Ireland: Penny 1928-1968 Hen and Chicks


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1928-1968
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: 30.9 mm
Weight: 9.45 grams
Total Series Mintage: 125,664,000
Obverse Design: Harp
Reverse Design: Bird


The obverse design features the Irish Harp separating the date. From 1928 to 1937 the obverse featured the legend “SAORSTAT EIREANN” or Irish Free State. This legend would later be shortened to just “EIRE” or Ireland beginning in 1940.

The reverse was designed by Percy Metcalfe and features a hen with chicks. Above the design is the denomination “1d”. Below the last chick are the designers initials "PM". The hen has long been a vital part of Ireland's agricultural communities and is a beautiful representation of Ireland during that time period.

Obverse Reverse

Major Varieties

The change of the official country name from “The Irish Free State” to “The Republic of Ireland” in 1938 required a legend change on all coinage giving collectors two major varieties for the series.

Variety 1 - Old obverse legend 1928 to 1937
Variety 2 - New obverse legend 1940 to 1968

Old Legend New Legend

General Market Notes

The key to the series is the 1940 issue while the semi-key is the 1933 issue.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.