G. D. writes: I have a coin which has a shield and the words Associated Irish Mine Company, date 1789. The other side has the words Cronenbane Half penny. It is worn smooth but the words and markings are still quite easy to make out. Any info would be much appreciated as I just found this coin in an elderly relative’s belongings and am new to this. Your site was one of the best I have come across. Thank you for any info you may have.
The period between 1789 and 1804 was a time when the Government in London failed to mint enough copper coinage for Britain and Ireland to fuel the needs of commerce. The shortage was first addressed by the Parys Mines Company, a firm mining copper in north Wales. They produced high quality penny and half-penny tokens. Other companies followed and in Ireland, the Associated Irish Mine Company, formed in 1787, and also mining copper, began issuing large numbers of half penny tokens.
The Associated principal mine was at Cronebane in the Vale of Ovoca, near Wicklow. The token shows St. Patrick dressed as a Bishop with the company crest on the other side. Value range for average circulated pieces: US$10 -$25.