O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish €1 Coins


The one euro coin (€1) is the new basic unit of currency for the Euro Zone – an area where a common currency (the Euro) is used.  This new economic area was implemented on 1st January 2002 when 12 national currencies of varying values were replaced with new coinage and banknotes.  The rates of exchange were fixed in 1999 and citizens had a short period of dual currencies to get rid of their old money, i.e. you could pay for your goods/services in either the new currency or the old, but you always got your ‘change’ in the new currency.

Preceding National Currencies of the Euro Zone – Initial 12 States
Currency Code Rate Fixed on Yielded
 Austrian schilling ATS     13.76030 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Belgian franc BEF     40.33990 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Dutch guilder NLG       2.20371 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Finnish markka FIM       5.94573 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 French franc FRF       6.55957 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 German mark DEM       1.95583 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Greek drachma GRD    340.75000 19/06/2000 01/01/2001
 Irish pound IEP      0.787564 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Italian lira ITL 1,936.27000 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Luxembourgish franc LUF      40.33990 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Portuguese escudo PTE    200.48200 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Spanish peseta ESP    166.38600 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
  • The idea was that the old currencies would gradually be replaced by the new
  • From 1st January until 31st March, 2002, everyone got paid in the new currency
  • A further period (6 months to 2 years) was allowed whereby all retail banks could take in old currency and exchange it for the new
  • After that, the old currency was demonetized and declared value-less by the central banks
  • Or, in the case of Ireland and a few others, this final period of exchange lasts until 2099
Preceding National Currencies of the Euro Zone – Micro-States
 Monégasque franc MCF       6.55957 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Sammarinese lira SML 1,936.27000 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
 Vatican lira VAL 1,936.27000 31/12/1998 01/01/1999
Preceding National Currencies of the Euro Zone – Accession States
 Slovenian tolar SIT    239.64000 11/07/2006 01/01/2007
 Cypriot pound CYP        0.58527 10/07/2007 01/01/2008
 Maltese lira MTL        0.42930 10/07/2007 01/01/2008
 Slovak koruna SKK      30.12600 08/07/2008 01/01/2009
 Estonian kroon EEK      15.64660 13/07/2010 01/01/2011
 Latvian lats LVL        0.70280 09/07/2013 01/01/2014
 Lithuanian litas LTL        3.45280 23/07/2014 01/01/2015

The €1 coin is bi-metallic, i.e. made of two alloys: the inner part of cupro-nickel, the outer part of nickel-brass.

  • All coins have a common reverse side and country-specific national sides
  • The Irish design shows the national arms of Ireland, an Irish harp (the Cláirseach)
  • 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.
Value 1 euro
Mass 7.5 g
Diameter 23.25 mm
Thickness 2.33 mm
Edge Alternating segments, three smooth, three finely ribbed
Composition Outer segment: nickel brass.
Inner segment: three layers: copper-nickel, nickel and copper-nickel.

Since its introduction in 2002, €1 coins have been produced every year by Ireland.

2002 Ireland €1, Type I reverse

2002-2006, Ireland €1, Type I reverse

Year €1, Type I
2002 135,114,737
2003     2,455,700
2004     1,592,990
2005     6,774,777
2006     4,038,722
2007 Ireland €1, Type II reverse

2007 to Date – Ireland €1, Type II reverse

Year €1, Type II
2007      3,942,582
2008      2,579,757
2009      3,314,828
2010      1,082,716
2011      1,104,965
2012      7,000,000
2013      6,000,000
2014 **
2015 **

** Data not available yet

To date, no major errors have been recorded for Irish €1 coins but errors have been recorded from other Euro Zone states.

  • Italian one euro from 2002 without mint marks
  • Monegasque one euro from 2007 without mint marks
  • Portuguese coins from 2002 with non-standard type of edging (29 stripes instead of 28)
  • Portuguese ‘Type I reverse’ coins from 2008 (all other states used Type II reverse from 2007 onwards
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