Irish Pre Decimal Coins

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farthing ireland 1941

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Irish Pre Decimal Coins

Irish Pre Decimal Coins Overview

Shortly after Ireland gained independence the Irish government created a coinage committee to decide on suitable coins for the new Irish Free State, which later became the Irish Republic, The coins chosen and designed during the period of the Irish Free State we adapted and used in the Pre Decimal Series also. 

This committee was headed by then-senator and world renowned poet and dramatist W.B. Yeats who when later asked about the coinage he said;

" Designs in connection with postage stamps and coinage may be described, I think, as the silent ambassadors on national taste. "

W.B. Yeats

W.B Yeats

Early on, the committee had decided that all of the coins should show The Harp and all the lettering on the coins would be in Irish.  Next, the theme of the coins was decided, Agriculture was chosen given its importance to the economy and the everyday people of the country. And lastly that the words Saorstát Éireann which translate as Irish Free State would be on the obverse of the coin. 

The committee whittled down the shortlist of candidate designers eventually to one, Percy Metcalfe whos designs were chosen. 

original shilling design

Farthing Coin

The design of the Irish Farthing coin featured a Woodcock bird in flight. This bird was featured in the coin series as at the time of the original design the bird was largely hunted as a food source in Ireland.

Denomination: Farthing
KM Code: KM# 9
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Years Produced: 1939 – 1966
Known Mintage: 3,570,000
Composition: Bronze
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint, Tower Hill Site, London, Great Brittain (1809-1967)

1940 is the most valuable year, with values up to $20. 

Half Penny Coin

The design of the Irish Halfpenny coin featured a Sow and Piglets. This was chosen given the large importance Animals had on farming and rural life in Ireland at the time.

Denomination: Halfpenny
KM Code: KM# 10
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Years Produced: 1939 – 1967
Known Mintage: 24,864,000
Composition: Bronze
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint, Tower Hill Site, London, Great Brittain (1809-1967)

1939 is the most valuable year, with values up to $75. 

Penny Coin

The design of the Irish penny coin featured a Hen and Chicks. This was chosen given the large importance Animals had on farming and rural life in Ireland at the time.

Denomination: Penny
KM Code: KM# 11
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Years Produced: 1940 – 1968
Known Mintage: 101,712,000
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint, Tower Hill Site, London, Great Brittain (1809-1967)

1940 is the most valuable year, with values up to $400. 

Three Pence Coin

The design of the Irish 3 Pence coin featured a hare. This was chosen given the large importance animals had on farming and rural life in Ireland at the time, the hare would have been commonly hunted during this time period.

Denomination: 3 Pence
KM Code: KM# 12
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Years Produced: 1939 – 1940 & 1942 – 1968
Known Mintage: 784,000
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint, Tower Hill Site, London, Great Brittain (1809-1967)

There were two versions of the 3 pence coin in this series. The first was 1939 – 1940 & the second was from 1942 – 1968. 

Overall 1939 is the most valuable year, with values up to $250. 

Six Pence Coin

The design of the Irish 6 Pence coin featured an Irish Wolfhound. This was chosen given the large importance animals had on farming and rural life in Ireland at the time, the Irish Wolfhound would have been commonly owned during this time period.

Denomination: 6 Pence
KM Code: KM# 13
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Years Produced: 1939 – 1940 & 1942 – 1969
Known Mintage: 1,996,000
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint Tower Hill

There were two versions of the 6 pence coin in this series. The first was 1939 – 1940 & the second was 1942 – 1969.

Overall 1946 is the most valuable year, with values up to $250. 

Shilling Coin

The design of the Irish Shilling coin featured a Bull. This was chosen given the large importance animals had on farming and rural life in Ireland at the time and still, to some aspect do. Historically the number of cattle you owned in Ireland was also an indication of wealth.

Denomination: Shilling
KM Code: KM# 14
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Known Mintage: 2,306,000
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint Tower Hill

There were two versions of the shilling coin in this series. The first was Silver and produced from 1939 – 1942 & the second was 1951 – 1968.

Overall 1942 is the most valuable year, with values up to $70. 

Two Shilling / Florin

The design of the Irish Florin coin featured a Salmon. This was chosen given the large importance fishing had on life in Ireland at the time, the Salmon would have been widely fished during this period.

Denomination: Florin
KM Code: KM# 15
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint Tower Hill

There were two versions of the florin coin in this series. The first was Silver and produced from 1939 – 1943 & the second was 1951 – 1969.

Overall 1943 is the most valuable year, with values up to $9,200. 

Half Crown

The design of the Irish Half Crown coin featured an Irish Hunter Horse. This was chosen given the large importance animals had on farming and rural life in Ireland at the time, the Irish Hunter Horse would have been commonly owned during this period.

Denomination: Half Crown
KM Code: KM# 16
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Years Produced: 1939 – 1943 & 1951 – 1967
Distribution: Standard Circulation
Mint: Royal Mint Tower Hill

There were two versions of the Half Crown coin in this series. The first was Silver and produced from 1939 – 1943 & the second copper-nickel coin 1951 – 1967

Overall 1943 is the most valuable year, with values up to $4,600. 

Ten Shilling Coin

The 10 Shilling coin was designed by T.H. Paget. Produced in 1966 at the Royal Mint Tower Hill mint. In total 2,020,000 of these coins were minted.

Denomination: 10 Shilling
KM Code: KM# 18
Coin Series: Pre Decimal 1939-1969
Year Produced: 1966
Known Mintage: 2,020,000
Distribution: Circulating Commemorative
Mint: Royal Mint Tower Hill

This coin is worth up to $46. 

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The purpose of this website is to educate and entertain, All values shown are a guideline only and should not be used for any means of financial investment or speculation, as with all things values may fluctuate depending on demand and scarcity, we strongly advise that all information on this website is used as it was intended – for entertainment purposes. The information relating to coins is sourced from many places such as NGC, PCGS and The Irish Central Bank.