CAROLINGIANS. Charles le Simple (the Simple).
As Charles IV, King of West Francia, 898-922. AR Denier (21mm, 1.51 g, 11h). Metallum (Melle) mint. + CΛRLV(retrograde S) REX R (sic
), cross pattée / MET/ΛLO in two lines. Depeyrot 629; M&G –; MEC –; Fécamp 8388-8400. EF, toned, traces of underlying luster, minor deposits.
For the most part, the coinage of Charles le Chauve revived the monogram deniers of Charlemagne. However, the Melle mint recalled the mint-name reverse type first issued under Louis le Pieux. These original two line types were issued from 818-822/3 and bear witness to a time of economic expansion in the Carolingian Empire. In his early coinages, Louis attempted to curtail the number of mints to ensure quality. This type, however, was issued in high quality at a tremendous number of mints. No less than 45 locations produced coins of this type, including Arles, Cologne, Quentovic, Pavia, and Venice, to name a few. Melle, as the location of the largest and most productive silver mine in Carolingian territory, was a particularly important mint that produced vast numbers of coins during the period. Due to the high quality of these issues, the type proved to be extremely popular and was issued under Charles le Chauve for a number of decades with the legend META/LLVM before being reissued under Charles le Simple with the legend MET/ALO.