IRELAND halfpenny 1805


IRELAND, halfpenny, 1805, engrailed edge, copper, KM147.1, pitted planchet, XF

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The British copper issues of the early 19th century were the beginning of the attempt by the government to build a modern economic system built on productivity rather than theft. Whatever they did in England they did in Ireland too, because it was “theirs.”

The English decided they wanted Ireland early on. If they didn’t take it, they thought, it would be a haven for pirates. They went and mucked around for several centuries before they managed to repress it into a couple of centuries of exploitation before the civil war of the early 20th century that ended with independence.

The political arrangements that resulted in the nations of modern Europe began to emerge out of anarchy starting in the 7th century AD or so. Europe, for our purposes stretches from Greenland to somewhere in Russia. Collectors of Europe would likely include Russia. Collectors of Asia, even though about 2/3 of Russia is in Asia, probably not.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.