Dawaine S. writes: I have what appears to be a silver coin dated 1961 has a harp on the front the word “eire” above the harp and the date below, The back has some sort of fish with the word “florin” under the belly of the fish and 2s at the bottom, The coin is very thick and in very good condition. Can you tell me what it is and its worth. Thank you!
You have a 1961 Republic of Ireland, copper-nickel Florin 2 shillings. (20 shillings=1 pound ). Irish coins have often used animals as an identifier to make it easier to recognize the many coin denominations. Your coin features an Atlantic Salmon.
The zoo lays out as such:
- Farthing (1/4 penny) – European Woodcock
- 1/2 Penny – Sow with Piglets
- Penny – Hen with Chicks
- 3 Pence – Blue Hare
- 6 Pence – Irish Wolfhound
- Shilling – Bull
- Florin – Atlantic Salmon
- 1/2 Crown (2 shillings 6 pence) – Irish Hunter (horse)
The Florin denomination became obsolete in 1971 when the Irish coinage system became decimalized (100 pence= 1 pound). The florin then translated as 10 pence. Though common in circulated grades, high grade and uncirculated pieces are scarce. About 2 million florins were minted in 1961. Approximate value range: US 25 cents – $25.