Rare Irish 1943 half-crown likely to make €2,000 in Dublin auction

Extremely rare Irish Ormonde Money gold coin is star lot in London

 

Readers of a certain vintage may recall the fuss about the Irish 1943 half-crown coin which is now one of Ireland’s rarest and most collectible coins. The reason why they are so rare is intriguing.

According to coins auctioneer John Weldon, “the 1943 half-crowns were struck in normal circulating quantities but not issued. In the early 1950s the unissued coins were remitted back to the Royal Mint for melting, as the Central Bank of Ireland had decided to change the metal from the .750 silver standard to Cupronickel.

“At some stage, a small number escaped into circulation. Reports vary, suggesting that as many as 3,000 or as few as 1,500 of them escaped into circulation and fine examples like this are highly prized by collectors.”

Ormonde Money

The sale of coins at John Weldon Auctioneers in Temple Bar, Dublin on Tuesday (September 8th) at 2pm includes “a rare Irish 1943 half-crown” estimated at €1,000- €2,000” and “another 1943 Irish half-crown (in less good condition) estimated at €500-€1,000.

Mr Weldon is also offering a piece of silver Ormonde Money – an “Ormond crown, 1642-1649 (29.2 grams)” with an estimate of €500-€800.

Ormonde Money was issued in Ireland in the 1640s by the Duke of Ormonde, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as an emergency currency during the Great Rebellion.

A gold coin from this era is the star lot in a London auction the following week (on Tuesday, September 15th) when auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb, the international coins and medals specialists, will offer an extremely rare Irish Ormonde Money gold pistole expected to fetch up to £100,000 (about €137,000).

The gold pistole is one of only 11 known to have survived, of which nine are already in museums or public collections. They are Ireland’s only gold coinage.

“This is one of the great rarities of Irish coinage which also recalls a turbulent time in the country’s history when the authorities found themselves short of currency and had to resort to unorthodox methods to find a solution,” said Will Bennett, spokesman for Dix Noonan Webb.

Collection

He said the Ormonde Money coins (both gold and silver) were used to pay the Royalist garrison of Dublin by Ormonde, who was Charles I’s representative in Ireland.

They were minted in the 1640s using foreign currency, bullion and even rings and chains which were melted down.

The coin is part of a collection being sold by Theo Bullmore, a British chartered accountant formerly of KPMG and a well-known collector.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.