Gold coins circulating in Ireland during the reign of Henry VI, c. 1460 (when he fixed exchange rates)

Monetary Crisis (1460), as Henry VI fixes exchange rates for foreign coins in Ireland

Introduction: The price of gold rose from the 1430s onward, so gold coins were worth more in Europe than in England, which resulted in a gold shortage in England as coins were exported for profit. This is known as an ‘arbitrage market’ and is also an early example of Gresham’s Law – it caused a…

O'Reilly Money - Henry VI, annulet issue, Calais mint, ex Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society

Monetary Crisis in Ireland, as Henry VI struggles with money supply and fiscal control

Introduction: During the reign of Henry VI many parliamentary regulations were made in Ireland, relating to money; but most of these acts, as well as those of the three former reigns, are either lost or destroyed. 1422 By an English statute of his second year, it was enacted, that the ounce of silver should be…

O'Reilly Money - Edward III, pre-Treaty issues, London mint, ex Grainger coll., wts. 29.6, 29.1 and 28.8 grains

O’Brien Rare Coin Review: O’Reilly’s Money (1447-1459)

Introduction: The much debated O’Reilly’s Money is often quoted in old Irish numismatic books and society papers. However, examples are very rare and few collectors seemed interested enough in them to add them to their cabinets in the early days of Irish numismatics. Most examples are hidden away in museum collections and rarely see the…


Henry VI orders a separate, de-valued currency for Ireland (1460)

Introduction: At a meeting of his Irish Parliament in Drogheda in 1460, Henry VI declared (via his Lord Lieutenant, Richard, Duke of York) that a separate currency (silver coins) be struck in Ireland at the castles of Dublin and Trim and that it would be known as Irlandes d’argent (Irish silver). He further declared that the…