The shilling (often written as 1s or 1/-) coin was a sub-division of the pre-decimal Irish pound, and was worth 1/20th of a pound.
The original issue of the coin from 1928 until 1942 contained 75% silver; thus this Irish coin had a higher content than the equivalent British coin. These earlier coins were noticeably different from their later counterparts as they were of a lighter hue than the later (1951-68) cupro-nickel coins, and they resisted wear less well. The cupro-nickel coin contained 75% copper and 25% nickel.
- The shilling coin measured 0.935 inches (23.7 mm) in diameter
- It weighed 5.655 grams and the later cupro-nickel coin was the same weight
In 1927, a competition was held to design a new Irish coinage and entries were received from a short list of invited artists. Their shilling designs were all of a bull, as suggested by the committee brought together to run the competition and judge the designs. The following are some of the rejected designs + the original design by Percy Metcalfe.
Metcalfe’s original design was modified by the Royal Mint to improve metal flow and other technical minting issues.
- The reverse design featuring a bull was by English artist Percy Metcalfe.
- The obverse featured the Irish harp
- From 1928 to 1937 the date was split either side of the harp with the name saorstát éireann circling around
- From 1939 to 1968 the inscription changed to éire on the left of the harp and the date on the right
- There was no Irish shilling minted in 1938
|Irish Free State|
|Republic of Ireland|
The last shillings were minted in 1968 but when the currency was decimalised, this coin continued to circulate alongside its replacement five pence (which also featured a bull on the reverse). The shilling was finally withdrawn from circulation on 1st January 1993 when a smaller five pence coin was introduced.
Irish Pre-Decimal Coins (1928-1969)
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Farthing
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Halfpenny
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Penny
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Threepence
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Sixpence
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Shilling
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Florin
- O’Brien Coin Price Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Halfcrown
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