Irish Coin Daily: 2019 €15 silver Commemorative Proof (Centenary of the First Trans-Atlantic Flight)

The Irish Coin Cabinet, The Old Currency Exchange, Coin Dealer, Dublin, Ireland

Date: 2019

2019 Centenary of First Trans-Atlantic Flight €15 Silver Proof

2019 Centenary of First Trans-Atlantic Flight €15 Silver Proof

  • Issued by: The Central Bank of Ireland
  • Issue Date: 14th June 2019
    • The coin was launched at the Alcock & Brown 100 Festival in Clifden, Co Galway
    • Derville Rowland Director General, Financial Conduct at the Central Bank presented a silver coin to Group Captain A J H Tony Alcock, nephew of Captain John Alcock at the coin launch
  • Issue Limit: 3,000 pieces
  • Designer: P.J. Lynch (Ireland)
  • Quality:
    • Proof strike
    • Sterling Silver 0.925 fine
  • Weight: 28.8 g
  • Diameter: 38.61 mm


This 2019 €15 Silver Proof coin marks one hundred years since the first non-stop Trans-Atlantic flight, when Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Brown landed their Vickers Vimy airplane in a bog near Clifden, Co. Galway on 15 June, 1919.

  • In 1913, the Daily Mail offered a prize of £10,000 to the first aviator to cross the Atlantic by a heavier than air machine
  • Sadly, the Great War of 1914-18 intervened and the competition was suspended
    • During WW1, both men were ‘prisoners of war’
      • Alcock was shot down during an air raid over Turkey
      • Brown was shot down over Germany
  • The competition re-opened (after the war) in late 1918

The two British pilots flew their Vickers Vimy bi-plane from St. John’s in Newfoundland, Canada to Ireland. The Vickers crew adapted a Vimy twin-engined bomber for the race, replacing the bomb bays with additional gasoline tanks.

  • They carried nearly 900 gallons of aviation fuel
  • They took off from Lester’s Field, Newfoundland at 1.45pm on 14 June
  • They crash-landed at Derrigimlagh Bog, Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway.
    • Neither man was injured
  • The first non-stop Trans-Atlantic flight took 16 hours and 28 minutes to complete
    • They landed 25 miles north of their target destination
  • The two aviators had carried 197 letters across the ocean
    • Thus, it was also the first Trans-Atlantic Airmail service flight
Newfoundland: 1919 airmail cover, carried on Alcock & Brown's first Trans-Atlantic flight (addressed to Alcock's sister), bearing 1919 (9 June) $1 on 15c. bright scarlet.

Newfoundland to Ireland: 1919 airmail cover, carried on Alcock & Brown’s first Trans-Atlantic flight (addressed to Capt. Alcock’s sister), bearing 1919 (9 June) $1 on 15c. bright scarlet.

This limited edition commemorative coin is issued to celebrate this significant centenary and design by numismatic artist, P.J. Lynch. The design celebrates the huge accomplishment of Alcock and Brown, and the fact that this plane landed in Galway, Ireland – .

The Vickers Vimy Biplane is the fore of the design. Behind the plane is a period style map which helps to emphasise the pilots’ peril and demonstrates the sheer scale of their accomplishment in travelling from Newfoundland to Ireland for the very first time without stopping.

  • After their incredible achievement, Alcock and Brown were received by then-Secretary of State for Air, Winston Churchill, who presented them with the Daily Mail prize for their crossing of the Atlantic in “less than 72 consecutive hours.”
    • They were also knighted by King George V
  • Alcock did not live very long to enjoy his share of the fame and the prize money
    • He died on December 18, 1919, crashing his plane on his way to an air show in France
    • He was just 27 years of age



Other Irish Commemorative Proof Coins in this Series:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s