Wear or give as a very special gift a set of cufflinks with genuine vintage Irish coins inset.
Irish Pre-Decimal Coins
The Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann); 6 December 1922 – 29 December 1937) was the state established in 1922 as a Dominion of the British Commonwealth of Nations under the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed by British and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand.
- As expected, Northern Ireland immediately exercised its right under the Treaty to remove itself from the new state.
The Irish Free State effectively replaced both the self-proclaimed Irish Republic (founded 21 January 1919) and the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State. W. T. Cosgrave, the first President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, had led both of these governments since August 1922.
The Treaty established that the new Irish Free State would be a constitutional monarchy, with a Governor-General.
- The Constitution of the Irish Free State made more detailed provision for the state’s system of government, with a three-tier parliament, called the Oireachtas, made up of the King and two houses, Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann (the Irish Senate).
- Executive authority was vested in the King, and exercised by a cabinet called the Executive Council, presided over by a prime minister called the President of the Executive Council.
- The King in Ireland was represented by a Governor-General of the Irish Free State.
- The office replaced the previous Lord Lieutenant, who had headed English and British administrations in Ireland since the Middle Ages.
- Governors-General were appointed by the King initially on the advice of the British Government, but with the consent of the Irish Government.
- From 1927 the Irish Government alone had the power to advise the King whom to appoint.
In 1927, a committee (led by Nobel laureate, W.B. Yeats) ran a competition and chose the winning designs for the first Irish coins. A year later, we had a beautiful set of 8 of critically-acclaimed coins – three of which are small enough today to be used as cufflink inserts.
The Irish Free State came to an end in 1937, when the citizens voted by a relatively narrow majority to adopt a new constitution. The new Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann) repealed the 1922 Constitution, and came into effect on 29 December 1937.
- The state was re-named Ireland (Éire in the Irish language)
- The obverse (front) coin design changed to reflect this change
- A new office of President of Ireland was instituted in place of the Governor-General of the Irish Free State.
Irish coins are not issued every year, therefore there are gaps in the numismatic record.
- Rarity is not determined by the number of coins minted (most of which we know) but by their survival rates (which we don’t know).
- Mintages of Irish coins was a small fraction of those minted in the UK, so these Irish coins are relatively scarce when compared to their British counterparts
- Most of these coins were melted down when they were replaced by decimal coinage in February 1971
You can pre-order for St Patrick’s Day
- email us at: email@example.com
- please state the coin + year that you require