Phase III, Penny, bust left, two pellets in front of face and behind head, rev. long voided cross with hand in two quarters, blundered legends

O’Brien Coin Guide: Introduction to the Hiberno-Norse Coinages of the Late 10th & Early 11th C

The first locally produced Irish coinage was the so-called Hiberno-Norse coinage which was first minted in Dublin in about 995-7 AD under the authority of Sihtric III (aka Sihtric Silkenbeard), the Norse King of Dublin.  There is no evidence for the native Irish producing coins before this, so it is likely that their economy was not coin-based.  The…

Ireland Irish coin sixpence reverse

O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Sixpence

The sixpence (6d) (Irish: reul) coin was a sub-division of the pre-decimal Irish pound, worth 1/40 of a pound or ½ of a shilling.  It ‘nickname’ was a ‘tanner’ and it is thought that this is from John Sigismund Tanner, originally from Saxe-Coburg, who was a medallist and designer at the Royal Mint.  The sixpence he designed for George II…

Ireland 1928 threepence coin ireland saorstat eireann eire percy metcalfe

O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Threepence

The threepence (3d) (Irish: leath reul) coin was an Irish pre-decimal coin and a great favourite of golfers who often used it as a green marker.  There were 4 threepences to a shilling and 80 to an old pound.  The Irish name (leath reul) literally meant “half a sixpence” and, unlike many other Irish coins of the time, it…

Hiberno-Manx silver penny, viking, Phase II imitation, isle of man, feremin,

O’Brien Coin Guide: The enigma of the Hiberno-Manx Coinages of the mid-11th Century

I am frequently asked the following questions and I openly admit to struggle to answer them adequately – the negative side of being a generalist dealer (constantly buying old attic finds and selling oddments from same), as opposed to being a specialist numismatic expert like so many of my much more knowledgeable customers. Who ordered…