Rare Irish coin featured among hundreds of 'eclectic' items in upcoming Dublin auction

A rare Irish 20p coin could fetch up to $6,800 (€6,000) at an upcoming auction in the Dublin.

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Whyte’s Auction House will be auctioning the rare 20p coin as part of their ‘Eclectic Collector’ auction on April 6 in Dublin.

The Irish auction house explains that the Irish 20p coin is one of only about 500 that were issued in 1985.

“These coins were issued in advance of production to various companies and organizations to facilitate calibration of vending machines and other coin-operated devices such as telephones, meters etc.”

“According to sources in the Central Bank, less than 50 pieces of the 500 or so issued were not returned.”

“To date, about ten examples in private hands have been recorded, making it one of the rarest Irish modern coins, even scarcer than the 1943 florin.”

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Of its upcoming auction, Whyte’s says: “The eclectic array of collectibles in this popular series of auctions hosted by Whyte’s includes historic artifacts, manuscripts, documents, and printed ephemera, also maps, books, silver, advertising signs and posters, militaria and weapons, coins, medals & banknotes, curios etc.”

A signed final draft of The Good Friday Agreement, a rare 20-pound note, and a 1914 GAA All-Ireland championship medal that belonged to Co Kerry footballer William Keating are also set to fetch thousands of Euro in the auction next month.

A signed final draft of The Good Friday Agreement (Whyte's)

A signed final draft of The Good Friday Agreement (Whyte's)

"Amazing interest" in the rare Irish coin

Since the news came out that the 20p coin could be so valuable, Whyte’s Auction House has been swamped with calls.

A spokesperson told The Irish Examiner: “It’s been non-stop with people contacting us not only in Ireland but from abroad as well saying they have such a coin. In fact, we’ve been dealing with queries on this since we announced our Eclectic Collectors auction for next month.”

“In one day alone we received at least a hundred phone calls and scores of emails. There has been little time to deal with anything else such is the amazing amount of interest in the coin and other possible coins from the same year being still out there.”

“However, some people are getting carried away with themselves in so far as they think any of the 20p coins from 1985 onwards are worth thousands of euro which they aren’t.”

“We just don’t want members of the public to be disillusioned and disappointed when they make contact us to say they have such a coin. We would urge them to look closely at the year on the coin before they jump for joy.”

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“We believe that the most accurate figure regarding how many of these coins are still out there to be between 15 and 20.

“So excited have the public become that they are now asking us about other coins they have which they are hoping are worth a lot of money too.”

Do you have any rare Irish coins? Let us know in the comments!