The new Central Bank of Ireland building on Dublin North Quays

Exciting news for Irish Numismatic historians as the Central Bank of Ireland opens its archives for public research

The Central Bank of Ireland has opened its archives to the public for the first time and we hope that many unanswered questions of Irish numismatic interest can, at last, be answered. These archives include a range of materials created and acquired by the bank – such as objects, documents and ledgers dating from 1786…

O’Brien Rare Coin Review: Does an Irish (small) 1991 5p coin exist?

The Irish five pence coin, first introduced in 1971, was 5.65518 grams in weight with a diameter of 2.3595 centimetres. This matched the British five pence coin. As a modern coin it became apparent in the late 1980s that the coin’s physical dimensions were large relative to its value. On 30th April, 1992, Minister for Finance…

Edward III Halfpenny, Dublin mint

O’Brien Rare Coin Review: The Irish Coinage of Edward III (1339-40)

Introduction After Edward III, there was a gap in Irish coin production of over 120 years. What caused this? Was it an economic or political decision, or a combination of several different causal factors? Did the causal factors occur before and/or during the reign of Edward III ??? No coins would be minted in Ireland for…

Cork, under Commonwealth authority, Farthing token, overstruck on a Double Tournois of Louis XIII

The Proliferation of Unofficial Irish ‘Farthing Tokens’ in the 17th Century

By the first half of the 17th C, the copper coinage in both Britain and Ireland was in complete disarray. Neither James I nor his son, Charles I, took much interest in providing small denominations and ‘farmed out’ the Royal prerogative of minting copper coins to ‘favourite’ courtiers as patentees – Lords Harington, Richmond, Lennox and Maltravers were the principal…

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

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…