O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Euro 1c

The 1 cent euro coin (€0.01) has a value of one-hundredth of a euro and is composed of copper-covered steel. The coins of every Euro country have a common reverse and each has a country-specific (national) obverse. The coin has been used since 2002 and was not redesigned in 2007 as was the case with the higher value coins.

2002 Ireland - one euro cent coin

2002 Ireland – one cent coin

Value 0.01 euro
Mass 2.30 g
Diameter 16.25 mm
Thickness 1.67 mm
Edge Smooth
Composition Copper-covered steel
Years of minting 2002 to date

The coin dates from 2002, when euro coins and banknotes were introduced in the 12 member Euro Zone and its related overseas territories.

  • The common side was designed by Luc Luycx, a Belgian artist who won a Europe-wide competition to design the new coins.
  • The design of the 1 to 5 cent coins was intended to show the European Union’s (EU) place in the world (relative to Africa and Asia).

The Irish obverse design shows an Irish harp (the Cláirseach), the official state symbol.

  • Vertically on the left hand side is the word “Éire” and on the right hand side is the date.
  • The harp motif was designed by Jarlath Hayes.

The one and two-cent coins were initially introduced to ensure that the transition to the euro was not used as an excuse by retailers to heavily round up prices. However, due to the cost of maintaining a circulation of low value coins, by business, retail banks and the mints, Finland and the Netherlands round prices to the nearest five cents (Swedish rounding) if paying by cash, while producing only a handful of those coins for collectors, rather than general circulation.

  • Despite this, the coins are still legal tender and produced outside these states
  • So if customers with one-cent coins minted elsewhere wish to pay with them, they may.
Year Mintage (1c)
2002 404,314,788
2003   77,837,182
2004 174,793,634
2005 126,969,391
2006 111,166,861
2007 163,748,944
2008   59,002,134
2009   52,258,019
2010     7,636,442
2011   23,261,567
2012   70,000,000
2013   49,000,000
2014   35,143,000
2015         41,000 *
2016       214,000
2017        17,170
2018           n/a
2019           n/a

* In 2015, only 41,000 ‘one cent’ coins were minted (for sets)


As 1c and 2c coins are of comparatively low value, a National Payments Plan prepared by the Central Bank of Ireland approved by the Government in April 2013 plans “to trial the use of a rounding convention in a pilot project in a mid-size Irish town”, with the 1c and 2c no longer being minted while remaining legal tender.

The town chosen was Wexford.


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