Irish Coins & Banknotes
Grow Biz_468x60banner
IRISH COINS & BANKNOTES, An historical overview


Irish coinage can be traced back to the silver pennies of the Vikings in Dublin over one thousand years ago  (known as Hiberno Norse issues) Silver Hammered Pennies - Sihtric III (King of Dublin) AD 995
Many of these coins are now Ext Rare.

Later we find the Norman (or Anglo-Irish)  coinage of John (1199-1214)

Silver coins of Edward I (1272-1307)  were struck by mints at Dublin, Waterford & Cork.
These charming hammered silver coins are identified as Irish  having a portrait in triangle design.
Legent also reads 'Citivis Dbvline' for Dublin etc.

Irish hammered coins (as in England) were issued by monarchs such as Henry VII & Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, James I & Charles I (copper farthings)

Siege Money 1642 - 1649
Rebel & Town Pieces , Cork money, Blacksmiths Halfcrown etc.
During the great rebellion there was several  emergency issues such as the  'Inchiquin Money which was struck in denominations of Threepence, Groat, Sixpence, Shilling , Halfcrown & Crown pieces.
'Ormonde' money:
Again the denominations are,
Threepence, Groat, Sixpence, Shilling , Halfcrown & large Crown pieces

Brass & Copper Gunmoney (1689 -1691)
This emergency coinage of King James II, was struck from base
metals such as copper & brass (from cannon)  hence
the name 'Gunmoney'  Appart from its Historical
significance, this coinage  is unique in that it bears both
the month of issue as well as the date.
Numerous varieties occour & thankfully for collectors - plenty examples  of this coinage can still be found.

(Read a brief historical profile)
Gunmoney consists of Large Halfcrowns dated 1689 which were overstruck in 1690 as Five Shilling pieces. Small Halfcrowns dated 1690, Large & Small Shillings 1689 - 1690 & Sixpences. All these coins bear the Regal portrait of King James II (1685 - 1688)
Jacobite Limerick Halfpenny coins were also struck in 1691.

Bank of Ireland silver tokens (see image below) were struck  between 1804 - 1813 including the overstriking of spanish pieces of eight (8R) as Bank of Ireland Six Shillings in 1804. There was a  widespread issue of private tradesmen's halfpennies & farthings in the 18th & 19th centuries.

'Soho' Mint Coinage of George III & IV (1805 - 1823)
In 1805 the coining presses of Mathew Boulton & James Watt of Birmingham produced a technically superb Copper coinage of Large One Penny & Halfpenny  iisues. In 1806 a Frthing was Also struck.  These issues were the last Irish coinage struck before independence the reverese of each of the three denominations  depicted  the Crowned Harp  of ireland. 
George IV copper Penny & halfpenny  issues of 1822 - 1823.

A wide variety of often beautiful token coins were struck to supplement the scarce regal issues, especially halfpennies & farthings between the 17th & 19thC periods.

The Irish Free State Coinage from 1928

A new Irish coinage was introduced in 1928 following independence from Great Britain in 1921.
Although 'Irish' this new 'Saorstat Eireann'  (Irish Free State) ' & Republic 'Eire' coinage was struck entirely by the Royal Mint hence the many Rare Irish early proofs in the British Museum.
This new coinage consisted of eight denominations from a silver halfcrown (2/6d or 30d) a silver florin (2 shillings 2/-) , a silver shilling (1/-) , a nickel sixpence & threepence.  a bronze penny, halfpenny & farthing.
The designs reflected Ireland's agriculture based economy & depicted manily farm  animals.

Initially from 1928 - 1937 (where issued)  each denomination depicted an Irish harp obverse with the Gaelic legend 'Saorstat Eireann' or Irish Free State'
From 1939 until 1969  the legend simply read 'Eire'
This currency was replaced with decimal issues in the 1969-1971 period (with many precious designs continuing to be used) & a new irish mint was established to strike it.

The decimal coinage also bore the reverse 'Eire' & date surrounding the Irish harp.
Modern Decimal Rarities
In recent years a number of previously uknown decimal coins have turn up.
The 1985 Brass Twenty Pence & the Smaller sized  Ten Pence coin introduced in 1993 Has now been discovered to also include some rare issues dated 1992.
Irish 1986 specimen sets are also highly sough after.

The Irish harp has also been continued from 2002 on the EURO coinage
Attractive Irish Proof Sets have been issued & individual commemorative Ten & Fifteen Euro Silver Proofs also.
Add this page to your favorites.
Bank of Ireland Silver tokens 1805-1813
James II 1689
'Gunmoney' Halfcrown
View Irish Banknote Illustrated Section Click Here 
VICTORIAN PENNY COINS 1839 - 1901 (Part of The Coinage of Great Britain & Ireland)
Illustrated Gallery of victorian young head, bun head & old or veiled head copper & bronze penny coins,(1839 - 1901) which was also the official coinage of Ireland.
Mintage figures, varieties, historical medals & reference on 19thC engravers & medalists.