Mid-17th C Irish Trade Tokens

An interesting piece of history neatly illustrated by local coinages. Do you have a full list of coin tokns issued in each town or county in Ireland during this turbulent period. The Great Rebellion of 1641, the Cromwellian Invasion and the run up to the Williamite Wars is such a complex period to study.

The Old Currency Exchange is a specialist dealer and valuer of coins, tokens and banknotes


From medieval to early modern times, the value of a coin was based on its precious metal content – usually silver.  With Ireland split into numerous petty kingdoms, the local ruler would have his own mint with a local moneyer to produce coinage.  If a moneyer used less precious metal than was required so that the product was under weight or if they used a more debased metal that was below the required fineness, then the coinage produced would be devalued in relation to other coinages.

To protect English coinage from being devalued due to unscrupulous minters, the minting of gold and silver coins was reserved as a royal privilege.  In Ireland, however, unscrupulous English kings deliberately debased to local currency in order to limit economic activity and prevent any economic independence.

Due to inflation, variations in the value of silver and debasement of the silver content in lower…

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