O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Commemorative Euro Coins

Most of the coins listed below were struck as ‘proofs’ – the exception being the first of the series, the €5 Special Olympics coin.  This was a cupro-nickel coin and is available as BU mini-presentation folder.  In addition to this, all other coins were struck in either Sterling silver or gold and are issued in special presentation boxes with certificates of authenticity from the Central Bank of Ireland.

2010 An Gaisce - €10 and €20 'double' Proof Coin Set

2010 An Gaisce – €10 and €20 ‘double’ Proof Coin Set

A proof coin is one struck on a highly polished flan which gives the field a ‘mirror-like’ appearance.  The contrast between this polished surface and the raised detail of the coins sometimes gives their designs a ‘frosted’ appearance.

This, in addition to the low mintages (limited editions), makes them highly desirable by collectors and they sell at a substantial premium above their bullion value.  As such, they cannot be considered ‘bullion’ coins like the 1 oz. coins (silver rounds) sold by major mints around the world to investors.

The links (blue underlined text) below display illustrations from my Pinterest coin image repository.

2003 Description Coins Mintage
Feb-2003 1 35,000
Feb-2003 1 30,000

The €5 coin is somewhat of an anomaly insofar as it is not a proof coin struck in a precious metal, nor is it part of a BU set, or a coin intended for circulation presented in a BU folder, i.e. these special €5 commemorative coins never circulated.  It did, however, also appear in our second BU set (in 2003) as part of a nine-coin BU set commemorating the Special Olympics.

2003 €5 Special Olympics Coin ( Brilliant Uncirculated) reverse design - an image of the reverse design: enameled Special Olympics colour logo

2003 €5 Special Olympics Coin ( Brilliant Uncirculated) reverse design – an image of the reverse design: enameled Special Olympics colour logo

  • I have included it here, alongside its ‘sister coin’ the €10 Special Olympics proof
  • Unlike the rest of the proof coins and any of the circulating euro coins, it was struck in cupro-nickel
  • Like the proof coins, it is a ‘special limited edition’ and very collectible
2004 Description Coins Mintage
8-Apr-2004 1 50,000
2005 Description Coins Mintage
23-May-2005 1 30,000
2006 Description Coins Mintage
2-May-2006 1 35,000
2-May-2006 1 20,000
2-May-2006 2 10,000
2007 Description Coins Mintage
15-Feb-2007 1   8,000
16/17-Feb-2007 2   1,000
11-Sep-2007 1 35,000
11-Sep-2007 1 25,000
11-Sep-2007 2   5,000

* The design, known as ‘Girl with Harp’ was prepared in 1927 by Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962), a Croatian Sculptor of international renown, as an entry in the competition for the design of the 1928 Irish Free State coinage. Unfortunately, the design arrived too late for consideration. The Chairman of the Design Committee, William Butler Yeats, subsequently wrote “He made one magnificent design and, on discovering that the date had passed, gave it to the Irish Free State with great generosity”

The €15 coin was produced with the permission and co-operation of the Meštrović Foundation in Croatia. In addition to the 8,000 individual €15 coins issued, a double proof coin set, limited to 2,000 sets, was also issued.

  • 1,000 sets were sold exclusively in Croatia (in a navy-coloured box)
  • 1,000 sets were only available to purchase at the Dublin International Coin Fair held in the RDS on 16 & 17 February 2007
    • Five hundred sets were made available for purchase each day (via tickets issued to the first 500 patrons upon arrival)
    • This was strictly limited to one purchase per individual
    • The Irish double sets were issued in a dark green box

The double coin set included the €15 silver proof coin as well as a 150 kuna silver proof coin. This sister coin is identical to the Irish coin except for an inscription in Croatian and the Croatian crest in place of the shamrock.

2008 Description Coins Mintage
23-Apr-2008 1 25,000
23-Apr-2008 1 15,000
23-Apr-2008 2 25,000
Sep-2008 1   6,000
Sep-2008 1   2,000
The 2008 €100 gold coin (polar explorers) - the largest (28mm diameter) and heaviest (half ounce) Irish gold coin to date.

The 2008 €100 gold coin (polar explorers) – the largest (28mm diameter) and heaviest (half ounce) Irish gold coin to date.

2009 Description Coins Mintage
6-May-2009 1 15,000
6-May-2009 1 10,000
6-May-2009 2   5,000
4-Nov-2009 1 10,000
2010 Description Coins Mintage
28-May-2010 1   8,000
28-May-2010 1   6,000
28-May-2010 2   4,000
13-Sep-2010 1 15,000
2011 Description Coins Mintage
15-Feb-2011 1 15,000
18-Apr-2011 1 12,000
10-Oct-2011 1 12,000
2012 Description Coins Mintage
25-Jan-2012 1 12,000
9-May-2012 1 12,000
15-Aug-2012 1   8,000
15-Aug-2012 1 12,000
15-Aug-2012 2   6,000
  • Irish Wolfhound €15 silver (boxed)
  • reverse: a tribute to Percy Metcalfe’s original sixpence design
1 17,000
2013 Description Coins Mintage
27-Jun-2013 1 15,000
  • John F. Kennedy €20 gold
  • All of the €20 gold coins minted were sold as part of the ‘double set’
27-Jun-2013 2 10,000
11-Apr-2013 1 10,000
24-Sep-2013 1 10,000
12-Nov-2013 1 10,000
2014 Description Coins Mintage
29-Jan-2014 1   8,000
30-Apr-2014 1 12,000
1-Sep-2014 1 10,000
17/18/19-Oct-2014 3   1,000

** This special ‘limited’ edition set was only available at the Irish International Stamp & Coin Fair at the RDS, Dublin (17-19 October)

  • It had a strictly limited issue number of only 1,000 sets
    • This set was not available to purchase anywhere else
    • Sales were limited to only one set per attendee
2015 Description Coins Mintage
13-Jan-2015 1   6,000
 3-Jun-2015  1   8,000
 27-Oct-2015  1   8,000


2016 Description Coins Mintage
  • Silver €15 Proof Commemorative
1   ?
  • Gold €50 Proof Commemorative
 1   ?
  • Double (boxed pair) Set of 2016 Commemoratives
    • Silver €15 Proof Commemorative
    • Gold €50 Proof Commemorative
 2   ?
  • Gold €100 Proof Commemorative

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