Ireland is a fairly young independent modern free state and has maintained a stable currency system throughout. A steady and stable use of currency makes for an easy type set collection as few examples are required to complete an entire set. Collecting Irish coinage can be separated into three areas; sterling coinage, decimal coinage and euro coinage.
Unlike other European coinage of the time, Irish coinage never used the images of political figures. All coinage designs are reflective of the people, the economy, and its heritage. Irish coinage has beautiful unique designs and will provide enjoyment for young and old collectors alike.
Ireland became a free state in 1922 and in 1926 moved to form a monetary system and coinage committee. The committee agreed to utilize the existing sterling monetary system that would provide stability while migrating to their own coinage. The committee also determined that all coinage would feature the national symbol, the Irish Harp, and an animal to reflect their agricultural economy. Additionally, though connected to the sterling, Ireland would use distinctive Irish names for denominations; punt (pound), scilling (shilling) and pingin (pence). The sterling would remain the standard unit until 1970 when the monetary system was switched to a decimal based coinage.
|Sterling Coinage System|
|12 Pence = 1 Shilling|
|2 Shillings & 6 Pence = ½ Crown|
|20 Shillings = 1 Punt (Pound)|
|¼ Pence||½ Penny||Penny||3 Pence||6 Pence||Shilling||Florin||½ Crown|
During 1970 Ireland officially switched to a decimal based currency to better align with world markets and to simplify coinage domestically. New decimal coinage began minting in 1969 and 1970 until 1971 when sterling coinage would officially be removed from the currency system. Designs for the new coinage would retain much of the original sterling designs with only the Hen & Sow designs being replaced with older Celtic designs. Decimal coinage would remain in circulation until 2002 when the monetary system was switched to euro coinage.
|Decimal Coinage System|
|100 Pence = 1 Punt (Pound)|
|½ Penny||1 Penny||2 Pence||5 Pence||10 Pence||20 Pence||50 Pence||Punt|
Though Ireland officially agreed to euro coinage in 1999 it did not circulate actual euro coinage until 2002. This three year period provided the transition to allow for citizens to become familiar with the new currency and prepare for coinage exchange. Designs for the new coinage would be limited to use of the Harp design and gone were all of the unique designs from the previous decimal coinage.
|Euro Coinage System|
|100 Cents = 1 Euro|
|Cent||5 Cents||10 Cents||20 Cents||50 Cents||1 Euro||2 Euros|
The Irish Coin Library provides a detailed description of each coinage series including information on types, varieties, and mintages by year.
Type Sets and Coin Lists
Though Ireland has a tremendous and rich history, we will limit our Irish sets from the time they became a "Free State" which was achieved in 1922.
Note: all checklists are in MS Excel format, if you want a list in a format other than Excel then please leave a post in the Forums.
20th Century Type Set Click here for checklist
- Set does not include proofs
- Total Coins to Complete: 36
- Difficulty to Complete: Med
- Cost to Assemble: Low (typically less than $1500)
21st Century Type Set Click here for checklist
- Set does not include proofs
- Total Coins to Complete: 16
- Difficulty to Complete: Low
- Cost to Assemble: Low (typically less than $50)
Many collectors prefer to use coin albums from Dansco, Whitman or even Littleton. Unfortunately, there are no current albums being manufactured for Irish type sets. The templates have been provided below to fill this gap. All that is required is for a collector to have access to a printer, a 3-ring binder, 20 coin pocket pages.
Note: All documents are in MS Word 2010 format.
Album Cover Template Click here for album cover
2x2 Inserts Template Click here for inserts