James II Gunmoney Large Shilling - Dec 1689

With unbarred A in obverse legend

at 400 dots / inch


Irish Coinage


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© 2003 - Copyright
_ Stafford-Langan
Version 1.11
16th June, 2003


This coin is a large 'Gunmoney' shilling of James II - issued in December 1689.

Gunmoney is a token coinage issued by James during his Irish campaigns against William III (William of Orange). The coins are made from brass which was salvaged from many sources including church bells, but probably not cannons - from which the name derives.

Gunmoney was a token issue and the intention to redeem it with silver coin following James's success - the coins (except the crowns) are dated by month as well as year - this was to facilitate the orderly redemption of the brass coinage.

Each month signature comes in many varieties from block text to Itallic script (as above) and with or without periods or colons and in various different abbreviations (December is represented as 10r, Dec and Decr). This example is Dec : (in Italic script with a colon).

In general very few collectors look to complete a significant range of varieties of each month so there is usually little price difference between the scarcer and the more common varieties of each month.

This coin is in Good Very Fine (GVF) condition. It has light overall wear with little loss of detail except in the higher points of the crown and in James' hair. However the coin also has some weakness in the surfaces from being produced from poor metal and possible from some subsequent corrosion. This is most noticable around the month signature and the lower legend of the reverse. Weakness and corrosoin like this must be taken into account when pricing a coin.

Overall this is a very collectable example of the coinage, but better examples are not particularly scarce.

Gunmoney coins occur with a wide variety of errors in the legends - one of the most common is the use of the letter A without a cross bar - this occurs because the same punch is used for a V as for an A and a cross bar is added to the A. The first A in GRATIA on this coin has no crossbar whereas the other two As on the obverse have crossbars. This is commonly referred to as an unbarred A.

Refer to this coin James II Gunmoney Large Shilling - Nov 1689 which illustrates that the A and V are made from the same punch.

In general legend errors do not add much to a coin's value. The errors which have been listed in catalogues tend subsequently to be collected more actively than those which have not been listed so listed varieties attract a better price than unlisted ones.


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