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The Irish Decimal Coins Some Helpful Information
Coin Collecting News

1914 - 2014 100th anniversary of Wo  ....
1914 - 2014 During July 2014 The Royal Mint were selling 1914 sovereigns on their website to tie in with the 100th anniversary of World War One for £350.

1937 Gold Sovereigns - Edward VII 1  ....
1937 Gold Sovereigns - Edward VII 1937

1975 Full Sovereign British Gold Co  ....
1975 Full Sovereign British Gold Coin Uncirculated Decimal Head

Three new British coins  ....
New coins released include a 50p to commemorate Battle of Britain and a £2 to mark First World War centenaryThird coin is £2 marking 800th anniversary of Magna Carta showing King John accepting historic treaty in 1215

1925 Gold Sovereigns - Edward VII 1  ....
1925 Gold Sovereigns - Edward VII 1925

gold coin from reign of King George  ....
Rare £5 gold coin from reign of King George III expected to fetch £250,000 at auction

€3.5m cost of minting copper coins  ....
€3.5m cost of minting copper coins makes no cents


The Decimal Currency Introduced in 1971 coins are generally common as are the 2000 coins. The years in between are generally available but some of the later 1970s and early 1980s dates are difficul to obtain in brilliant un-circulated condition.

The Irish Decimal Coins Some Helpful Information

The 1971 coins are generally common as are the 2000 coins. The years in between are generally available but some of the later 1970s and early 1980s dates are difficult to obtain in brilliant uncirculated condition.

There is one extreme rarity in the series :

The 1985 trial production 20p
The 1985 halfpenny was produced in circulation quantities but many of these did not get to circulation and were returned to the Central Bank and melted when the coin was demonetised in 1987. But some coins did escape and fortunately some of these were used to make up private souvenier sets of the coinage so the coins are not as scarce as was though some years ago and they are available in bright uncirculated condition.

In 1986, to coincide with the introduction of the 20 pence piece, the Central Bank issued a 7 coin set of polished specimen coins (sometimes called proofs). These sets are scarce, and important because three of the coins they contain were not issued in full circulation quantities in 1986. These are the halfpenny, the 10 pence and the 50 pence. There appears to have been an over-run in production of the halfpenny and 10 pence as a consequence of which the 1986 10 pence was occasionally found in circulation, the halfpenny had effectively ceased circulating by 1986 so the over-run was probably melted (see the 1985 halfpenny above). The 1986 50p seems just to have been produced for the sets and does not normally turn up in circulation (and presumably the very few that have been encounterd are from broken sets).

Note : Except for the extreme rarity the decimal coins are generally only of value in Brilliant Uncirculated condition - In US terms that means about MS63 or better. The bronze coins are of little value in Brown Uncirculated condition.

The decimal coins were produced from 1969 onwards - the coins were dated no earlier than their introduction date so the all the bronze coins were dated 1971 even though many were produced in 1969 and 1970. The 5p and 10p were introduced in 1969 and dated that year. The 50p was introduced in 1970 so the 1969 production were all dated 1970.

Introductory sets were available from mid 1969 - these sets in a green card folder are easily identified as pre introduction sets because the wording on the back page begins "Ireland will change to decimal ..." despite this these folders were used until at least 1975. The coins are inserted in holes cut in the card and a plastic slip covers both sides - the sets is easily opened and many now have bronze coins with tarnish from being handled.

In 1971 a set of polished specimen coins was issued - these are sealed in a plastic slip and in a green plastic wallet - these sets were available from the Central Bank of Ireland until late 1999 - at their original issue price of £3.50.

In 1978 a card similar to the pre-introductory sets was used but with a new black design - these cards like the preceeding ones were apparently used with whatever coins were available :- usually 1978 or 1982 complete sets - but I have seen several with some 1979 coins and usually in these cases the halfpenny is a 1971 example - however this may be a result of someone replacing tarnished coins with better examples and it is not possible to be sure what combinations of dates were originally issued - except for the 1978 and 1982 sets.

The 1986 set was a departure in that the set is sealed so the coins cannot be readily removed - unfortunately the glue used tends to remain sticky and many sets have been impaired by glue leaking out of either the top or the botton of the folder.

The 1996 and 1998 sets are similarly sealed but a slipcase was added and the glue does not seem to leak in the same way. The plastic insert which hold the coins is often poorly produced and sometimes has holes or flaws. There was little or no attention paid to the quality of the coins used so some of these sets contain coins with heavy bagmarking or scratches.

The millennium set contained only 7 of the 8 2000 coins - for some reason the Central Bank of Ireland decided to produce pound coins of both the regular design and a special millennium design but not to include both pounds in the sets. These millennium sets sold out very quickly as did all the outstanding stocks of 1996 and 1998 sets early in 2000.

 
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