The 1928 Irish coin set, designed by Percy Metcalfe.

How Irish coin designs of 1928 influenced modern coin design

The new Irish coin designs, first minted in 1928 attracted a lot of media attention at home. This is well documented and most Irish coin collectors have read the various contemporary and more recent articles on this topic. What is less well known is how we influenced coin design abroad. The much deserved winner of…

Ireland Irish coin sixpence reverse

O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Sixpence

The sixpence (6d) (Irish: reul) coin was a sub-division of the pre-decimal Irish pound, worth 1/40 of a pound or ½ of a shilling.  It ‘nickname’ was a ‘tanner’ and it is thought that this is from John Sigismund Tanner, originally from Saxe-Coburg, who was a medallist and designer at the Royal Mint.  The sixpence he designed for George II…

Ireland 1928 threepence coin ireland saorstat eireann eire percy metcalfe

O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Threepence

The threepence (3d) (Irish: leath reul) coin was an Irish pre-decimal coin and a great favourite of golfers who often used it as a green marker.  There were 4 threepences to a shilling and 80 to an old pound.  The Irish name (leath reul) literally meant “half a sixpence” and, unlike many other Irish coins of the time, it…

1928-68 Irish Penny (reverse design)

O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Penny

The penny (1d) (Irish: pingin) coin was the third smallest denomination of the pre-decimal Irish pound.  There were 12 to a shilling, 24 to a florin and 240 to a pound.  To express an amount, penny was abbreviated to “d”, e.g. shortened from dwt, or pennyweight. The penny is one of the longest circulating coin denominations in Europe –…

1928-66 Irish Farthing (reverse design)

O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Pre-Decimal Farthing

Ireland is one of only four nations to issue farthing coins in the 20th century.  The other three countries to circulate farthings were the UK (1900-1956), South Africa (1923-60), and Jamaica (1900-63). British farthings ceased to be legal currency in 1960 The farthings of South Africa, Jamaica and Ireland ceased to be legal currency in 1961, 1969…