The main 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 1939.The reverse was designed by Percy Metcalfe and features a bull. Below the hare design is the denomination “1s”. Below the bull design and to the right are the designers initials "PM". Cattle have long been a vital part of Ireland’s agricultural communities and are a beautiful representation of one of Ireland’s economic staples over the years.
Types & Varieties
In 1951 the series underwent a complete composition change from silver to copper/nickel providing two type coins for the series.
Type 1 - Composition of silver 1928 to 1942
Type 2 - Composition of copper/nickel 1951 to 1968
In 1938 the change of the official country name from “The Irish Free State” to “The Republic of Ireland” and required a legend change on all coinage giving collectors two major varieties for the series. Additionally, the legend change occurred just prior to the composition change providing yet another option for collectors.
|Old Legend||New Legend|
Variety 1 - Old obverse legend 1928 to 1937
Variety 2 - New obverse legend, Type 1 composition 1939 to 1942
Variety 3 - New obverse legend, Type 2 composition 1951 to 1968
General Market Notes
For the investor, the key to the series (excluding proofs & errors) is the 1937 issue and the semi-keys are the 1930, 1931 & 1933 issues.