Greg Cohen of Stack's Bowers published a short blog article on October 28,
2014 about Irish Gun Money. -Editor
In this month’s iAuction featuring world coins, scheduled to close on Sunday, November 2, we are
offering a relatively high quality example of an Irish “Gun Money” ½ Crown. Struck in Ireland
during the Williamite War by the forces of James II, the appellation is derived from one of the
sources of the brass (and other base metals) used to strike the coins, the cannons that were
captured in battle (other sources included church bells).
The obverse features a left facing portrait of King James II, and the reverse has a crown
superimposed on crossed scepters. The date, 1689, and denomination XXX (30 Pence) are above, with
Sept. in script below. The idea behind the specified month was that in the event that James’ forces
were victorious, the coins would be redeemable by month, for proper royal issue silver coinage. As
fate would have it, James’ forces were defeated, and the Gun Money was never redeemed, but
continued to circulate at discounted rates alongside regal coppers.
Because of the low quality metal used to strike them, most Gun Money coins are seen with porous
planchets, corroded surfaces, and are usually low grade. This NGC-certified AU-53 is a nice
exception, and is a very nice example for type purposes.
I've always enjoyed gun money and its unusual monthly dating system. But what
other numismatic items are explicitly dated by month? Colonial and other currency often bears the
full date of its authorizing act, but other than gun money, what items are dated by month and year?
To read the complete article, see:
September 1689 ½ Crown Gun Money (www.stacksbowers.com/NewsMedia/Blogs/TabId/780/ArtMID/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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