Author Topic: Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990  (Read 5886 times)

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Offline <k>

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Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990
« on: February 28, 2011, 09:43:12 PM »
In 1990, long before Ireland used the euro, it introduced a new denomination of coin, the punt (or Irish pound). At that time it was the highest denomination in circulation. The design of the red deer was created by Irish artist Thomas Ryan, and it was intended to complement the Percy Metcalfe wildlife designs that still adorned some of the Irish coinage.

A similar design graced the reverse of the silver 5 ECU collector coin that was issued that year. The ECU was the predecessor of the euro, though unlike the euro it was not a circulating currency. You can see the similarities between the two designs in the images below. For the 5 ECU design, Mr Ryan included a background depicting the Irish countryside, whereas the punt design portrays the red deer alone. Mr Ryan's initials "TR" can be seen on both coins.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 11:48:29 AM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011, 09:53:00 PM »
The introduction of the punt coin was the start of a series of changes to the Irish coinage in the 1990s. In 1992 they reduced the size of their 5p coin, which portrayed a bull, and in 1993 it was the turn of the 10p coin, depicting a salmon, to be reduced. Not only that, but the designs were amended so that the bull and salmon were facing left, as the animals already did on the reverse of the 20p, 50p and punt coins. It was also intended to produce a lighter, round 50p, as opposed to the then 7-sided one, but this never happened. It was also planned to bring baxk Percy Metcalfe's hare and wolfhound designs. The hare would have graced the 2p, whilst the wolfhound would have appeared on the 1p. This was because it was felt that the Celtic bird designs on the 1p and 2p did not fit the rest of the series.

In the event Ireland joined the euro, and those planned changes did not happen. The Metcalfe designs were swept away, to be replaced by the single design of the Irish harp.

Another topic deals with this subject in more detail: From the Irish Archives.


Offline chrisild

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Re: Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2011, 10:14:59 PM »
The deer may come, in some way. The Irish government apparently prefers dull monotony when it comes to Ireland's euro circulation coins, but they do "recycle" their animals elsewhere. :) Last year's 15 collector coin showed the horse (now with a foal); this year's piece features a salmon:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0113/1224287412964.html
(third story on that page)

And I the 2012 piece in that series will have a hound. So who knows, they may continue the series and eventually get to the deer. By the way, those ECU pieces were indeed issued by the central bank, but did not have legal tender status ...

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 10:19:56 PM »
The deer may come, in some way. The Irish government apparently prefers dull monotony when it comes to Ireland's euro circulation coins, but they do "recycle" their animals elsewhere. :) Last year's 15 collector coin showed the horse (now with a foal); this year's piece features a salmon:
...So who knows, they may continue the series and eventually get to the deer.

Yes, I wish they would change their circulation euro designs, but to something other than the old Metcalfe designs, which are magnificent but have seen their day. I've heard it said that the users of the euro prefer it when there is only one design per country, as in the case of Ireland's harp, because it makes the coins easier to recognise and identify as valid

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 11:34:05 PM »
Fun detail: an Irish zoologist specialised in animal archeology told me that red deer were imported animals, most likely from Britain. The domestic animal is the elk. Its bones are hard to distinguish from those of the red deer, causing confusion among archaeologists not trained in zoology. She said old red deer bones occur mostly in two narrow areas on the Irish East coast, while old elk bones are more numerous and found all over the island.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Magus

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Re: Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 03:31:47 AM »
Yes, I wish they would change their circulation euro designs, but to something other than the old Metcalfe designs, which are magnificent but have seen their day. I've heard it said that the users of the euro prefer it when there is only one design per country, as in the case of Ireland's harp, because it makes the coins easier to recognise and identify as valid
As far as having only one design across all denominations, from an aesthetic and collecting standpoint I'm not generally a fan. In Ireland's case, I understand it though. Irish coins with no harp would be a bit like US coins with no "E Pluribus Unum", "Liberty" and "In God We Trust". Or British coins without the Queen (or King, depending on the year). It would just seem strange.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Irish red deer on Punt and 5 ECU coins of 1990
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 11:04:33 AM »
It may even be a legal requirement, something like "the harp has to be depicted on every Irish coin". Other countries, particularly monarchies, have similar regulations. But they have managed, in various ways, to adapt them. Ireland however ... oh well. At least the font that they used (and use) is interesting.

Christian