|The Very Finest Irish Coin Sets...|
|Irish Mint Coin Sets|
Ireland - Eire
Ireland is also known as Eire or the Republic of Ireland, sometimes also called Southern Ireland. It consists of about 80% of the landmass of Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Irish State issued its first coins in 1928. these were designed by Percy Metcalfe.
There were eight coins in the series - halfcrown, florin, shilling, sixpence, threepence, penny, halfpenny and farthing. The obverse design on all coins was a harp.
In 1939, the obverse inscription was changed from "Saorstát Éireann" to "Éire" on all the coins.
After 1942, the silver content of the halfcrown, shilling and florin, previously 75% with 25% copper, was eliminated, the first of the new cupro-nickel alloy (75% copper and 25% nickel) coins were issued in 1951. The metal content of the sixpence and threepence was also changed at the same time from 100% nickel to the same cupro-nickel alloy.
In 1959 the alloy of the bronze coins, penny, halfpenny, and farthing, was changed slightly from 95.5% copper, 3% tin and 1.5% zinc to 97% copper, 0.5% tin and 2.5% zinc.
In 1966, a silver commemorative ten shilling coin was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the Easter Week Rising in 1916. The obverse features a portrait of P.H. Pearse, and the reverse design is a sculpture of Cuchulain.
The Metcalfe designs, with slight changes, remained in use until decimalisation in 1971, the farthing and halfpenny being demonetised slightly earlier on 1st August 1969.
With the introduction of decimalisation in 1971, the penny, threepence, sixpence and halfcrown were also withdrawn, and demonitised on 1st January 1972. The shilling and florins were equivalent to the new five pence and ten pence coins, so the original designs were adopted for these new coins in the interest of continuity and simplicity.
The woodcock design from the old farthing was adopted to appear on the new fifty pence.
New designs were necessary for three decimal coins, the halfpenny, penny and twopence. A noted Irish sculptor and artist, Gabriel Hayes, was commissioned to design these coins. The designs are based on ornamental details from Irish art illuminations contained in old manuscripts.
Decimal Coin Changes
A twenty pence coin was introduced in 1986, based on the original Metcalfe halfcrown design, the alloy used being 79% copper, 20% zinc and 1% nickel.
The halfpenny was demonetised on 1st January 1987 and a new Pound coin, designed by Tom Ryan, was issued in 1990.
In 1992 smaller size five pence coins were introduced, followed by reduced size ten pences in 1993.
the current decimal coin series is therefore: £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p.
In 1990, the metal used for the penny and twopence was changed to copper plated steel.
In order to avoid the near panic of year 2000, with concerns about the Y2K bug, the Irish very wisely held their own millennium in 1988, and issued a fifty pence proof millennium coin to mark the occasion.
In 1990 Ireland issued a three coin set of ECU coins, a 50 ECU in gold, and 10 and 5 ECUs in silver. These were issued to mark the holding of the EC Council meeting in Dublin. These coins are not legal tender.
Irish Coin Sets
Ireland does not issue coin sets prolifically. In its short history since independence in 1928, it has issued about eight mint sets of uncirculated coins, and five sets of proof coins, the last in 1990. It does not often issue special commemorative coins either. Perhaps because of this, we have always found Irish coin sets popular with collectors. They also make excellent gifts.
Last Coins Before The Euro?
Because Ireland is in the Euro Zone, these coin sets listed will be among the last of their type before the new "Euro" denomination coins are issued in 2002. We do not know whether Ireland is planning to issue a "farewell" coin set in 2001
|Year||Description||Qty||Face||Available||Price £||Price $|
|1971||First Decimal Set||6||£0.685||Sold Out||£6||$10|
|1990||ECUs - Non legal tender||3||65 ECU||Sold Out||£295||$450|
|1990||ECU Gold £50 Proof - Non legal tender||1||50 ECU||Ask||£250||$375|
|1998||Uncirculated Set in Folder||7||£1.88||Sold Out*||£13.50||$19|
|2000||Uncirculated in Folder, Includes Millennium £1||7||£1.88||Sold Out*||£13.50||$19|
|2000||Silver Proof Millennium £1||1||£1||Yes||£36.50||$55|
|Farewell||1990 Proof £1 + Pound Note||2||£2||Yes||£13.50||$19|
|2007||Uncirculated in Folder||€||Yes||£||$|
|2007||Proof in Box||9||€5.88||Yes||£85||$145|
* = We hear that some of these sets are now changing hands at many times the original price. We think it is very unlikely we will be able to obtain any more in the near future.
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Irish Coin Sets
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