A local Irish newspaper highlighted the upcoming Heritage sale of a Castle Comer Colliery Counterstamp.
A rare coin issued in Kilkenny over two hundred years ago is set to be auctioned on May 3, 2023, by US-based coin auctioneer, Heritage Auctions.
The starting price for the coin is $4,000, but it is expected to fetch a higher price, given that other examples of this coin have commanded prices of close to $20,000.
The coin, an Eight Reales piece from the reign of Charles IV, dated 1804, is sometimes referred to as a piece of eight or a Spanish dollar.
The coin bears a countermark with the symbol "PAYABLE. AT. CASTLE. COMER. COLLIERY" marked around the symbols s/5 d/5 in a garlanded oval shape.
The practice of counterstamping foreign coins began in England around 1797, authorized by the Treasury, stamped by the Royal Mint, and issued by the Bank of England.
It was done in the context of a run on the reserves of the Bank, with "hysterical demand" coming from farmers who sold their cattle and presented their country banknotes for conversion into cash. Cash payments were suspended by the Bank.
In 1797, to address the shortage of silver currency, the Mint was instructed to countermark foreign silver coin reserves held by the Bank of England with a punch of the King's head. It was intended that they would be circulated at a value of four shillings and nine pence.
The Kilkenny colliery counterstamp was applied at the beginning of the 1800s by Anne, Countess of Ormonde, patron of Castlecomer, where she leased the operation of the local coal mines to entrepreneurs.
The counterstamped dollar could be exchanged for coal in the amount of five shillings and five pence. Kilkenny traders would accept these in exchange for their goods, knowing that they could pay the colliery for coal with them.
To read the complete article, see:
Rare Kilkenny coin to fetch huge sum at auction
To read the complete lot description, see:
Ireland: Kilkenny - Castlecomer Colliery Counterstamped 5 Shillings and 5 Pence Token ND (c. 1804-1806) XF40 NGC,
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