THIS PAGE IS A 'WORK IN PROGRESS'
I would appreciate communication about any clear mistakes, however there are still a number of artifacts in place from the construction which will not be in place in the final page - most notably the use of the cataligue reference colums as a jotting pad for die numbers and layout options.
P.S. please do not make any financial decisions based on these prices - it is possible that I have inadvertently transposed digits or even whole lines in the editing process.
- Image 335 - July .
- November 1689 varieties
- December 1689 .....
Catalogue of Irish Coin Prices
Gunmoney - Regular Issues
of Gunmoney and the related coinage issues is complex and
does not lend itself well to a linear catalogue. The many
varieties of rare pewter issues along with the silver and
gold proofs often obscure the basic listing of the most
commonly collected gunmoney denominations.
In this catalogue I have chosen to divide the emergency money of James II in Ireland into two sections :
- Brass or Gunmetal issues from sixpence to crown denominations issued between June 1689 and October 1690 - this is the widely collected 'Gunmoney' series.
- Lower denomination pewter issues, mixed metal issues, White metal and pewter crowns and gold and silver proofs of the regular 'Gunmoney' issues.
I believe that this division accomodates the general collector in that it allows a simplified listing of the popular series without obscuring it with numerios rarities and allows for a fuller and more focused treatment of the many different but generally rare coins which are related, but which few collectors have the opportunity (even if they have the resources) to collect.
Gunmoney - Regular Issues
James II landed in Ireland in 1689 in the hope of gaining sufficient support in Ireland to use it as a launching pad for his ambitions of regaining his English Crown.
His campaign was not well funded. His initial attempts to improve his financial position was based on revaluing the French coin relative to English as his funds were mainly in French coin. This was a short lived measure and he quickly came to the conclusion that he would have to issue a token currency which was effectively made up of promissory notes to be redeemed in silver when he regained the English throne.
It is mostly with this redemption in mind that the coins (except the crown) carry the month as well as the year of their issue. The representation of the month is the main area where the varieties differ and it appears that this feature was used by the mints to distinguish the different batches of output.
The coinage was initially issued in Dublin using the two coining presses which had been used for the regal halfpence issues between 1685 and 1688 under the patent he had granted to Sir John Knox in 1685. A mint was later established in Limerick and coining continued there after Dublin had fallen - indeed it continued after James had fled to France and had given up all hope of success in his campaign.
In the period of Arpil - May 1690 the supply of metal was running short and the earlier issues were withdrawn and either directly restruck to a higher denomination (as in halfcrowns to crowns) or melted and re coined at a lower weight than the earlier issue. The sixpence was discontinued from this time.
As already noted on related pages the year ended on March 25th - so a coin dated March could be ambigous in this period. Fortunatly there was only one March in the period of issue of Gunmoney and it is clear that coins dated March 1689 were struck in the first part of March and the coins dated March 1690 were struch in the later part of the same month. In modern terms the coins dated January through March 1689 were all struck in the year 1690.
The gunmoney issues were well recorded so it is possible to estimate the aproximate mintage of each month from the mint records and by applying a bit of reasoning from the die studies that have been undertaken. However because of the recoining of the earlier issues the survival rates do not necessarily correlate to the original mintage in all cases.
Most collectors of Gunmoney do not collect the varieties within each month and there is not much attention paid to most of the many legend errors that occur in the series.
This means that a coin listed as being only slightly more expensive may be significantly rarer than the relative prices indicate.
Some of the minor varieties listed here are excessively difficult to find for their value.
The corrollary is that a collector selling a scarce but minor variety may find it difficult to get more that the price of the more common pieces unless he/she can find a collector or dealer with a specific interest in the series and it varieties.
The sixpence was the first denomination issued and the only one minted in June 1689.