Old Irish Coins

British & Irish Coins

Exchange old British & Irish coins for cash

Old British & Irish coins have an interesting history and you can read about how the coins have come about below. If you have got any old coins that you’d like to exchange then we’d love to help you. Each year we help hundreds of people exchange old British & Irish coins for cash. Our service is fast, simple and easy to use. Our payment is super-fast  and we offer great rates. We also offer a full 100% satisfaction guarantee – if you are not happy with our valuation then we’ll return your coins at our expense.

Why exchange old British and Irish coins with Cash4Coins

We exchange ALL old British coins and notes
We exchange ALL old Irish coins and notes
We even exchange ALL pre-decimal currency
We exchange ALL foreign coins and notes
Best exchange rates – Guaranteed!
Instant payment
Free and subsidised collection
100% Satisfaction guarantee


Go to our page ‘How to send us coins‘ for information about how we can help you exchange old British & Irish coins.

History of British & Irish Coins

Even following Irish independence from Britain in 1922, Irish coinage tended to follow the example of British coinage in its structure, and British and Irish coins had many similarities. The new coinage took some time to develop, and Irish coins did not enter circulation until 1928. When first introduced, the used the same structure as the British coinage of the time: a farthing, worth 1/4d or one-fourth of a penny, was the lowest value coin, followed by a halfpenny, penny, threepence piece, sixpence, shilling, florin (a coin with a value of two shillings) and half-crown (worth two shillings and sixpence). A 10-shilling coin was introduced later, in 1966, but did not prove successful. As in Britain, 10-shilling banknotes were sufficiently common that a ten-shilling coin served no real purpose. The sixpence and higher were silver coins, while the lower-value coins were bronze. One shilling consisted of twelve pennies, with twenty shillings to the pound.

Although British and Irish coins used the same system of values, the design of the coins in the two countries differed greatly. In Britain, the farthing, halfpenny and penny were bronze coins. The threepence coin was made of nickel brass and had a highly unusual shape, being a dodecagon or twelve-sided polygon. The sixpence and higher were “silver” coins, although later mintings were actually cupronickel without significant silver content.

British coin design was relatively standard throughout the period. The obverse of the coin displayed an image of the reigning monarch, while the reverse gave the value of the coin and a national symbol, such as the goddess Britannia, a rose, a crown, a royal monogram or similar. Reverse designs differed between denominations and between successive issues.

In Ireland, the same general principle was used, with a standardised obverse and a different reverse for each denomination. The obverse of each coin showed a harp, while the reverse displayed an image of an Irish animal. Inscriptions were in Irish, so that the reverse of the one-shilling coin carried the legend “1s” with the Irish word “scilling” along the lower side of the face.

Like Britain, Ireland decimalised its currency in the 1960s. Again, the coinage structure was closely modelled on the British system, with 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p and £1 coins. The only notable difference was that Ireland continued to issue a halfpenny, although this was not successful and was withdrawn from circulation in 1985. Like their predecessors, the decimalised Irish coins carried a harp on the obverse and images of Irish animals on the reverse. Indeed, just as in Britain, some Irish pre-decimal coins remained in circulation with new decimal values. The only major departure in terms of design was the reverse of halfpenny, 1p and 2p Irish coins, which carried the image of a bird based on designs in the medieval Book of Kells, rather than a realistic image of an animal.

The paths of British and Irish coins diverged one final time in 2002, when Ireland introduced Euro coinage, phasing out its previous currency. Britain’s decimal sterling coinage continued on largely unchanged.

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