A coin minted in 921 or 922 for Nasr II ben Ahmad, an Arabic ruler (913-43), found in a hacksilver hoard buried at Storr Rock in Skye, Scotland

O’Brien Coin Guide: An Introduction to Medieval Islamic coins found in Ireland

Introduction Arabic, or Islamic, coins are frequently mentioned in the archaeological literature of the 19th and 20th centuries but there are few accounts that discuss these beautiful coins as a group – which probably reflects our preoccupation for coins with Latin inscriptions. They are found at many dig sites and their ‘deposition dates’ show a…

Aethelred II, Type 5 - Long Cross penny, Moneyer, Wulfmær of Castle Gotha

O’Brien Coin Guide: Anglo-Saxon Coins & Their Links To Ireland

It may come as a bit of a surprise to many that although Celtic coins have not (yet) been discovered in Ireland, there have been a lot of Roman and Anglo-Saxon coins found – especially the latter.  Conservative Irish historians have always said the Romans never got here but they rarely even mention the Anglo-Saxons…

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…

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…