O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Florin Errors & Varieties


Introduction:

This post is a continuation of the research work done by Derek Young and Prof. G.F. Mitchell – first published in the Irish Numismatics magazine. Sadly, this excellent magazine is no longer available and quite difficult to source. The information in this post relates to ‘minting errors’ on Irish pre-decimal florins.

According to a Central Bank of Ireland report (May 2018) there is still a massive amount of old Irish coins and banknotes still unaccounted for, i.e. €226 million has still not been handed in to the bank and exchanged for euro.

  • This figure includes both coins and banknotes
    • It comprises both decimal and pre-decimal currency
  • In 2017 and 2016, the same amount was handed in, i.e. €1.5 million
    • 2017: €1.1 million in banknotes and €400,000 worth of coins
    • 2016: €1.3 million in banknotes and €200,000 worth of coins
    • At this rate, it will be another 150 years before they get it all back
      • In reality, they will only exchange old Irish currency until 2099
      • In among all these old coins must be a few ‘minting errors’
      • So get collecting folks !

Since these old Irish pre-decimal pennies are readily available at coin fairs, charity shops and car boot sales throughout Ireland, collectors are advised to be on the look out for ‘errors’ being sold at bargain prices. Alternatively, there are the specialist Irish numismatic dealers and auctions to source them from.

Irish Pre-Decimal Florin Errors: 1928-68

No Date

  • E.2s / 00 / 1
    • Struck on a fragment of silver flan. Partial reverse only, no date (1928-43)
      • Heritage Auction #3040 (April 2015, Lot 32860)
Irish Florin (undated) 1928-43, struck on large silver fragment. A spectacular minting error. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

Irish Florin (undated) 1928-43, struck on large silver fragment. A spectacular minting error.

  • 1951
    • E.2s / 51 / 1

      • Die-crack on tail of fish
        • Mitchell 2s/51/1
        • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.1
    • E.2s / 51 / 2

      • Slight doubling on 19 of date (right) and on RE of EIRE (left)
        • Mitchell 2s/51/2
        • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.1a
    • E.2s / 51 / 3

      • Half of second 1 in date missing
        • Mary Coffey, 23rd September 1977
        • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.1b

1954

  • E.2s / 54 / 1

    • No reeding on edge
      • R.H. Bowen, Irish Numismatics, Vol. 23, p. 192
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.2
  • E.2s / 54 / 2

    • Struck on wrong flan
      • D.J. McQuoid, Irish Numismatics, Vol. 14, p. 78
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.2a

1963

  • E.2s / 63 / 1

    • Half of 3 in date missing
      • Mary Coffey, 23rd September 1977
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.7

1964

  • E.2s / 64 / 1

    • Die-crack on tail of fish
      • Mitchell 2s/64/1
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.8
  • E.2s / 64 / 2

    • Bar on tail of first E of EIRE, which meets edge at fourth bead to right of fada
      • Mitchell 2s/64/2
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.8a
  • E.2s / 64 / 3

    • Streaks of discolouration
      • F.E. Dixon
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.8b

1965

  • E.2s / 65 / 1

    • Harp rotated at 50 degree angle in relation to reverse
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.9

1966

  • E.2s / 66 / 1

    • Slight doubling on FLO or FLORIN and 2s (top)
      • Mitchell 2s/66/1
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.10
  • E.2s / 66 / 2

    • Die-crack extending left into field from bottom of harp; starting from die-chip at right of very bottom of harp (?)
      • Mitchell 2s/66/2
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.10a
  • E.2s / 66 / 3

    • Die-crack down tail of salmon (very bottom), and across field, to reach edge at bead directly below the gap between P and M (designer’s initials)
      • Mitchell 2s/66/3
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.10b
  • E.2s / 66 / 4

    • Blob of extra metal
      • F.E. Dixon
      • Young (Irish Numismatics) E.10c

 


Bibliography:

  • Errors on Modern Irish Coins, Part 3 – Florin (Silver)  1928-37
    • (Derek Young), Irish Numismatics, No. 45, p. 102-103 (May-Jun 1975)
  • Errors on Modern Irish Coins, Part 21 – Florin (Cupro-Nickel)  1951-68
    • (Derek Young), Irish Numismatics, No. 65, p. 219 (Sep-Oct 1978)

 

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