Celtic Coinage of Britain

third edition

Click on coin to see hidden information





Early Dynastic Coinages 30—10 B. C.    (Info)




By 30 BC., all seven coin-producing tribes had mints in operation, and five were producing coins with inscriptions. Commius had started the practice by placing his name on the Atrebatic/Regnan/Belgic staters about 45 BC. Addedomaros promptly responded to this display of vanity by emblazoning his entire name across the Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian ones. This one-upmanship game spread quickly to the other tribes and by the end of the millennium, all but the Durotriges and Iceni were striking inscribed types. From 30 BC. to the end of the millennium, two additional developments shaped the coinage.

The first was a continued trend to localized coin use (63). The trade situation became increasingly rigid, with coins circulating largely within tribal boundaries. There was less and less intertribal coin flow as the century wore on and tribal areas became increasingly better-defined by the modern findspots.

The second development was the replacement of Celtic motifs by Romanized ones, especially noticeable on the Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian coinage. The designs of the gold coins became less abstract as time went on and Roman images appeared on the silver and bronze – often little more than copies of the Roman originals (64).


Next Section – Early dynastic coinages North Thames Region










1680 - 01    Tasciovanus First Coinage

25-20 B.C.      Scarce

Gold Stater    5.55 gms.    16 mm


Earliest Record: Stukeley, 1776


OBV: Crossed wreaths

Identifying points:

  1. two curves back-to-back in centre
  2. four pellet-in-ring motifs near curves
  3. outline crescents at edge
  4. two hidden faces


REV: Celticized horse right

Identifying points:

  1. bucranium above horse
  2. anemone above horse's head
  3. hook-like object below horse
  4. TASCIAV above horse





  • Standard weight given
  • Verulamium mint
  • Celtic Coin Index records now indicate commoner than previously thought
  • This type was copied many years later by Andoco during the Interregnum. The coin must have been worn, and the diecutter unfamiliar with the design details. He blundered the bucranium above the horse – (see 1860 - 01). Possibly Andoco wanted to legitimize himself by appealing to conservatism and tradition by copying an obsolete coin type.





Van Arsdell 1992g

(See Van Arsdell 1992g)





Henig 1972

Scheers 1969, 1982a





This section describes the early use of inscriptions on the coins.


Copyright R. D. Van Arsdell 2017