Ireland 1943 1/2 crown
This specimen was lot 882 in Stack's "Vermuele, Ward & Mexico Maxico" sale (New York, January 2010), where it sold for $2,990. The catalog description noted, "IRELAND. Free State. Halfcrown, 1943. Harp, eire and date. Rv. Irish hunter horse, value in exergue. This extraordinary coin's largely lustrous silver fields show only a wisp of circulation. A virtually Mint State example of the second rarest silver coin of the independence period, the key to any Irish collection. An unknown but evidently small number of Halfcrowns was struck in the midst of World War II and the date's very existence was unknown to collectors for years after. The exact number produced is unknown today and most of the few survivors are found in much lower grades. Choice About Uncirculated." The first Irish half crowns, issued 1928-37, featured the obverse legend "SAORSTAT EIREANN"; this type, issued 1939-43, merely stated "EIRE." The subsequent and final type (KM 16a), issued 1951-67, was copper-nickel.
Recorded mintage: est. 1000.
Specification: 14.14 g, .750 fine silver, .340 troy oz ASW, 32.3 mm diameter.
Catalog reference: S.6633, KM 16.
- Kraljevich, John, and Frank Van Valen, The Vermuele, Ward & Mexico Maxico Collections, New York: Stack's, 2009.
- Bruce, Colin R., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 35th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2007.