Irish Coin Daily: 2018 €15 silver Commemorative Proof (Rory Gallagher)

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

Date: 2018

2018 Rory Gallagher €15 silver proof coin

2018 Rory Gallagher €15 silver proof coin

  • Issued by: The Central Bank of Ireland
    • This coin is the first in a three coin series entitled “Modern Irish Musicians”
      • 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of Rory Gallagher
      • 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of Phil Lynott
      • 2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of Luke Kelly
  • Issue Date: 17th September 2018
    • Coin launched by Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Philip Lane at Áras an Uachtaráin, where he presented the first coin of the series to President Michael D. Higgins in the presence of Rory’s brother (and manager) Donal Gallagher.
  • Issue Limit: 3,000 pieces
    • Designer: Michael Guilfoyle (Wales)
  • Quality:
    • Proof strike
    • Sterling Silver 0.925 fine
    • Each proof coin comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity
  • Weight: 28.28 g
  • Diameter: 38.61 mm


This 2018 €15 Silver Proof coin marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of the Irish music legend Rory Gallagher. The self-taught musician became an internationally acclaimed rock hero selling over 30 million albums worldwide.

  • Gallagher recorded 14 of the ‘Top 20’ vinyl records in the British jazz and blues category, following their re-release last year

Born in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Rory’s family re-located to Cork City when he was at a young age. The self-taught musician became an internationally acclaimed rock hero. After forming the band Taste in the 1960s, he recorded as a solo artist throughout the following decades (until his death in 1995).

The coin pays tribute to Rory Gallagher’s status as one of the world’s greatest rock guitarists, with a depiction of Rory in a characteristic pose with his beloved (albeit somewhat battered) Fender Stratocaster guitar.

  • Behind the main focal point of the design is a graphic representation of a vinyl record overlaid with a graphic map, alluding to Rory’s classic live album from 1972, “Live in Europe”
  • The 1970s were Gallagher’s most prolific period. He produced ten albums in that decade, including two ‘live’ albums, Live in Europe and Irish Tour ’74
    • November 1971 saw the release of the album Deuce
    • In the same year he was voted Melody Maker’s International Top Guitarist of the Year, ahead of Eric Clapton
    • Gallagher collaborated with Jerry Lee Lewis and Muddy Waters on their respective London Sessions in the mid-1970s
  • In the 1980s he continued recording, producing Jinx, Defender, and Fresh Evidence

For those who remember him, Rory Gallagher was perhaps the first internationally recognised rock star from Ireland and, despite his international success, he returned to Ireland every year to play gigs. He was also a songwriter and producer. His music and legendary marathon ‘live’ performances appealed to an international audience well beyond his native Ireland. Rory was a multi-instrumentalist; playing the harmonica, alto saxophone, bass, mandolin, banjo, and the coral sitar.

Sadly, Rory Gallagher passed away in 1995 at the age of 47


Other Irish Commemorative Proof Coins in this Series:


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