The First Irish Coins

18 Sep

One of the most important things to a country is its currency, especially the coins in countries in the Eurozone. That is what drew my attention to the massive amounts of the different types of coins that they had at the museum. Eventually I found the first coins that were used here about 995 AD, which were influenced by the Vikings. This revolutionized the way that the Irish had traded. Before, people in Ireland mostly relied on a barter system with animals and grains, or maybe the occasional silver and gold. The usage of coins made trading much easier and more practical, especially to the Vikings who were amongst the leaders of trading at the time. The Viking king, King Sihtric III, was one of the main people behind making coins for Ireland. The spot he chose to make the coins was Dublin, mainly because of its location on the Liffey River. This was one of the major reasons why Dublin became the big city it is now. On the front of the coin was a face, most likely Sihtric, with the words “Sihtrc Re Dyflm” which means Sihtric King of Dublin. On the back was a cross with the words “Sivlt Mo Diflinam” which means Siult Moneyer of Dublin. These coins were called “pingin” which is the Irish word for penny.

First irish coins


After looking at the first set of coins, I went to look at some of the later coins to see how they evolved. In the next couple hundreds of years, the printing process was moved to more locations which included bigger towns like Galway and Cork. Another change I noticed was that the designs became more intricate, which was probably to try to distinguish their coins from that of England.

second set of coins


Greg Shozda


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