17th century Gold coins found under Irish pub floor

It was definitely a case of the luck of the Irish after builders recently discovered one of the country’s biggest ever hoards of gold coins buried beneath the floorboards of a County Tipperary pub.

Eighty-one gold coins, mainly from the 17th century, were found concealed by soil by one of the workmen carrying out groundworks at Cooney’s pub in Carrick-on-Suir, one of the oldest pubs in the county until it was destroyed by fire.

irish gold coins2 - 17th century Gold coins found under Irish pub floor

Builders get more than they bargained for – one of Ireland’s biggest finds of historic gold coins

All that glitters

Most coins were, surprisingly, in excellent condition considering they date back to the reign of Charles II, James II and William and Mary. It’s thought the hoard is largely made up of guineas and half guineas, British gold coins struck by The Royal Mint between 1663 and 1814 using gold from West Africa – which is where the name ‘guinea’ came from.

Biggest find in over fifty years

Research is currently underway to identify where the gold coins might have come from. Some experts believe they may have once belonged to a wealthy merchant as the town was a thriving trading centre in the 17th century. Others have different theories.

One thing they do agree on is that the discovery is the most exciting archeological find in Ireland’s history since 1947 when a collection of over 100 gold coins plus a number of silver coins was discovered in CountyLaois.

At the time of writing, it’s not known whether the workmen received any sort of reward but it’s got to be a worth a free pint at the very least!

Interested in historic coins?

The gold coins are currently on display at the National Museum of Ireland. A selection of historic coins from The Westminster Collection can be found here.