Duke of Ormonde’s gold coinage of 1646-7, Pistole, Dublin, undated, stamped 4dwt 7grs both sides

Difficulties in grading old coins

For many collectors the topic of coin grading is a vexing one – it often seems so subjective and inconsistent. Of course, the most common and obvious targets for their ire are the dealers and auctioneers who, by way of describing their wares, are forced to commit their opinions of grade to paper. No ‘absolute’…

Portrait in Westminster Abbey, thought to be of Edward I

O’Brien Coin Guide: The 1st Irish Coinage of Edward I (1276)

Introduction: Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land – a crusade which accomplished little and was, effectively, the last of the great crusades. By this time, the so-called crusader spirit had waned considerably and there was little appetite shown by the kings of Europe. It also foreshadowed the imminent collapse of the last remaining crusader strongholds…

Edward IV 1467 Irish double groat, sun & roses coinage, Dublin mint

Edward IV issues Irish coins of a lower standard (1467)

Introduction: Realising that having an Irish currency equal to English standard weights resulted in a massive drain of silver out of Ireland and, consequently, reducing the amount of coinage in circulation + causing a recession, Edward IV moved towards remedying this by announcing a new (lower intrinsic value) coinage for Ireland in 1467: double-groats (eight…