Irish Coins & Tokens

-------->Remember, postage is included<--------

 

 

Irish / American (Colonial)

 

Halfpennies& Farthings

 

WI-7576:  Circa 1674 Charles II Copper St Patrick’s Farthing.  Brass anti counterfeiting plug under the obverse crown with excellent detail both sides.  No damage or repairs.  Spink 6569.  Struck on a large flan (25mm diameter) but still termed “Small Size”.  This is undoubtedly the best grade example that I have ever handled.  Collectors of this issue will be aware that they were struck in Dublin on soft metal and that virtually all extant examples, and there aren’t really that many in total, are grim in the extreme.  A rare and desirable coin in any grade but clearly much more so this coin.  £995

 

WI-7126:  1674 Irish-American St Patrick Copper Farthing.  Brass anti counterfeiting plug very much in situ with excellent detail both sides.  No damage or repairs.  Spink 6569.  Struck on a large flan (25mm diameter) but still termed “Small Size”.  This was possibly the best grade example I had ever handled until WI-7576 came my way!  Collectors of this issue will be aware that they were struck in Dublin on soft metal and that virtually all extant examples, and there aren’t really that many in total, are grim in the extreme.  A rare and desirable coin in any grade but clearly much more so this coin.  £785

 

WI-6648:  1722 Type 1 Irish American William Wood Copper Halfpenny.  About VF.  Rare in this grade, rarer still being this first issue.  £355

 

WI-7575:  Rare Type 1 1722 George 1st Irish William Wood’s Copper Halfpenny.  Slabbed under NGC and graded by them as AU 50, meaning about Uncirculated.  Spink 6600.  Extra images here and here.  Rare in this grade, rarer still being this first issue.  Incidentally, when you visit the NGC page for this coin, it states that the current market value, something it helpfully does for all NGC slabbed coins, is £658, although bizarly, EF grade in Spink 2020 is £1,200 in EF and NGC seem to think this coin is a grade above EF?!  Contemporary planchet faults at 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock, otherwise a wonderful coin in both rarity and grade.  £445

 

WI-5627:  1760 Irish “VOCE POPULI” Copper Halfpenny.  Type 9.  Ex Colin Cooke collection.  £320

 

WI-5629:  1760 Irish “VOCE POPULI” Copper Halfpenny.  Type 4.  Ex Colin Cooke collection.  £325

 

 

 

Irish "Confederate Catholics" Kilkenny Issues

 

WI-5485: 1642-44 Charles 1st Irish Confederate Catholics Issue Halfpenny.  Struck in Kilkenny by the Irish Catholics who remained loyal to Charles 1st.  It was a very crude issue (shape, die and strike) with very few examples surviving due to the nature of the metal.  A rare early Irish coin.  £425

 

 

 

Irish The Great Rebellion, Coinages of the Lords Justices Issue - "Ormonde Money"

 

 

 

Irish James II Civil War Issues - "Gun Money"

 

Crowns

 

WI-7550:  1690 Irish Gun Money Full Crown.  James II emergency Civil War coinage of 1689-91.  Spink 6578.  Overstruck on the large Gun Money halfcrowns as by 1690, these were obsolete; replaced by the small size halfcrowns.  The obverse of the Gun Money crown (and it is just the crowns) has similarities to the earlier Charles 1st halfcrowns and crowns, which I’m sure was far from accidental.  It won’t have escaped readers’ attention that Gun Money coinage is currently riding high in terms of popularity.  After fleeing from England to France in 1688 – an effective abdication from the English throne – James II landed in Ireland March 1689 in order to promote his Catholic cause, something we are perhaps still living with today?!  He had insufficient funds to prosecute this war so the plan was to raise money by issuing base metal coinage in place of what would previously have been silver issues.  This was a less subtle example of the Quantitative Easing that we all witnessed a few years ago.  This coinage was set up with an intention for them to be exchanged for sterling coinage once the dust had settled.  This never happened.  The metal for these coins came from old cannon, bells and various other scrap metals that were termed “Gun Money”.  £285

 

 

 

Halfcrowns

 

WI-7482:  March 1689 Irish Gun Money Half Crown.  A unique example of an Irish coin dated by year AND month!  After fleeing from England to France in 1688 – an effective abdication from the English throne – James II landed in Ireland March 1689 in order to promote his Catholic cause, something we are perhaps still living with today?!  He had insufficient funds to prosecute this war so the plan was to raise money by issuing base metal coinage in place of what would previously have been silver issues.  This was a less subtle example of the Quantitative Easing that we all witnessed a few years ago.  If today’s money had still been based on the value of the coin in your hand being worth its face value in precious metal, then the Chancellor in 2009 would perhaps have done something very similar!  This coinage was set up with an intention for them to be exchanged for sterling coinage once the dust had settled.  This never happened.  The metal for these coins came from old cannon, bells and various other scrap metals that were termed “Gun Money”.  £115

 

 

 

Shillings

 

WI-5443:  1689 Irish Gun Money Shilling.  Struck August 1689.  After fleeing from England to France in 1688 – an effective abdication from the English throne – James II landed in Ireland March 1689 in order to promote his Catholic cause, something we are perhaps still living with today?!  He had insufficient funds to prosecute this war so the plan was to raise money by issuing base metal coinage in place of what would previously have been silver issues.  This was a less subtle example of the Quantitative Easing that we all witnessed a few years ago.  If today’s money had still been based on the value of the coin in your hand being worth its face value in precious metal, then the Chancellor in 2009 would perhaps have done something very similar!  This coinage was set up with an intention for them to be exchanged for sterling coinage once the dust had settled.  This never happened.  The metal for these coins came from old cannon, bells and various other scrap metals that were termed “Gun Money”.  £95

 

WI-6663:  1689 Irish Gun Money Shilling.  Struck January 1689.  This is the rare Spink 6581MM – ERA for FRA error.  After fleeing from England to France in 1688 – an effective abdication from the English throne – James II landed in Ireland March 1689 in order to promote his Catholic cause, something we are perhaps still living with today?!  He had insufficient funds to prosecute this war so the plan was to raise money by issuing base metal coinage in place of what would previously have been silver issues.  This was a less subtle example of the Quantitative Easing that we all witnessed a few years ago.  If today’s money had still been based on the value of the coin in your hand being worth its face value in precious metal, then the Chancellor in 2009 would perhaps have done something very similar!  This coinage was set up with an intention for them to be exchanged for sterling coinage once the dust had settled.  This never happened.  The metal for these coins came from old cannon, bells and various other scrap metals that were termed “Gun Money”.  £135

 

 

 

Sixpences

 

WI-7382:  1689 Irish Civil War Emergency Coinage “Gun Money” Sixpence.  Struck in Dublin July of 1689.  The sixpence is a rarer denomination than the shillings and halfcrowns – you seldom see them today.  After fleeing from England to France in 1688 – an effective abdication from the English throne – James II landed in Ireland March 1689 in order to promote his Catholic cause, something we are perhaps still living with today?!  He had insufficient funds to prosecute this war so the plan was to raise money by issuing base metal coinage in place of what would previously have been silver issues.  This was a less subtle example of the Quantitative Easing that we all witnessed a few years ago.  If today’s money had still been based on the value of the coin in your hand being worth its face value in precious metal, then the Chancellor in 2009 would perhaps have done something very similar!  This coinage was (perhaps) set up with an intention for them to be exchanged for sterling coinage once the dust had settled.  This never happened.  The metal for these coins came from old cannon, bells and various other scrap metals that were termed “Gun Money”.  Very nice grade, the rarer “no stop after DEI” variety, and benefiting from being ex John Rainey collection.  £145

 

 

 

Irish James II Civil War Issues - "Pewter Money"

 

WI-7394:  1690 Irish James II Emergency Pewter Money Penny.  Issued as part of the Gun Money Civil War coinage, but very much on the tail-end when the supply of “latten” or scrap base metal was very in dire shortage.  Things were getting so bad that a warrant was issued for the coining of two guns (presumably obsolete ones) from Dublin castle.  It then got worse still: writing to Mary of Modena, James II's wife in France, the duke of Tyrconnell (the lord lieutenant of Ireland) included in a list of 'things we cannot subsist here without' a request that 'forty guns may be sent us to coine into money'.  At the same time that brass latten was becoming almost impossible to source, the public were coming to the very end of their already thinly stretched patience with this non-money.  Their contempt for the coins and those who had issued them was unlimited, and they talked of 'their Tinkerly Treasure' and 'their brass imaginary coin made only valuable by the magic of their priests'.  This was never more so than during the Pewter Money period.  In January 1691, the Irish finally admitted that nothing was going to restore the value of their emergency coinages.  They announced that the brass & pewter would be withdrawn from circulation on 15 March. Those who had emergency coinage were to bring them to the treasury where they would be given receipts which would entitle them to full repayment when James was restored to his throne.  Most people knew that neither was likely to happen.  This pewter issue, the “successor” to Gun Money, had a copper alloy plug.  It was incredibly susceptible to both wear and corrosion.  Very few examples remain extant and hardly any of them are in anything like this grade.  Type II, Spink 6589.  Readers may be interested to know that the rare 1690 pewter money halfpenny in silver is all a later re-strike, probably done in France some time later.  What little precious metals they had at this time went to pay the troops in France because they refused to accept the Latten or Pewter coinage.  Further, all silver and gold Gun Money proofs are again later re-strikes using genuine dies.  This coin ex John Rainey collection.  Choice.  £2,950

 

 

 

Irish James II Civil War Issues - "Siege  of Limerick" Money

 

WI-6888:  1691 (this coin undated – read on!) Limerick Besieged Copper Irish Halfpenny.  Limerick was besieged in 1690-91 with no fresh metal available to mint coinage.  As a result, they gathered in as much of the large Gun Money shillings (from 1689-90) as they could and over-struck them with the new "Limerick Besieged" dies.  It is interesting to note that the old theory of “large shillings being halfpennies; small shillings farthings” has been resolved.  It would appear that large Gun Money shillings were still used to make these Limerick halfpence pieces (evidenced so clearly on this coin) but the supposed Limerick farthings are actually still Limerick halfpennies but struck on virgin flans (presumably when they ran out of Gun Money large shillings) that were slightly smaller in flan, perhaps as a money saving exercise?  This coin is the most unusual Limerick halfpenny I have ever seen:

 

Obverse:

1. The central crown of the reverse gun money host coin can clearly be seen, inverted 180 degrees.

2. The V is IACOBVS is an inverted A whereas it was a definite V on the obverse die itself.

 

Reverse:

1. The king's hair of the host coin can clearly be seen, again inverted 180 degrees.

2. There is no date (1691) whatsoever as IACOBVS (and note the V is a V, not an inverted A) still remains.

3. The N of HIBERNIA, always inverted on the die, looks more like an A with a vertical line to the right.

 

A truly unique and extremely interesting coin!  Spink 6594.  £465

 

WSC-7163:  1691 Irish “Limerick Besieged” James II Copper Halfpenny.  Limerick was besieged in 1690-91 with no fresh metal available to mint coinage.  As a result, they gathered in as much of the large Gun Money shillings (from 1689-90) as they could and over-struck them with the new "Limerick Besieged" dies.  This example having much of the original host coin still visible – a desirable characteristic.  Spink 6594.  It is interesting to note that the old theory of “large shillings being halfpennies; small shillings farthings” has been resolved.  It would appear that large Gun Money shillings were still used to make these Limerick halfpence pieces (evidenced so clearly on this coin) but the supposed Limerick farthings are actually still Limerick halfpennies but struck on virgin flans (presumably when they ran out of Gun Money large shillings) that were slightly smaller in flan, perhaps as a money saving exercise?  A most interesting and historical coin.  £185

 

 

 

"Hammered" Coinage

 

 

King John

 

 

 

Henry III

 

WI-5929:  Irish Henry III Hammered Silver Voided Long Cross Penny.  Class 1b, RICARD of Dublin.  Spink 6236.  A very long reign but actually a remarkably short issue because the Dublin mint started to issue coinage in 1251 and then in 1253-54, the Dublin mint was closed.  You would imagine that Irish coinage would be for Irish consumption but unusually, large quantities of the Dublin coinage (and Dublin was the only mint in operation under Henry III) were exported to England and the Continent.  Even though this was such a short mint run, a great deal of the coinage left Ireland to England and the Continent.  The famous Brussels’ Hoard of 1908 consisted of roughly 64,000 continental coins but also 81,000 English, Scottish and Irish silver pennies.  Of the latter, 16,000 were Irish Henry III – that’s an astounding 20% of all non Continental coinage, in a hoard found in Belgium of all places, being Irish.  This is one of the best examples of an Irish Henry III penny that I’ve had in a long while.  £225

 

WI-7244:  Henry III Hammered Silver Irish Penny.  Type IIa, RICARD.ON.DIVE – Dublin mint.  Spink 6240.  A very long reign but actually a remarkably short issue because the Dublin mint started to issue coinage in 1251 and then in 1253-54, the Dublin mint was closed.  You would imagine that Irish coinage would be for Irish consumption but unusually, large quantities of the Dublin coinage (and Dublin was the only mint in operation under Henry III) were exported to England and the Continent.  Even though this was such a short mint run, a great deal of the coinage left Ireland to England and the Continent.  The famous Brussels’ Hoard of 1908 consisted of roughly 64,000 continental coins but also 81,000 English, Scottish and Irish silver pennies.  Of the latter, 16,000 were Irish Henry III – that’s an astounding 20% of all non Continental coinage, in a hoard found in Belgium of all places, being Irish.  This is one of the best examples of an Irish Henry III penny that I’ve had in a long while.  This coin would win no beauty contest but it should be acknowledged that Spink 6240 dies were course in nature.  £125

 

 

 

Edward I

 

WI-5519:  Irish Edward I Hammered Silver Penny.  Waterford mint, second coinage, trefoil of pellets.  Good grade.  £129

 

 

 

Edward IV

 

 

Anonymous “Crown” Issue

 

WI-7500:  Irish Edward IV Anonymous “Crown” Groat.  Edward IV first reign coinage of 1460-63.  Dublin mint.  Spink 6272.  Struck at 45 grains, an unusual specific weight unique to Ireland, being 75% that of the English groats, in an attempt to stem the flow of silver over to the Continent.  The anonymous aspect of this early issue was political, based entirely on the transfer of sovereignty from the Lancastrians to the Yorkists.  Large crown in tressure of arches with trefoils at the cusps / Long cross pattee, pellets in quarters with x2 extra annulets in second and fourth quarters.  Toned, crystalline with some minor edge loss.  Sold with an old auction slip together with a collector’s cabinet ticket.  A very rare, iconic coin.  £2,250

 

 

 

Sun & Roses Issue

 

WI-5279:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Sun & Rose type, 1479 – 1483.  Strong portrait, some legend remaining.   Interesting die flaw on obverse.  Burns’ S-2 Dublin.  £225

 

 

 

Cross & Pellets “HEAVY” issue

 

Pence

 

WI-6304:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Standard cross & pellets issue but the rarer Heavy coinage of 1465-70.  Extra pellet in two of the reverse quarters.  DV on reverse signifies Dublin mint.  It is thought that these coins were not always heavily clipped, rather they were full size dies struck on very short flans.  This one less short than most.  Old, detailed ticket.  A very strong portrait being slightly better than the Spink plate coin.  £145

 

WI-5866:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Rarer Heavy coinage of 1465-70.  No obverse marks.  Bust C, likely Dublin mint.  £65

 

 

 

Cross & Pellets “LIGHT” issue

 

Groats

 

WI-6607: Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Groat.  Light Cross & Pellets coinage of 1472-78.  G on breast (Mint Master Germyn Lynch), Dublin mint.  Spink 6366.  Incorporating many elements of the earlier heavy issue, perhaps not surprising as the same dies were often used.  However, the Sun initial mark unambiguously put this as Light Coinage.  A lot rarer than Spink suggest.  £295

 

WI-7204:  Medieval Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Groat.  Second reign, third “Light” coinage of 1473.  Rarer Waterford mint town.  Initial mark Rosette.  Spink 6369C – “G” below bust indicating Germyn Lynche (an interesting and somewhat controversial gentleman) as the moneyer.  No extra obverse marks but x2 saltires in the reverse quarters.  25mm, 2.04g.  Sold with a collector’s cabinet ticket along with a detailed auction information slip.  Exceptionally nice grade for issue.  £875

 

WI-7276:  Edward IV Medieval IRISH Hammered Silver Groat.  A very interesting coin, being to all intents and purposes a Second Reign, third light cross & pellets issue Dublin mint issue groat of 1473 only.  DNW, Nigel Mills, myself – we all attributed it as Spink 6366E: a later, Dublin mint issue with pellets in some spandrels and in two reverse quarters.  However, it is actually a First Reign, first cross & pellets issue of 1465 only, initial mark Pierced Cross – Spink 6306A  The weight is 31.8 grains (2.06 grams) which is low for this issue (hence the thought it was the later light issue) but saying that, similar weight Spink 6306A examples do exist.  The obverse of this coin is die linked to one sold by Spink (March 2017, Auction 17004, lot #377).  Thank you to David Collins for his expert knowledge and assessment.  £395

 

 

Pence

 

WI-5878:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Dublin mint, 1470-78 issue.  Portrait style E, Dublin mint, Burns’ DU-1.  £65

 

WI-5879:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Dublin mint, 1470-78 issue.  Pellets by neck, Dublin mint, Burns’ DU-5.  £65

 

WI-5920:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Light cross & pellets issue of 1470-78.  Burns’ DU-6, Dublin.  Spink 6365.  £79

 

WI-5967:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Light cross & pellets issue of 1470-78.  Burns’ DU-6, Dublin.  Spink 6365.  An interesting coin as there is a partial second bust and pellet to the left.  £95

 

WI-6498:  Irish Edward IV Hammered Silver Penny.  Light cross & pellets issue of 1470-78.  Burns’ DU-22, Dublin.  Spink 6367.  An interesting coin: a Type 22 with x2 mullets by crown but an additional six pointed mullet (similar to those seen on Alexander III second issue coins) on the reverse inner beaded circle.  Better grade.  £75

 

WI-7283:  A++ Edward IV Medieval Irish Hammered Silver Penny.  Second reign, third “Light” cross & pellets coinage of 1473 only.  Rarer Drogheda mint.  Pellets by crown and neck would be Burns’ Dr-13 (which, according to Burns, parallels to Spink 6375, which it clearly doesn’t.  The correct Spink reference would be Spink 6374H).  HOWEVER, whilst this coin is certainly Burns’ style E and is certainly Drogheda mint (Dublin is a rounder face), this coin has an extra pellet on the neck with is completely unrecorded in both Spink and the acknowledged go-to reference for Irish coins – Irish Hammered Pennies of Edward IV to Henry VII, fifth issue, by Jasper Burns.  There can be no muling because there is no obverse die recorded with this fifth pellet.  0.52 grams and about "as struck" in grade - these Irish coins may look clipped but in actual fact were struck on approximately 50% reduced flans.  In a recent auction, a really nice Edward IV Irish penny (not an unrecorded example as this coin is) went for a four figure sum, before commission.  A rare, unrecorded coin is spectacularly high grade.  Choice.  £565

 

WI-7415:  Edward IV High Grade Medieval Hammered Silver Irish Penny.  Second reign, Third “Light” Cross & Pellets coinage of 1473.  Dublin mint, mullets by crown, quatrefoil in centre of reverse cross.  Spink 6373K.  0.47g, which on the face of it appears very low.  In fact, for Irish coinage (and a lot of Edward IV English pennies), this is a good weight as these were predominantly struck on small, very underweight flans, often as a money making initiative by the officials in charge.  English pence during this period followed much the same path: Lord Stewartby (English Coins 1180 – 1551 by Spink, 2009) states: “The flow of ill-struck and often illegible pence from the (English) northern Episcopal mints continued unabated.  (Archbishop) Thomas Rotherham of York was arrested by Richard in June 1483, but soon released.”  The production of short flan, underweight coins (ie face value one penny but actual silver content some way below that) would obviously be financially lucrative for the person doing it.  Archbishop Rotherham would appear to have got away with just that as he was released with all charges dropped.  The practise continued on through to Richard’s reign in England AND Ireland.  A high grade coin with an excellent portrait, being possibly even better than the Spink plate coin – the very best example they could lay their hands on with their vast black book of contacts.  Most rare in this grade and with this much legend.  £365

 

WI-7611:  Edward IV Rare Mint / Rare Type Irish Hammered Silver Penny.  Second reign, type 9 “Issues of the Ungoverned Mints”, circa 1470-77.  Limerick mint.  This issue immediately preceded the Suns & Roses coinage of 1479.  In this period, coinage was issued outside of the governance of the Pale (Irish: An Pháil) authorities, namely Limerick, Cork and Wexford.  The Pale was the parts of Ireland directly under the control of the English government in the Late Middle Ages.  This issue was brought about by the Desmond Rebellion (the Desmond Earldom stretched over much of Munster in southwest Ireland but also included Limerick, Cork and Wexford), mainly because the Earl, who had adopted certain Irish ways and customs, resented being told to be more English.  Of the three Earldoms (Kildare, Ormond, and Desmond), Desmond was the most remote from England’s control.  Clear rosettes by the neck (they are rosettes and not cinquefoils) and a clear mint signature.  Spink 6383, Burns L-23, which is a type 23 with only 8 recorded examples.  A very rare and historically significant coin.  £545

 

 

 

Fitzgeralds of Kildare “Geraldine” Issue (1487)

 

WI-7012:  Irish Hammered Silver “Three Crowns” Geraldine Groat.  August to October 1487 only.  Struck under the Fitzgeralds of Kildare, a powerful family who took control for a brief period after Lambert Simnel’s abortive attempt to win the crown (after Richard III, preceding Henry VII).  Spink 6432.  An extremely rare issue in lower grade and virtually unheard of in this VF grade.  Sold with a detailed information slip.  Choice.  £1,450

 

 

 

Richard III

 

WI-7148:  Richard III Hammered Silver Irish Penny.  Cross & Pellets coinage of 1483-5.  Dublin mint: [CIVI] TAS [DV]B L[IN].  Annulets by neck, distinctive Richard III face: Burns DU-17R, Spink 6410 (2020: £3,500 VF).  Small of flan, as always - it is thought that these coins were not always heavily clipped; rather they were full size dies struck on very short flans.  A very rare coin indeed.  £1,895

 

 

 

Henry VII

 

WI-7030:  Irish Henry VII Hammered Silver *CHOICE* Groat.  Late portrait issue of 1496-1505.  Dublin mint – type 1A: arched crown with bust breaking the plain tressure.  Spink 6455.  As you will undoubtedly be aware, these issues are nearly always problematic – double strikes (particularly the reverses), poor strikes, damages etc.  This is a superb example and easily choice for issue.  £795

 

WI-6912:  Irish Henry VII Hammered Silver “Three Crowns” Groat. 1485-97, this is the earliest type and also the rarer of the two varieties normally seen – DOMINVS hYBERNIE both sides.  Spink 6415.  Further, this coin has the legend starting at 10 o’clock which is most unusual.  Die linked to an example illustrated in Medieval Anglo-Irish Coins by Michael Dolley, p33.  Rare.  £345

 

 

 

Henry VIII

 

WI-7266:  Irish Henry VIII Hammered Silver Groat.  Issued in commemoration of Henry’s marriage to Jane Seymour.  Spink 6473.  The rarer First (1st) Harp Issue, 1534-40 but this coin dated 1536-7 in commemoration of Henry’s marriage.  Subsequent wives to see their names (initials) in lights, or specifically on Harp groats, were Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.  Anne of Cleves seems to have been overlooked by Henry and by the time of Catherine Parr, he seemed to have realised that perhaps the coinage couldn’t keep up with his marriages.  This issue is at 0.842 silver fineness with later issues going the same way as that of the English silver coinage, ie downhill.  See here for old tickets – ex Spink, ex Bosworth.  Rare.  £625

 

WI-7099:  Irish Henry VIII Hammered Silver Groat.  Issued in commemoration of Henry’s marriage to Jane Seymour.  Spink 6473.  The rarer First (1st) Harp Issue, 1534-40 but this coin dated 1536-7 in commemoration of Henry’s marriage.  Subsequent wives to see their names (initials) in lights, or specifically on Harp groats, were Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.  Anne of Cleves seems to have been overlooked by Henry and by the time of Catherine Parr, he seemed to have realised that perhaps the coinage couldn’t keep up with his marriages.  This issue is at 0.842 silver fineness with later issues going the same way as that of the English silver coinage, ie downhill.  This coin encapsulated (PCGS) and graded VF35.  Rare.  £625

 

WI-6369:  Irish Henry VIII Hammered Silver Groat.  1540.  First (1st) Harp Issue, DOMINVS, “HR” by harp.  Spink 6475.  These groats circulated at 6d during Henry’s reign and were subsequently devalued to 4d during a later reign (those being counterstamped with x4 pellets).  Initial mark Trefoil. With a silver content of 0.758 which although a lot better than the debased English Third Coinage issues of 1544 onwards, this does illustrate that debasement of silver was actively in progress in Ireland 4 years before it was introduced into England.  As we all know for our history lessons at school, Henry VIII led a lavish lifestyle as well as going to war with Scotland and France.  The country was fiscally challenged and so the idea was to create more coinage from the same amount of precious metal, resulting in coins often looking coppery in appearance.  Not really a good way of going about things (although I’m minded of quantitative easing in recent years!) as the practice led to inflation with the hoarding of earlier, high silver content coins.  The rarer earlier issue and sold with a very old collector’s ticket (Edward Watkins).  £269

 

WI-7177:  Irish Henry VIII Hammered Silver Groat or Fourpence.  First “Harp” issue (1534-40) but right at the very end – Spink 6475 – which is dated to 1540 only.  The earlier 1st issue coins were all dedicated to three wives of Henry but as a pattern was emerging, this practise stopped, although the change of wives clearly did not.  This last 1st issue is the rarest, being rarer than all the wife issues.  Interestingly, 1st issue coins are at a 0.842 fineness (typically in the UK we use 0.925 today) but this coin has all the characteristics of being more like a second issue (0.758 fineness) silver.  Funds were squandered under Henry’s watch and one of the ways they sought to remedy this was to debase the coinage.  For those interested, the Irish silver in coinage was “watered down” as follows: 1st issue = 0.842, 2nd issue = 0.758, 3rd issue = 0.833, 4th issue = 0.666, 5th issue = 0.500and 6th issue = 0.250.  The term “Old Copper Nose” was given under Henry’s reign as the latter silver coins literally had a copper colour after a bit of circulation, especially around the centre of the bust, ie around the nose area.  Sold with a detailed auction printout.  £325

 

WI-6906:  Irish Henry VIII “Harp” Groat.  Second (2nd) Harp issue, Spink 6479.  These groats circulated at 6d during Henry’s reign and were subsequently devalued to 4d during a later reign (those being counterstamped with x4 pellets).  Initial mark Trefoil. With a silver content of 0.758 which although a lot better than the debased English Third Coinage issues of 1544 onwards, this does illustrate that debasement of silver was actively in progress in Ireland up to x4 years before it was introduced into England.  As we all know for our history lessons at school, Henry VIII led a lavish lifestyle as well as going to war with Scotland and France.  The country was fiscally challenged and so the idea was to create more coinage from the same amount of precious metal, resulting in coins often looking coppery in appearance.  Not really a good way of going about things (although I’m minded of quantitative easing in recent years!) as the practice led to inflation with the hoarding of earlier, high silver content coins.  This coin particularly nice grade with an old ticket shown here.  It would be nice to think you could buy this coin for the £24 stated but alas, you can’t as this was the price in the 1970’s!  £325

 

WI-6394:  Irish Henry VIII Hammered Silver Groat.  1543. Third (3rd) Harp Issue, i.m. rose.  “HR” by harp.  Nice grade.  £225

 

WI-6849:  Henry VIII Posthumous (struck under Edward VI) IRISH Hammered Silver Threepence.  In the name of Henry but struck after his death, under his son, Edward VI.  This is the last issue, type IV, with the Tower bust – it is thought a lot of these Irish coins were actually struck using dies made in England.  Spink 6491.  A rarer denomination and a coin in very nice grade indeed, especially considering this was the billon or “watered down silver” period (it actually got worse in Ireland in 1552 with some coins being so debased that they looked like copper coins!).  £700 in VF in the very outdated Spink price guide.  £395

 

 

 

Edward VI

 

WI-6395:  Irish Henry VIII Dublin Hammered Threepence.  Actually struck under Edward VI, 1547-50.  Type IV, Dublin mint.  Strong detail on this debased silver issue.  £165

 

 

 

Philip & Mary

 

WI-5778:  1555 Philip & Mary Irish Facing Busts Shilling.  Debased hammered silver - nice grade for this usually poor issue.  £325

 

WI-5363:  1556 Philip & Mary Irish Facing Busts Groat.  Debased hammered silver - nice grade for this usually poor issue.  £325

 

 

 

Elizabeth 1st

 

WI-7348:  1558 Irish Elizabeth 1st Hammered Silver Groat - Choice.  Base coinage of 1558 with 0.250 silver fineness.  Initial mark Rose, Spink 6504.  This first issue was very much a continuation of the previous base issues - it took until 1561 for the “Fine Silver” coinage to be issued.  This coin is mint state – virtually “As Struck”, although to the initiated, it may not appear that way.  This is an example of the finest known Irish 1555 Philip & Mary shilling to give you some idea as to how good this groat is.  The billon nature of this coin defeated my usual camera, although I still include that image here.  The main image is via a cheap camera phone in artificial light.  Choice.  £1,950

 

WI-7140:  1558 Elizabeth 1st Irish Hammered Billon Silver Groat.  First issue, preceding the 1561 fine silver issue, at 0.250 silver content.  Spink 6504.  Ex Walter Wilkinson collection, accompanied by all his tickets.  The Walter Wilkinson collection was one of the best collections of Elizabeth 1st coinage ever put together.  Throughout the long life of the collection, Walter was constantly buying in better grade examples to improve the collection.  This coin is a superb example which I have certainly not shown through my poor images.  It’s a VF coin, regardless of the atrocious nature of the issue in general and the provenance is as good as it gets.  £575

 

WI-6671:  1558 Irish Elizabeth 1st Hammered Billon Silver Groat.  Base issue of 1558 only.  Spink 6504.  Very good grade for issue.  £185

 

WI-5542:  1601 Irish Elizabeth 1st Hammered Copper Penny.  Initial mark Star and on a generous planchets.  Most of these coins come out of the ground (it is interesting to note that examples have been unearthed from the Jamestown site in America, along with later James 1st hammered silver coinage) and as a result the copper corrodes.  The entire Third Issue of Irish coinage, 1601-02 only, was an emergency issue brought about by the need to pay the large numbers of soldiers who were in Ireland.  Their role was to defeat the “independent and warlike” Irish of the North, under the leadership of O’Neil, and to expeditiously “Shire” Ireland and bring it under English rule, basically making Ireland an extension of England.  The Earl of Essex was in command of the English troops but was recalled to England where he was duly executed.  His replacement, Mountjoy, somewhat motivated by the fate of his predecessor, did a much better job.  This is a very nice example with clear detail.  £155

 

WI-5575:  1602 Irish Elizabeth 1st Hammered Copper Penny.  Initial mark Martlet.  Most of these coins come out of the ground (it is interesting to note that examples have been unearthed from the Jamestown site in America, along with later James 1st hammered silver coinage) and as a result the copper corrodes.  The entire Third Issue of Irish coinage, 1601-02 only, was an emergency issue brought about by the need to pay the large numbers of soldiers who were in Ireland.  Their role was to defeat the “independent and warlike” Irish of the North, under the leadership of O’Neil, and to expeditiously “Shire” Ireland and bring it under English rule, basically making Ireland an extension of England.  The Earl of Essex was in command of the English troops but was recalled to England where he was duly executed.  His replacement, Mountjoy, somewhat motivated by the fate of his predecessor, did a much better job.  The rarer date.  £195

 

WI-7210:  1601-02 Elizabeth 1st Hammered Silver Sixpence.  Struck at the very tail end of the reign in order to pay the troops England sent over to quell the “warlike” Irish of the North, led by O’Neill.  The context was England’s desire to “Shire” Irish land.  The Earl of Essex was sent over to lead the troops but he was recalled to London where he was promptly executed.  The deceased Earl’s successor, Mountjoy, had a slightly better campaign, based on the fact that he wasn’t executed upon his return to London.  This coinage was very base, but not as base as the pence of this issue, which literally contained no silver – a revolutionary action (although Henry VIII got in there first with his “Old Copper Nose” coins) when you bear in mind that the entire foundation of currency was based on these coins actually being worth, in precious metals, what they were circulating as.  For example, in medieval times, a penny coin literally contained silver to the value of one penny.  This coin very high grade for issue.  £345

 

 

 

James 1st

 

WI-5595:  Irish James 1st Hammered Silver 6d.  1604-7, initial mark rose so 1606 – 1607.  An extremely good grade example of a usually poorly struck obverse issue.  £265

 

 

 

Pre 1800 "Milled" Coinage

 

 

 

Charles II

 

WI-7307:  1681 Charles II SILVER Proof Irish Halfpenny.  Armstrong & Legge’s regal coinage issue of 1680-84.  The coinage was split into two types: large and small lettering.  This is a silver proof for the small letter 1681 issue – the only other silver proof in the entire series is the 1680 large letter halfpenny.  1681 small letters (Spink 6575) is extremely rare with, I think, only one example known, which may well be a copper trial piece using the silver proof dies.  Slabbed by PCGS and grade PR53, which I understand to mean “Proof , about Uncirculated” – the AU grading system goes down to 50, at which point in becomes “Extremely Fine”, eg EF45.  At the risk of disagreeing with an American multi national company, this coin is clearly not uncirculated, although don’t be fooled by the obverse and reverse flat areas because to a point, these were built into the dies.  It’s a bit better than VF.  Choice.  £2,985

 

WI-7211:  1681 Charles II Copper Irish Halfpenny.  An excellent grade coin, especially so when you appreciate just how soft the copper was.  Armstrong & Legge’s regal coinage.  Interestingly, pre 1680 (the first Armstrong & Legge date), Ireland had nothing but old (and terribly worn) hammered coins, small (worn) traders tokens and foreign coins in circulation.  Spink 6574.  Sir Thomas Armstrong and Col. George Legge were granted a twenty one year licence which was ultimately so successful that it drove out all the old currency – great at the time but problematic several years down the line when this coinage was reduced to much worn copper discs.  £225

 

WI-7414:  1683 High Grade Irish Charles II Copper Halfpenny.  Armstrong & Legge’s Regal Coinage, Spink 6575.  Easily VF for issue (£400 in Spink 2020).  Sold with a detailed information slip.  £285

 

 

James II

 

WI-7139:  1685 Irish James II Copper Halfpenny.  The regular issue (before the Gun Money issues), under Sir John Knox, Lord Mayor of Dublin.  Spink 6576.  Struck with a soft copper alloy which resulted in much wear through relatively little circulation.  You rarely see high grade Irish “regular” coppers from this period (Irish W&M wear even worse) but this coin is the exception.  Comes with a detailed information slip which grades at abt VF for issue.  £349

 

WI-5950:  1686 Irish James II Copper Halfpenny.  Regular coinage issue (prior to the Civil War).  Nice grade for issue.  Spink 6576.  £95

 

WI-6766:  1688 Irish James II Copper Halfpenny.  Regular coinage issue (prior to the Civil War).  Nice grade for issue and the rarest of the x4 dates, apart from 1687 where virtually non are extant.  Sold with old tickets.  Spink 6576.  £165

 

 

William & Mary

 

WJC-7475:  HIGH GRADE and CHOICE 1691 William & Mary Scottish Copper Bawbee.  Circulated at a sixpence.  En medaille die rotation.  Dublin.  An act of Privy Council in August 1691 authorised a small issue of copper coins (Bawbees and Bodles combined), being up to 500 stones in weight or less per year, but never to be exceeded.  This act carried on when Mary died into the reign of William II, but effectively, these were the last Scottish copper coins to date. Initial mark Cross of Five Pellets (many people don’t even realise these things have initial marks as the grade seen dictates there is usually nothing to be seen!), Spink 5666.  Collectors will be aware that you hardly ever come across Bawbees (of any reign) in VF – they were from soft metal and simply did not survive the rigours of circulation.  Further, the obverse dies of William & Mary bawbees specifically were simply not up to the job as there was too much design to engrave with the conjoined busts to give a good result.  The trick with these things is to look at the reverse of any coins in order to gauge the grade as often, as in this case, the obverse side would have left the mint fairly close to how it looks in this coin, ie not a patch on the reverse.  This coin is approaching EF for issue.  One or two bawbees of this grade recently came up in Heritage Auctions where they all achieved four figure prices.  I don’t expect to ever have Bawbees of this quality ever again – they are that rare.  £695

 

WJC-7476:  HIGH GRADE and CHOICE 1692 William & Mary Scottish Copper Bawbee.  Circulated at a sixpence.  180 degree die rotation.  Dublin.  An act of Privy Council in August 1691 authorised a small issue of copper coins (Bawbees and Bodles combined), being up to 500 stones in weight or less per year, but never to be exceeded.  This act carried on when Mary died into the reign of William II, but effectively, these were the last Scottish copper coins to date. Initial mark Two Small Trefoils, (many people don’t even realise these things have initial marks as the grade seen dictates there is usually nothing to be seen!), Spink 5668.  Collectors will be aware that you hardly ever come across Bawbees (of any reign) in VF – they were from soft metal and simply did not survive the rigours of circulation.  Further, the obverse dies of William & Mary bawbees specifically were simply not up to the job as there was too much design to engrave with the conjoined busts to give a good result.  The trick with these things is to look at the reverse of any coins in order to gauge the grade as often, as in this case, the obverse side would have left the mint fairly close to how it looks in this coin, ie not a patch on the reverse.  This coin is EF for issue – Spink don’t think any coins in this grade exist for this year, as evidenced in Spink 2020.    One or two bawbees of this grade, possibly not quite as good as this one in particular, recently came up in Heritage Auctions where they all achieved four figure prices.  I don’t expect to ever have Bawbees of this quality ever again – they are that rare.  £895

 

WJC-7477:  HIGH GRADE and CHOICE 1692 William & Mary Scottish Copper Bawbee.  Circulated at a sixpence.  En medaille die rotation.  Dublin.  An act of Privy Council in August 1691 authorised a small issue of copper coins (Bawbees and Bodles combined), being up to 500 stones in weight or less per year, but never to be exceeded.  This act carried on when Mary died into the reign of William II, but effectively, these were the last Scottish copper coins to date. Initial mark Cross of Five Pellets, or Rosette, (many people don’t even realise these things have initial marks as the grade seen dictates there is usually nothing to be seen!), Spink 5667.  Collectors will be aware that you hardly ever come across Bawbees (of any reign) in VF – they were from soft metal and simply did not survive the rigours of circulation.  Further, the obverse dies of William & Mary bawbees specifically were simply not up to the job as there was too much design to engrave with the conjoined busts to give a good result.  The trick with these things is to look at the reverse of any coins in order to gauge the grade as often, as in this case, the obverse side would have left the mint fairly close to how it looks in this coin, ie not a patch on the reverse.  This coin is EF for issue – Spink don’t think any coins in this grade exist for this year, as evidenced in Spink 2020.  One or two bawbees of this grade, possibly not quite as good as this one in particular, recently came up in Heritage Auctions where they all achieved four figure prices.  I don’t expect to ever have Bawbees of this quality ever again – they are that rare.  £795

 

WJC-7478:  HIGH GRADE, CHOICE & VERY, VERY RARE 1692 DOUBLE DATED William & Mary Scottish Copper Bawbee.  Circulated at a sixpence.  En medaille die rotation.  Dublin.  This is the extremely rare 1692 error which left the mint with the date on BOTH SIDES.  It is the ‘…ET 1692 REGINA’ error under Spink 5666.  An act of Privy Council in August 1691 authorised a small issue of copper coins (Bawbees and Bodles combined), being up to 500 stones in weight or less per year, but never to be exceeded.  This act carried on when Mary died into the reign of William II, but effectively, these were the last Scottish copper coins to date. Initial mark Vertical Line of Three Pellets – unrecorded in Spink – (many people don’t even realise these things have initial marks as the grade seen dictates there is usually nothing to be seen!).  Collectors will be aware that you hardly ever come across Bawbees (of any reign) in VF – they were from soft metal and simply did not survive the rigours of circulation.  Further, the obverse dies of William & Mary bawbees specifically were simply not up to the job as there was too much design to engrave with the conjoined busts to give a good result.  The trick with these things is to look at the reverse of any coins in order to gauge the grade as often, as in this case, the obverse side would have left the mint fairly close to how it looks in this coin, ie not a patch on the reverse.  This coin is nearly EF for issue but there are no better grade examples known for this rare double date error.  One or two bawbees of this grade, possibly not quite as good as this one in particular, and certainly not as rare as this variety, recently came up in Heritage Auctions where they all achieved four figure prices.  I don’t expect to ever have Bawbees of this quality & rarity ever again – they are that rare.  £995

 

WI-6725:  1692 William & Mary Conjoined Busts Copper Halfpenny – High Grade.  A Dublin halfpence that was struck for only three years (the English version was only in operation for one year), this one being the rarest date.  Spink 6597.  Made from the softest of copper (the Charles II copper halfpence issue was equally soft), ie without the “hardening” elements to the alloy of later years, these coins were notoriously prone to wear through minimal handling.  The Spink plate coin is truly exceptional, being the best known example and worth well into four figures.  Planchet flaw – obverse king’s hair.  A very nice coin indeed.  £225

 

WI-6934:  1693 William & Mary Conjoined Busts Copper Halfpenny – High Grade.  A Dublin halfpence that was struck for only three years (the English version was only in operation for one year).  Spink 6597.  Made from the softest of copper (the Charles II copper halfpence issue was equally soft), ie without the “hardening” elements to the alloy of later years, these coins were notoriously prone to wear through minimal handling.  This one an unrecorded overdate.  Rare.  £245

 

WI-6678:  1694 William & Mary Conjoined Busts Copper Halfpenny – an unrecorded error.  A Dublin halfpence with the MA.RIA error very clearly displayed on the obverse.  Spink 6597, although this variety is completely unrecorded in Spink as well as the much more comprehensive Peck.  There is an argument which suggests that errors such as these were die sinkers’ identifying markers as nobody else at the time would notice.  We see this a great deal in the Commonwealth silver series, in the form of missing / extra pellets and although that was hammered and this is milled, Commonwealth and W&M were  only 30 odd years apart.  An important and rare variety.  £155

 

WI-7340:  1694 Irish William & Mary *High Grade* Copper Halfpenny.  Struck at Dublin during a short three year run.  Near all the copper issues from Charles II until the Hanoverians, but particularly so this specific Irish W&M issue, were struck on planchets made from a very soft copper alloy, one that was really not up to the job.  As a result, these coins quickly deteriorated through initial circulation.  What made the W&M coins in particular so susceptible to wear was the large relief conjoined busts obverse.  I’d almost go as far to suggest that the W&M Irish halfpence wore down through circulation at a faster rate than the tin issues, and they really did wear down fast!  Sold with an old auction slip stating “Very Fine”, together with an old cabinet ticket.  £395

 

 

 

William III

 

WI-5991:  1696 Irish William III Copper Halfpenny.  1696 was the only year William III struck the halfpenny and the halfpenny was the ONLY denomination issued.  This coin is better than the Spink plate coin (S.6598) which tells you it is extremely good grade for issue.   £225

 

 

 

Post 1800 Coinage

 

1d’s

 

WI-5853:  Irish 1805 George III Large Copper Penny.  Soho coinage (Birmingham).  Much rarer than the halfpennies.  £45

 

 

1/2d’s

 

WI-5623:  1805 Irish Copper Halfpenny.  Ex Colin Cooke collection.  £95

 

WI-6548:  1805 Irish GILT-PROOF Copper Halfpenny.  Plain edge, EF or better.  £265

 

 

1/4d’s

 

WI-5922:  1806 Irish Copper Farthing.  Toned.  £29

 

 

 

Irish Communion Tokens

 

WI-5590:  Mid 1800’s IRISH Church Communion Token.  Presbyterian Church of Ireland.  99.9% of all Communion Tokens are Scottish.  Burzinski 7552.  £48