Irish Central Bank Issues Coins to Mark Centennial of Easter Rising
That event, which played a key role in the establishment of the Irish republic, was an armed insurrection by Irish Republicans on Easter weekend in April 1916 to protest British rule of Ireland. The protesters were killed by British soldiers.
During the uprising, one of the activists, stood on the Central Post Office’s steps and read this proclamation: “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.”
In addition to a 2-euro bimetallic coin already covered in Coin World, a 15-euro silver proof and two gold coins, one of them with a 50-euro denomination and the other 100 euro, were also issued. The silver coin is sold individually and in a two-coin set with the smaller gold coin, which weighs 7.77 grams. The larger gold coin weighs twice as much and was released as a stand-alone piece.
Both the set and 100-euro gold sold out almost instantly, but the single silver coin is still available from the bank, and in the U.S. from Royal Scandinavian Mint (www.rsmint.com), which offers buyers the option to obtain a certificate of authenticity signed by the designer of the coin, Michael Guilfoyle. Their price is $67.50.
The coins feature a gorgeous design showing Hibernia, the allegorical representation of Ireland (similar to Lady Liberty here, or Britannia in the UK), which first appeared in cartoons and drawings in the 19th century. Hibernia was also known as “Britannia’s younger sister.” On the coin she appears in front of key phrases from the proclamation.
The coins were minted by the Austrian Mint in Vienna, and carry mintages of 18,000 for the silver, 5500 for the 50-euro gold, and 1,000 for the 100-euro gold.