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1805 Ireland Penny S-6620 Skinner Collection





Coin Details

Origin/Country: IRELAND 1603-1823
Item Description: PENNY 1805 Skinner Collection
Full Grade: NGC MS 64 RB
Owner: coinsandmedals

Owner Comments:

I have always admired Boulton's Irish coinage, but I have noticed that high-quality pieces are far more challenging to locate than their English counterparts. This makes sense given the difference in mintages between English and Irish coinage and the fact that Irish coins, in general, seem to be hotly contested in the marketplace. This particular example is a penny struck at the Soho Mint for circulation in Ireland. Like their English counterparts, the Irish Pence also did not bear a denomination in their legends. The size and weight of the coin told the entire story. As I have noted before, I have yet to discover an excellent reference book for varieties that even comes close to Peck's caliber. I only provide basic details in my descriptions, followed by some observations that I have made.

Obverse: George III faces right, his head adorned with a wreath of 10 leaves and three berries tied behind his neck with a riband of 1 bow and two loose ends. The top loose end appears to intersect the loop while the bottom loose end floats freely down, and the tip barely touches the upper leftmost curl. The curls of his hair rest behind the neck and on both shoulders. A brooch of 6 square jewels catches the drapery on the right shoulder. The lowest fold of the drapery is plain with a K in roughly the center. The legend which is contained within a thin raised rim and beaded border and is as follows: GEORGIUS III · D: G · REX. all evenly spaced. This particular example is remarkably free of contact marks and is truly premium quality for the grade. A prominent die crack appears starting at the rim just above the "e" in "REX". It extends through the border bead to the top point of the upper serif of the "E" and across to the lower left leg of the "X" and bisects the bust on the left shoulder. A small degree of fining is evident on the rim, indicating high striking pressure. Otherwise, this coin is relatively free of flaws and appears to be a well-struck example.

Reverse: The reverse portrays a crowned harp with 9 strings. The left side of the harp consists of a half-clad woman; her lower half is adorned with what I describe at a mermaid-like fin. Her top half is exposed with her arms depicted as wings that make up the top part of the harp where the crown rests. The bottom band of the crown is decorated with a pattern of precious stones that appears as the following: (· ˑ : · : ·◊· : · : ˑ ·). It should be noted that the center stone should be rotated 180 degrees, but I am not tech-savvy enough to do that. The top of the crown consists of two bridges, one on the left and on the right, which convenes at the top center of the cross located on the top middle of the band just described. Both bridges are decorated with ten beads resting upon a curved bar. However, unlike the other example of the 1805 Irish Pence in this set, the curved bar of the right bridge is complete and does not cease to exist after the 6th bead. Also, unlike the other example, the bottom portions of the crown (used to depict the inner ring where it would rest on the head) is striated.A flaw occurs toward the top of the leftmost harp string and extends to the 3rd but does not impede the design. Note the design of the right arm of the harp. This design becomes less elegant as the denomination decreases. The legend reads as follows: HIBERNIA. with the date 1805 appearing below the main device and is contained within a thin raised rim and beaded borders. All letters and numbers of the legend are without flaws.

Edge: Engrailed

Notes: This is one of the nicest circulation strike 1805 Irish Penny that I have seen. Overall, the piece is well struck, dripping with luster, free of significant distractors, and retaining a good deal of red color. The subtle differences between this example and the MS-63 BN example I have in this set are also intriguing. As I noted, I am unaware of an authoritative guide to Irish copper coinage that details different varieties. It would be interesting to see the subtle differences I highlighted are of any meaningful significance. In terms of numeric grade, NGC has graded two higher ( a 65 BN and a 66 BN), and PCGS has graded only 1 65 BN. This is the only red-brown designated example at either NGC and PCGS and, as such, is a top pop in consideration of color designation. Although these pieces are often deemed "common," they are notoriously difficult to find in truly uncirculated condition and all but impossible to find with any original red color remaining. Of course, their proof counterparts are relatively abundant, and it is often a more economical choice to purchase a well-preserved proof example as opposed to a business strike. This is especially true if you are wanting a RB or RD example.

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