It might seem strange to write a blog about Irish Coins. I would not describe myself as a Coin Collector. I know little or nothing about Coins. My limited interest is in “preservation” or “conservation”. They are small pieces of History.
Ireland became independent in 1922 and although the first Irish coins were minted in 1928, Ireland remained within the sterling area for about sixty years. The British Pound was made up of two hundred and forty pennies.
Although never legal tender in Britain, Irish notes and coins circulated freely and with parity in “Northern Ireland”.
While British coins were updated for each new monarch, Irish coins stayed the same basic design. The Harp, an iconic image of Ireland is on the reverse side, with the date of minting and the name “Saorstat Éireann” (Irish Free State) before 1937 and Éire (Ireland) after 1937.
In 1971, Britain and Ireland adopted a decimal system. One hundred (new) pennies made up a Pound.
Britain and Ireland joined the European Common Market in 1973. After a few years the Currencies ceased to have parity. To distinguish them, the Irish Pound became known as the Punt.
In 2002, Ireland adopted the Euro, a new pan-European currency. Standard coins were one cent, two cents, five cents, ten cents, twenty cents, fifty cents, One Euro and Two Euro. Each “Irish” Euro coin features the traditional Harp.