Henry VIII - Harp Half Groat - H & A

at 400 dots / inch


Irish Coinage


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Detail Image

© 2001 - Copyright
_ Stafford-Langan
Version 1.08b
10 July, 2001


This coin is a halfgroat of Henry VIII issued for use in Ireland in about 1534-35.

The legends read continuously from obverse to reverse


( Henry 8 by the Grace of God King of England and France and Lord of Ireland )

The initials either side of the reverse harp H & A represent Henry and Anne (Boleyn). The use of Anne Boleyn's initial allows the coin to be dated to the earliest period of minting of this issue in about 1534 or 35.

This coin is in About Very Fine Condition - it has some light overall wear and some striking weakness but all the significant detail is clear - the obverse is struck a bit off-centre so the legend on the upper part of the coin is weak.

The corresponding Harp Groats of this issue are quite common, but the Half Harp Groats are generally rare - there are about 15 examples known of which about 8 are of this H&A variety - the remaning seven are made up of two further varieties - H & I for Jane Seymour (1536-37) and H & K for Katherine Howard (1540).

From a photograph or scan it is easy to distinguish between a groat ( link to llustration ) and a half groat (above) - the initials either side of the harp have plenty of room on a groat wherease on a half groat they only just fit between the harp and the peripheral circle. I have seen several groats listed as halfgroats on auctions such as Ebay over the past few years - unfortunately I have never seen the opposite mistake :-)

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