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Irish penny of Richard III

The images of this coin were sent in by Peter Vernon on behalf of a detecting colleague. Peter recognised it as an Irish penny so he got in touch with Jasper Burns, who is an authority on hammered Irish pennies. Mr Burns replied almost immediately and said the coin was a penny of Richard III. I was asked to provide a valuation so that 50% of the value of this coin could be handed over to the land owner.

As is almost always the case with hammered Irish pennies, this coin is not in good condition. Much of the lettering on the obverse is missing or blurred but most of RICARD shows up at the start of the legend. There is an amulet either side of the king’s neck, the one of the left being slightly higher than the one on the right.

In the legend on the reverse a few ghostly letters can be seen but areas are completely flat. In the centre is a quatrefoil, which is placed on coins from the ecclesiastical mint at York. In the past many Irish coins were identified as being English purely because they had a quatrefoil on the reverse.

Irish pennies of Richard III used to be extremely rare but over recent years their rarity has been diluted due to more specimens being unearthed in England by detectorists.   


The centres on this penny are clear but, as already mentioned, the legends are mostly flat, the flan is too small for the dies and the coin would grade Fair to Fine at best. In its present state of preservation a pre-sale auction estimate would be unlikely to be any higher than £800 to £1,000.

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