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1985 Rare Pattern 20 Pence

ID Number: 5546
Category: Irish Decimal & Euro Coins
Catalogue Number: KM.25 pattern date
Grade: Good EF
Weight: 8.62 g.
Date: 1985
Denomination: brass 20 pence
Pedigree: Ian Whyte privately
Price: $12K
Additional Details
Ireland 20 Pence Pattern 1985, KM 25 Pattern date.  This coin continues W.B.Yeats's harp and animal design theme, with the same designs as Percy Metcalf's 1928 halfcrown, issued from 1928 thru 1968, resurrected for the new 20 pence denomination, issued from 1986 thru 2000. 

Obv. A harp of 14 strings dividing EIRE and 1985.  Rev. Design by Percy Metcalf.  Irish Horse standing left on a flat line, 20 P above.  8.62 grams.  Edge alternates plain to reeded three times.  Identical in all respects except the date to KM.25. 

The 1985 Irish 20 pence pattern came about when there was a need to calibrate the vending machines in 1985 in anticipation of the launch of the new brass and copper nickel 20 pence denomination harp and horse coin in 1986. 

At some point in 1985, some 50 coins were struck, and issued to engineers to work each county in the Republic of Ireland, to calibrate the vending machines.  The coins so released were dated 1985, as it was against the law to provide coins with a future date.  Although the coins were intended to be returned, not all were returned.  The Bank of Ireland has, however, allowed the coin to be legally in the public domain, apparently due to the laissez-faire nature of the regulations, or lack thereof, concerning the coins being given to the engineers. 

About 7 or 8 pieces are known.  Attending Ireland's annual coin fairs, regularly, since 1998, I have seen 6 other specimens.  The first, a brown toned Very Fine in the showcase of the late David Paling of Dublin, at the annual Dublin Coin Fair in Oct, 1998.  The 2nd, and finest, a near brilliant unc piece that went through a Dublin auction Feb, 2007, where the collector buyer paid 18904 Euros, with the Euro at the time, being $1.31.  A 3rd, I purchased in Dublin at auction, and sold for some $16,000, graded MS62.

About 4 years ago, the heir to an employee engineer for Telecom Ireland brought 3 pieces to Whytes of Dublin.  One (my 4th seen) was auctioned to a collector dealer.  Another (my 5th seen) I bought at Whytes auction, and resold to another collector dealer.  This 3rd (my 6th seen) and last, I bought privately from Ian Whyte, along with a statement attesting to its origin. 

 This coin presents as uncirculated with about half the gold luster, with some areas of light tone, as would be expected, by a coin used to calibrate machines.   There are no carbon spots.  Very Rare. The Rarest Republic of Ireland Coin.  $12K.

ex heir of engineer for the Central Bank of Ireland via Whytes of Dublin, with copy of certificate of authenticity, so stating, by Ian Whyte.
Obverse side
Princess Kaiulani Collection
Reverse side
Princess Kaiulani Collection
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