Irish Coin Daily: Elizabeth I, Third issue, Sixpence, mm. Trefoil

Date: c. 1601-02

Elizabeth I, Third issue, Sixpence, mm. star, trefoil, 3.14g (S 6508, DF 253). Weak in places and scratched on shield, nearly very fine, toned

Elizabeth I, Third issue, Sixpence, mm. Trefoil


Elizabeth I (1558-1603), Third issue, debased silver Sixpence, issued c. 1601-02. The reason for this coinage was to deny good silver to the rebels in the north of Ireland so they would not have anything with which to buy arms from abroad. The idea was to flood Ireland with base money and get everything else out of circulation.

  • Weight: 3.14g
  • References: S 6508; DF 253

Striking split, good very fine and very rare


  • Arms of England
  • Mintmark: Trefoil
  • Legend:
      • Translation:
      • “Elizabeth by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland”


  • Crowned harp
  • Mintmark: Trefoil
  • Legend:
      • Translation:
      • “I have made God my helper”


  • The trefoil mint-mark (which appears on both sides) is a date indicator
  • These coins occur with 3 mint-marks: the trefoil, the star and the martlet
    • The ‘trefoil’ was first, and in use from the date of the indenture, 2nd February 1601, until the pyx trial of 20th May 1601
    • Following the pyx of 20th May 1601, the mint mark was changed to ‘star’
    • On 24th May 1602 the ‘star’ pieces were pyxed, and the mint mark changed to ‘martlet’


  • Ireland


  • Anglo-Norman
    • House of Tudor
  • Elizabeth I
    • Third Irish Coinage (debased silver)
      • Sixpence
  • Hammered



Further Reading:


Other Coins in this Series:




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