Halfpenny copper coin dated 1723. Found by restoration stone masons employed by Ghyll Beck Construction Co., Inc., in the foundation mortar of the Keim House. Coin was discovered on July 29, 2011.
The obverse lettering in relief around the rim says: “Georgius-Dei-Gratia-Rex” surrounding the bust relief portrait of George I [reigned 8/1/1714 to 6/11/1727]. The reverse has a seated draped figure of Hibernia holding a palm frond and leaning on her harp. The rim-lettering reads: “Hibernia-1723”.
According to online information posted by the University of Notre Dame Department of Special Collections, "these coins were minted by William Wood for circulation in Ireland, authorized by a license from the King in return for annual royalty payments.” It is one of an unknown quantity of these “coppers” which circulated in the American colonies in the pockets of immigrants or in the stream of European-American commerce.
This specimen is moderately eroded [not surprising after 25 or 30 years in circulation and over 250 years encased in a mortar mixture of lime, sand, and Oley Hills clay embedded between stones in the south eaves wall of the 1753 Jacob Keim House. See the photograph in this record with “x” marking location where coin was found; the light colored mortar in this photo was applied during the June-August, 2011 stabilization of this foundation area].
One might speculate that the coin fell into the mortar ingredients during the mixing process.