James II Gunmoney Large Shilling - Nov 1689

at 400 dots / inch


Irish Coinage


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Detail Image

© 2003 - Copyright
_ Stafford-Langan
Version 1.11
17th June, 2003


This coin is a large 'Gunmoney' shilling of James II - issued in November 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 (November is represented as 9, 9r, Nov and Novr). This example is Nov (in block text with no punctuation).

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 Fine (GF) condition. It has moderate overall wear with some loss of detail in the the crown and in James' hair. However the coin also has some weakness in the surfaces from some subsequent corrosion. This is most noticable in the field around the bust. Corrosoin like this must be taken into account when pricing a coin.

Better examples of this coinage are generally available. I am illustrating this example because of a particular characteristic:

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.

This coin does not have any unbarred As - but on close examination it does have a minor flaw protruding sideways from the top of the As - this is most noticable on the first A in JACOBVS. And most importantly it has the same flaw protruding from the base of the V in JACOBVS. This establishes quite convincingly that the A and the V are made from the same punch and that the occurrance of the unbarred A arises when the engraver having used the V punch (unside down) omits to add the cross bar .

For an Example see : James II Gunmoney Large Shilling - Dec 1689 with unbarred A in obverse legend.

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