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Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Find of 17th Century Gold Coins, Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary.
National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare Street, D2.
The Acting Director of the National Museum of Ireland, Mr. Seamus Lynam has invited the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht, Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD and the European Commissioner for Education, Culture Multilingualism and Youth Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou to the National Museum on Kildare Street to view one of the most significant finds of 17th century gold coins ever found in Ireland.
The hoard was unearthed on 14th January 2013 during groundworks being undertaken at Main Street, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary. The find consists of eighty one gold coins dating to the reigns of Charles II, James II, William and Mary and William III. The coins have yet to be examined in detail but they appear to be mainly guineas and a small number of half guineas. The Guinea was a British gold coin minted by the Royal Mint between 1663 and 1814. The coins were in four denominations (a half, one, two, and five) and they were called ‘Guineas’ because the gold used in making some of them came from West Africa.
It appears that the coins were concealed in soil under the floor-boards of a premises. They were spotted by one of the builders while digging and they are reported to have been “in a line together”. They may have been wrapped and held together by some material in the past though this has not survived. Shortly afterwards the coins were lodged in Carrick-on-Suir Garda Station and reported to the National Museum of Ireland. The site has subsequently been investigated by archaeologists from the National Museum of Ireland and the National Monuments Service. The National Museum expresses thanks to the finders for reporting the discovery and to An Garda Síochána for assistance. The assistance of the South Tipperary County Museum, Clonmel, is also acknowledged.
No comparable 17th century hoard of gold coins has been found in Ireland since the discovery in Portarlington, Co. Laois, around 1947, of a hoard that contained little over 100 gold coins as well as some silver coins.
Further research is being conducted into the coins and their historical background.
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