Checklist (Hiberno-Norse)

Irish coin cabinet 7

This page is a perpetual “work-in-progress” and will be updated daily via daily Irish Coin Cabinet posts. In time, it will become a “check-list” for Irish coin collectors, detectorists and anyone looking for basic information + an image on individual Irish “hammered” coins and their major die variations.

To find something quickly on this long page, press the Ctrl key + F – a search box will appear on the bottom left of your screen. Type the word you are looking for and click on the down arrow (to go to that word).


Hiberno-Norse Kingdom of Northumbria

Sitric Cáech died in AD 927 and was succeeded by Gofraid ua Ímair as king of York but Gofraid was expelled in the same year by king Æthelstan of England and he retreated back to Dublin. In 934, Gofraid ua Ímair died and was succeeded by his son, Anlaf Guthfrithsson. In 939, following the death of Aethelstan, the Vikings under Anlaf Guthfrithsson (a son of Gofraid ua Ímair), re-occupied York.

The Anglo-Saxons briefly recovered York from 945-9.

Hiberno-Norse Kingdom of York

Hiberno-Norse Kingdom of Dublin

Echmarcach mac Ragnaill (King of the Isles) forced Sihtric to abdicate in 1036.

Who minted coins after Sihtric left Dublin? 

Echmarcach mac Ragnaill / Ímar mac Arailt / Murchad mac Diarmata ???

Who minted the Hiberno-Norse Phase IV coins?            Murchad mac Diarmata ?

Who minted the Hiberno-Norse Phase V coins?            And why???

  • Ringerike Issues
    • ? Mint (Presumably, Irish)
    • Date range: thought to date from the time of William the Conquerer onwards (1070s)
      • The ‘Ringerike‘ style is the name given to the elaborate interlaced designs commonly found in Viking Age art, after the region in Norway by the same name. This obverse of this type has one of the most original designs in the Hiberno-Norse series, as it does not appear to copy a contemporary Anglo-Saxon or Norman coin design. It should noted, however, that Ringerike art and design is part of the Anglo-Viking archaeological inventory of the Danelaw region in England as well as that of Ireland.
  1. Class A (18 variations) c. 1065-75
    • Long Cross with sickles and related types
      • Imitation of the ‘Pax’ type of Harold II (1066)
  2. Class B (10 variations) c.1075-80
  3. Class C (8 variations) c.1080-85 (or a little later?)
  4. Class D (13 variations) c. 1085-90 (or a little later?)
    • Paxs Imitations, derivatives and related types
  5. Class E (8 variations) c. 1090-95
  6. Class F (8 variations) c. 1095-1100

Who minted the Hiberno-Norse Phase VI coins?            And why???

Who minted the Hiberno-Norse Phase VII coins?            And why???

One possible source, suggested by Dolley (SCBI 8, p. 142-144), for these coins is Toirrdhealbhach Ó Conchubhair, the twelfth-century king of Connachta (Connaught).

  • According to the 1662 Cambrensis Eversus of John Lynch (SCBI 8 op. cit.), Toirrdhealbhach, who aspired to the High Kingship and was deeply religious, ordered silver coinage to be struck at the important Connachta monastic center of Cluain Mhic Nóis (Clonmachnoise).
  • While compelling, the evidence for such an attribution is largely circumstantial. If these bracteates were struck on behalf of Toirrdhealbhach Ó Conchubhair, they would be the only coins to date of one of the High Kings of Ireland prior to the Norman incursion on the island – apart from the largely forgotten Late Medieval Gaelic Regnal coinage of c.1045 onwards. (See The O’Brien Rare Coin Review: Did a Gaelic King mint coins in the 11th Century?).

Semi Bracteates and Bracteates

  • ? Mint (Presumably, Dublin but possibly the monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly)
    • Towards the middle of the 12th C, Hiberno-Norse coinage had degraded to the point where the designs were ‘ghosting’ onto the other side (semi-bracteates).
    • Eventually, they only struck one side and the reverse image shows on the other side – similar to the way a more modern ‘brockage’ error would. The effect is not as apparent due to the lack of lettering on these coins.
  • Class A Semi-Bracteates (double sided / designs + ‘ghosted’ on either side)
  • Class B – True Bracteates (coins struck on one side only)
    • Voided Cross & Sceptres
    • Voided Cross, with Pellets & Sceptres
    • Plain Cross & Quatrefoil
    • Plain Cross, with various Symbols in angles
    • Voided Cross, with various Symbols in angles
    • Cross Pommée, within Quatrefoil
    • Cross, with Trefoils & Quatrefoils (alternating in angles)
    • Cross, with Lis in each angle
    • Cross Potent, with annulets in angles
    • Hammer Cross over Quatrefoil
    • Short Cross Pommée over Long Cross
    • Small Cross Pattée in inner circle, alternating Sceptres & I’s around
    • Cross Pattée, Pellet in each angle
    • Small Cross Pommée in inner circle
    • Cross Fleury in inner circle, annulets alternating with Crescents & Pellets in angles
    • Double Cross Pommée, with Fleury Sceptres in angles
    • Double Cross Pommée, over Hammer Cross
    • Cross over Quatrefoil, with Pellets in each angle
    • Cross Fleury over Long Cross
    • Long Cross, with ‘formalized’ head in each angle
    • Long Cross, with alternating ‘formalized’ head & crosses in angles

Scandinavian Imitations of Hiberno-Norse Coinage

Hiberno-Manx Imitations of Hiberno-Norse Coinage

Late Medieval Gaelic Regnal Coinage ???