O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Euro 50c


The Irish 50 cent euro coin (€0.50) has a value of one half of a euro and is composed of an alloy called Nordic gold.

Value 0.50 euro
Mass 7.80 g
Diameter 24.25 mm
Thickness 2.38 mm
Edge Regular, fine indentations
Composition Nordic gold

Nordic gold is the gold-coloured copper alloy from which the middle three denominations of euro coins, 50 cent, 20 cent, and 10 cent coins are made.

  • The alloy used is 89% copper, 5% aluminium, 5% zinc, and 1% tin
  • This is a type of brass

The Irish 50c 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 Type I 10 to 50 cent coins were intended to show separate states of the European Union (EU), as opposed to the one and two euro coins showing the 15 states as one and the 1 to 5 cent coins showing the EU’s place in the world
Euro 50c coin, common reverse side Type I (2002-2006) – a ‘stylised’ map of Europe, showing separate states of the European Union (EU).

Euro 50c coin, common reverse side Type I (2002-2006) – a ‘stylised’ map of Europe, showing separate states of the European Union (EU).

Year 50c, Type I  
2002 144,119,592
2003   11,747,326
2004     6,709,312
2005   17,258,568
2006     7,479,651

The EU’s membership expanded between 2004 and 2007, with further expansions envisaged, so the common face of all euro coins from the value of 10 cent and above were redesigned in 2007 to show a new map.

Euro 50c coin, type II reverse (2007 to date). This map showed Europe, not just the EU, as one continuous landmass – Cyprus was moved west as the map cut off after the Bosporus

Euro 50c coin, type II reverse (2007 to date). This map showed Europe, not just the EU, as one continuous landmass – Cyprus was moved west as the map cut off after the Bosporus

Year 50c, Type II  
2007     8,702,160
2008     1,122,371
2009     1,866,011
2010     1,173,242
2011     1,096,961
2012     5,000,000
2013   11,000,000
2014 **
2015 **

** Data not available yet

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