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The ceiniog (Latin: denarius; English: penny; plural: ceiniogau) was the basic currency of the medieval Welsh kingdoms such as Gwynedd and Deheubarth. Hywel Dda was the only ruler recorded as minting his own proper coins; however, the ceiniog was not a coin but a value of silver. The "legal penny" (Latin: denarius legalis; Welsh: ceiniog cyfreith) was the weight of 32 wheat grains in silver; the "curt penny" (Welsh: ceiniog cwta), the weight of 24 wheat grains. The latter was based on the old Roman pound; the former, Charlemagne's and Offa's.[1] The Welsh half-penny was the dymey of 12 wheat grains (roughly ⅓ the "legal penny")[2] and the farthing (quarter-penny) was the firdlyc of 6.[3]

Since the value in ceiniogau of most common goods and animals were regulated by the Laws of Hywel Dda, the system also simplified barter in Wales.


  1. ^ Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Laws. Oxford Univ., 1909. Accessed 31 Jan 2013.
  2. ^ Lewis, Timothy. A glossary of mediaeval Welsh law, based upon the Black book of Chirk. Univ. Press (Manchester), 1913.
  3. ^ Lewis, p. 150.