CNVT / RECX A ('Cnut, King of England') and, on the reverse, EDSIE ON ECXÆEST ('Eadsie at Exeter' - the moneyer who authorised the minting of the coin).
Danish king - Anglo-Saxon coinage
Fifty years before the Norman Conquest in 1066, England was conquered by a Danish prince, Cnut, who later became King of Denmark and ruled the two kingdoms jointly.
The coinages in Scandinavia were far less developed than those in England, and it is a tribute to the Anglo-Saxon system of government and administration that Cnut adopted the existing arrangements for the coinage. Thus the same 50-60 mints continued to operate with similar personnel.
In this, his second coin type, Cnut is depicted wearing a pointed battle helmet, a design which had been experimented with by his predecessor Æthelred II (978-1016).
Final payments of Danegeld
In 1018, the last and largest tribute payment to the Scandinavians of £82,000 was paid.
It was intended to pay off the Scandinavian army, but there is no sign of this in the Scandinavian coin hoards. This suggests that Cnut may have kept much of it for his own royal treasury.
Recoinage system raises money for the crown
Although there are no documents to tell us how the monetary system operated, from the tens of thousands of late Anglo-Saxon coins that survive we have been able to build up a theory of the way coins were used.>
It seems that only coins of the current type could be used for official transactions, so that people had to take their old money to a mint or to an exchanger to change it for the new type.
The mint charged a fee for this, part of which went to the king. He therefore made a profit on each recoinage, and one could regard this as a kind of ancient wealth tax.