World Coins

Rare Irish tokens soar in London firm’s auction

This 1812 copper halfcrown token issued by merchants Younge & Deakin was the top lot in Dix Noonan Webb’s May 26 auction, realizing £8,680 ($10,576 U.S.), including the 24 percent buyer’s fee.

Images courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb.

A pair of Irish tokens from different centuries starred during Dix Noonan Webb’s live online auction May 26. 

A very rare penny struck in the north of Ireland in the 17th century realized a worldwide auction record of £6,200 ($7,554 U.S.), including the 24 percent buyer’s fee, in the sale.

The penny from Carrickfergus in County Antrim was issued by a merchant named Andrew Willoughby.

The token is in Very Fine condition, according to the firm, and was expected to realize £240 to £300 ($292 to $366 U.S.). Instead, it sold for more than 20 times its top estimate, achieving a worldwide auction record for a 17th century British trade token.

The winning buyer is a collector in the United States, with the underbidder being from the United Kingdom, according to the auction firm.

Another highlight from the sale

The highest price of the sale was for an Extremely Fine and rare 1812 token which was struck in Sheffield (Yorkshire). The copper half-crown token depicts a seated female and was issued by the firm Younge & Deakin. The obverse of the token is double-struck and slightly off-center.

This was the only example known to the cataloger and sold for £8,680 ($10,576 U.S.), including the buyer’s fee, to a private collector for 17 times its estimate of £400 to £500 ($487 to $609 U.S.).

Peter Preston-Morley, specialist and associate director at Dix Noonan Webb, said, “The market for quality was very strong in this sale. ...”

For full results, visit the firm’s website,

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