The Central Bank of Ireland have announced the launch of their final “animal” coin which completes the three-coin series featuring the barnyard animal designs that appeared on pre-decimal and pre-EURO Irish coinage. The last coin in the three year series features the Irish Wolfhound, last seen on the six-pence denomination which was in circulation from 1928 until the introduction of decimalization in 1971. The addition of the puppy next to the adult hound symbolizes the next generation of the EURO currency introduced into circulation in Ireland in 2002.
The two previous coins depicted the Horse in 2010 (last seen on the old half-crown & 20 pence coin) and the salmon in 2011, (depicted on the old 2 shilling & 10 pence coin) also with their young incorporated into the designs, originally crafted by legendary artist Percy Metcalfe. The additional artwork is by artist Emmett Mullins who has created the previous two issues and also such recent Irish coins as the Ploughman coin issued in 2009 and Samuel Beckett’s 100th anniversary of birth coin issued in 2006.
Struck by the Royal Dutch Mint, the 2012 Wolfhound Silver Proof Coin has a denomination of €15 and is struck in sterling silver. The original motif of the Irish wolfhound was depicted on the six-pence denomination that did not transition onto a new pence-denominated coin and as such, it is the first time in more than 40 years that this design is depicted on Irish coinage once again. The obverse includes the re-tooled design originally created by Metcalfe of the wolfhound standing and facing left along with his offspring, a pup also standing and facing inquisitively towards the front. The reverse of the coin as with many collector & circulation coins, includes the Harp, national symbol of the Republic of Ireland along with the text “EIRE” and the year of issue, “2012” on either side.
Struck to proof quality and in .925 fine silver, the coin has a weight of 28.2 grams and a diameter of 38.6 mm. The Central Bank have authorized a total of 8,000 coins for world-wide distribution. For more information on this and other coins on offer from the Central Bank of Ireland, please visit their website at: http://www.centralbank.ie/paycurr/collector/Pages/Coinsets.aspx International orders fulfilled.