Author Topic: Gun money  (Read 428 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Gun money
« on: September 25, 2018, 11:20:32 AM »
Didn't find a separate discussion of gun money to attach these pictures to. That's surprising. We found that the price of the gun money series had risen to a level worthy of ridicule, considering that metal detectorists still find a fair number of them. Now, I was told that metal detectoring is forbidden in Ireland (stupid!), but I take the Irish for flexible enough to make that a relative problem only ;)

Anyway, in short, when James II and William III were fighting out the question of who's the boss in England on Irish land, the cash-strapped James II had copper and brass objects melted and turned into coins. To a degree, this was due to the failure of his second wife, Mary of Modena to get financial support from the supporters of catholicism. Louis XIV at least gave her a group of expendable French soldiers, but successive popes gave her nothing.

The coins are emergency issues. Interestingly, they carry a month in addition to the year. Historians believe that Jams intended to exchange them for silver coins month by month once he was back on the throne. That dream ended on the banks of the Boyne. William declared the gun money coins valid for about their intrinsic value, which was relatively nice of him but still absolutely ruined the followers of James and deepened Irish poverty.

While the story of the gun money coins is relatively well known, I discovered that the national coin collection in Collins barracks included some off-metal gun money coins I did not know existed: a crown and a shilling 1690 struck in gold and a shilling 1690 in silver.

It makes no sense at all to strike emergency coins in gold or silver. The museum ticket speculated that they may have been made to obtain approval or that the dies were found after the battle and used to make souvenir pieces. The latter speculation seems more likely to me.

My images below are rights free, provided they are used for non-commercial purposes.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 05:46:48 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2018, 12:31:06 PM »
An aside, but quite an important one, about the dating.

The English dating system (but not the Scottish) at the time of the Gun Money issues followed the Julian calendar and had New Year's Day on 25 March. Not only does this mean that Gun Money coins dated January or February are given a "misleading" year date by our reckoning, but also there were two Marches per calendar year. Even the display at the Collins Barracks didn't get this completely right, as it stated that March 1689 was followed by April 1690.

Actually, 1-24 March 1689 were followed by 25-31 March 1690. Coins struck in "March 1690" are therefore datable to one week in the spring of that year by our dating system, not three and a half weeks in 1691, by which time James had long since lost the Battle of the Boyne and disappeared into exile. I don't know whether March 1690 coins command a premium - one might presume that there are fewer of them because of the shorter period, but the issuance of Gun Money may be sufficiently spasmodic at other times for the time difference not to be significant.

Offline bagerap

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2018, 06:05:46 PM »
The March 1960 is most certainly the shortest dated coin that I've encountered. (There may be some siege pieces used for a similarly short time.)

Checking back I find that of the 18 Gun Money pieces I have sold, three came from this unique date, a fact I strongly emphasised in the sales copy. However they do not appear to have attracted a noticeable premium.

Offline malj1

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 12:50:14 AM »
I've not looked at these for around thirty years, I do remember this first one was a scruffy gift from a dealer who had no idea what it was.

Crown 1690 12.7g
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 09:20:14 AM by malj1 »
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 12:53:43 AM »
Half crown Oct 1689 15.8g and another 1689 but month is undecipherable 14.0g
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2018, 01:00:13 AM »
One shilling July 1689 5.2g; Sep. 1689 5.9g; Oct. 1689 6.6g
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2018, 01:21:52 AM »
Limerick besieged 1690-1 halfpenny over struck on large size gunmoney shilling 1691 6.8g

...shame about the nasty scratches.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2018, 05:48:49 AM »
TFP @ malj1. Amazing how fast this has turned into a superb thread.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2018, 07:56:02 AM »
Like the retrograde И in HIBERИIA - are they all like this or do they exist with the correct N?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Gun money
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2018, 08:19:05 AM »
The halfpennies all have a retrograde И, but the farthings exist with a correct N also.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.