A Brief history of Anglo-Saxon Sceattas (Sceats)
During the 5th century some Byzantine and Merovingian gold coins were circulated in Britain, but without a monetary economy they were used primarily as convenient pieces of bullion. The first Anglo-Saxon coins were gold thrymsas, but they rapidly became debased and were eventually discontinued. The first real coinage was the sceatta, a small attractive silver coin first mentioned in the laws of Æthelberht, King of Kent, circa A.D. 600. These thick hammered coins were the only unit of currency for a long period (circa A.D. 675 - 740). Sceattas were a single class of coin minted in England, Frisia and Jutland in Anglo-Saxon times, a truly international currency. Sceattas are very diverse, initially organised into over a hundred numbered types in a series devised in the 1880s, and by broader alphabetical classifications established by Stuart Rigold in 1977.