Offa, King of Mercia 757-796 AD
Canterbury mint, moneyer Ealred. Half-length, bare-headed portrait facing right (Bust B). Very rare. On the reverse, the Celtic cross is centered by a small cross surrounded by 12 pellets, a motif which has religious connotations (Christ and the 12 disciples), also found on the “Interlace” penny of Beonna, king of East Anglia, a coin issued almost 50 years earlier. This Christian symbolism was used throughout the Middle Ages, especially on silver coins.
Virtually as struck with a deeply engraved, unusually bold and magnificent portrait and crisply struck reverse, toned a rich golden gray patina.