Cunobelin Gold full stater 10 to 40 AD found by Texas John

Celtic coin Index as CCI 03.0811.

Cunoblein 40AD - 1/4 Gold stater found by Boston Bud

The Cunobelin quarter is rarer. It's actually the so-called 'plastic' type, VA 2017 (CCI 04.2296). The key to its identification is that it's the only Cunobelin type which has CAM CVN on the obverse, rather than the usual CAMV. We have records of just 17 other examples. There are also other, rarer subtypes, which have A or AGR on the reverse coupled with this obverse'.

3 - 40AD Cunoblein staters found by Virginia Brian as a hoard

CCI 04.0477 'classic A' series, VA 2027-1. Generally believed to have been the last major series of his gold, so probably dating from the 30s AD. There are three or four matches for this particular pair of dies in the CCI, among the c. 100 of the basic type. The decoration at the base of the corn-ear is a bit more showy than usual.

CCI 04.0478 'plastic A' series, VA 2010-3. Believed to have preceded the classic type, so perhaps from c. 25 - 35 AD. About ninety of these are recorded here, and again there are a number of matches for both of these dies, including at least one coin in the British Museum (BMC 1819 in Hobbs's Catalogue of Iron Age coins in the BM).

CCI 04.0479 'linear' series, VA 1925-1. The earliest of these three, perhaps from c. 20 AD, and a little rarer, with about 60 recorded here. Again there is a coin in the BM from the same pair of dies, BMC 1783. There are a couple of rather unusual features to the dies - although not clear on your example because of the position it has been struck, there appears to be no V on the end of CAMV, and there's also a mark - perhaps some kind of privy mark - after the CVN on the reverse, you can just see the top of what looks like a letter I between the N and the horse'sfront legs on your coin.

1stC AD Cunobelin Celtic gold 1/4 stater 1.32g, 13.43mm - Cunobelin full Celtic Stater 'plastic type' 5.38g, 19.24mm

'CCI 07.0181, the stater: actually a wild type, I think, VA 1931, with the rather doglike head on the horse. So on current thinking perhaps from the middle of Cunobelin's reign, say 20s AD.'

'CCI 07.0180, the quarter stater: this is the type sometimes inscribed 'A', as here, and sometimes 'AGR'. There is no real agreement on what AGR means, but it might possibly be a son of Cunobelin - so issued in the short period between Cunobelin's death and the conquest, perhaps. Or it might be some other word, not necessarily a personal name. These are not common - not more than a dozen, from memory. The type is not listed in VA.'

Further update

CCI 07.0180, the quarter stater: this is the type sometimes inscribed 'A', as here, and sometimes 'AGR'. There is no real agreement on what AGR means, but it might possibly be a son of Cunobelin - so issued in the short period between Cunobelin's death and the conquest, perhaps. Or it might be some other word, not necessarily a personal name. These are not common - not more than a dozen, from memory. The type is not listed in VA.

CCI 07.0181, the stater: actually a wild type, I think, VA 1931, with the rather doglike head on the horse. So on current thinking perhaps from the middle of Cunobelin's reign, say 20s AD.

Other tribes

Morini :Occupied the territory nearest to Britain, overlooking the Fretum Gallicum (Strait of Dover), their major towns were Gesoriacum/Bononia and Tarvenna, known nowadays as Boulogne and Thérouanne, both in the Artois region of France.

 

Celtic gold stater Norfolk wolf type 65-45 BC found by Alaskan Todd

'CCI No 04.0681 is the Norfolk wolf. Another nice coin, c. 50 BC. The basic type is common (over 300 coins) but there are minor variations in the design, and this appears to be a rare variant with a sort of stick below the wolf rather than the usual crescent and pellet. I haven't checked through all the records but from memory there are no more than half a dozen or so from this die variant'.

One of a kind Celtic gold 1/4 stater found by Alaskan George

Latest views from the experts

"it's an early (perhaps c. 50-40 BC) quarter stater, possibly produced in Essex.
It seems to have developed out of the Gallo-Belgic D quarter stater (Van Arsdell
69), imported in large quantities into Britain from Belgic Gaul, possibly with
some influence from the so-called 'Kentish trophy type' (Van Arsdell 147) of a
very similar period.

This particular type is unpublished in any major catalogue,

Gallo-Belgic E stater, c. 56 BC. It's class 2 of the type, listed in Van Arsdell as VA 52. This will be 04.0476 in the CCI. (c) found by Texas Gary

50BC Gallo Belgic Celtic gold stater 6.24g - 16.58mm found by Ark Jack

'This'll be CCI 06.0190. Difficult to say exactly which class of uniface stater it is with this amount of wear - indeed it's quite unusual to see one which is this worn, it looks as though it knocked about a bit before being lost/deposited'.

Celtic quarter Morini boat tree 70 BC found by Canadian Rod

Celtic quarter Morini boat tree 70 BC found by Dakota Dennis CCI 06.0187 1.45g, 11.61mm

'The G-B quarter is a lovely coin, looks very sharp. There is a distinctive class of these which have all the little crosses around the 'boat' - they're not uncommon, but not always as nice as this'.

Morini ' boat tree' type c 70BC Celtic quarter stater - It's mine LOL 1.45g 11mm

Morini ' boat tree' type c 70BC Celtic quarter stater 1.41g, 11.0 mm

CCI 05.0751

found by Atlanta Mike

70BC Morini 'boat tree' Celtic gold 1/4 stater 1.48g, 11.87 mm CCI 07.0123

Chicago Ron's Celtic gold stater 'Whadden Chase' type 5.95g, 17.68 mm

The Whaddon Chase stater (yes, it is that type) will be CCI 05.0680. These coins are probably not very much earlier than the Addedomaros staters - it all depends really on when one dates the Addedomaros issue. It seems fairly certain that the Whaddon Chase staters could be from the later stages of the Gallic War, say about 54 BC at the earliest; they could be a little bit later, but are unlikely to be after say 40 BC at the very latest. If Addedomaros's spiral staters are his latest stater issues, then they could be somewhere around 30-25 BC, so perhaps up to 25 years later than Whaddon Chase. It just depends where each type fits, and we don't have an exact idea. I suppose it's true to say though that there is almost certainly a minimum of ten years between them, and more likely 20.

One of my colleagues recently suggested that the WC staters were issued by Cassivellaunus, to pay off Caesar during the Gallic War. They certainly seem to be found mostly in the territory of the Catuvellauni (so this one would be a bit further east than usual . The main catalogue reference for this type is VA 1476 in Van Arsdell's 'Celtic Coinage of Britain'. They're relatively common (300 or so recorded) but a lot of these are finds from the original WC hoard, found in Bucks in 1849.

Wis Dave's 1/4 Uninscribed Celtic gold stater 1.43g, 12.98mm

'Yes, this is interesting. It's an uninscribed quarter stater, traditionally attributed to the Atrebates (in the South Thames) but almost certainly a North Thames issue. We have records of about 25 of them, and without exception they've come from the North Thames area: it was previously attributed to the Atrebates because of the style, which resembles their uninscribed quarter staters with a wreath on the obverse. The date of this quarter would be around c. 45 BC, I would estimate, so like the Whaddon Chase it could be just a little earlier than the Addedomaros coins. It is catalogued in Van Arsdell as VA 260-1, but not only wrongly as Atrebates but also listed as silver. Many of the surviving examples are struck from the same pair of dies, which develop some fairly major flaws, especially on the reverse; the lack of many dies suggests this wasn't a very big issue, in comparison to the Addedomaros spiral for example.

If I remember rightly there are one or two examples of this type in the huge East Leicestershire hoards which came up about 3 years ago, but mostly they're Essex/Suffolk area. This'll be CCI 05.0683'.

 

1stC BC Corieltauvi celtic stater CCI 07.0103 3.55g, 18.47mm

 

'many thanks for the images, this is very interesting. It's your first Corieltauvi - to be precise the kite stater, listed as VA 825, nos 3181-3184 in the BM catalogue and no. 392 in 'Coins of England'. The reverse needs to be rotated 180 degrees and you get the horse left, with the diamond-shaped kite above containing pellets; and faint remains of a wreath design on the obverse.

This type has become relatively common in the last few years because of some substantial hoard finds in East Yorkshire - something like 150 recorded now. It's fairly unusual to see one down in Essex, although there are a few Corieltauvian coins from the county. In terms of date it's probably very late first century BC; most of these coins are either in base gold or plated. All in all a very interesting addition to your finds. I'll record this as CCI 07.0103'. Dr Philip de Jersey