Ireland - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Ireland, a country located in the Northwest of Continental Europe in the North Atlantic Ocean West of Great Britain occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland (the other one-fifth is Northern Ireland which is a part of the United Kingdom) has a total land area of 32,595 square miles and a population of around 6.2 million. This beautiful Emerald Isle (a nod to its lush vegetation) is home to a varied terrain – mountains, cliffs, lochs, plains, coastal areas, karst topography, lakes, rivers, etc. The country saw such unprecedented growth from the beginning of the last decade that in 2005 Ireland was ranked as the best place to live in the world. Low business taxes have been attributed as the biggest contributor to Ireland’s rise. The major sectors of its economy are agriculture, services, high-tech industries, trade, industry and investment. The country slipped into recession during the 2008-‘10 financial crisis.

Travel Resources:

October through February is considered the best time to visit Ireland. It is famed for its natural beauty. Ireland has three confirmed World Heritage Sites and more are underway. Dublin is bustling with life and has many attractions and the Book of Kells (Trinity College) leads that list. Other attractions include Cliffs of Moher, Glendalough, Clonmacnoise, Burren, Ring of Kerry, Lakes of Killarney, Blarney Castle, etc. The many castles, monasteries, churches, ruins, stately homes, and towers positioned strategically is very encouraging for visitors to engage in a road trip. Scuba diving, surfing, golf, hiking, angling, and fishing are some of the popular activities enjoyed here. Irish cuisine is mostly based on dairy, cabbage, potato, and meat. Watering holes are aplenty and serves the Irish Guiness with pride.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Ireland Eyewitness Travel Guide978-0756669492$17The essential guide when traveling in Ireland!
Michelin Map Ireland978-2067122963$91:400,000 scale. City maps of Dublin and Belfast.
Streetwise Dublin Map978-1931257381$8Main Dublin Map at 1:16,000 scale. Temple Bar Map at 1:7,500 scale, and Dublin Area Map at 1:16,000 scale.
Universal World Wide Adapter Charger PlugB001MGUB9Q$4


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Ireland were released on February 17, 1922. They were overprints on British stamps and the overprint read “Provisional Government of Ireland” in Irish. The set (Scott #1 to #8) catalogs for around $50 mint and around $100 used. These were followed by a number of other overprints on British issues throughout the year. The first original issues were a set of twelve stamps released between 1922 and 1923. The set (Scott #65 to #76) catalogs for around $80 mint or used. The designs show Sword of Light, Map of Ireland, Coat of Arms, and the Celtic Cross. Sword of Light is from Irish folklore about the story of King of Ireland’s son’s adventures finding Fedelma, his sweetheart who was kidnapped by the King of the Land of the Mist. Celtic cross is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring surrounding the intersection. Most of the high crosses spread across Ireland have the distinctive shape of the ringed cross.

Other issues of Ireland enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of three stamps released on June 22, 1929 to mark the Centenary of the Catholic Emancipation of Ireland. The set (Scott #80 to #82) catalogs for around $12 MNH and $20 used. The design shows a portrait of Daniel O’Connell. O’Connell, known as The Liberator was an Irish leader who campaigned for Catholic Emancipation. The Catholic Relief Act of 1829 removed many restrictions on Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom. So, that year is considered marking Catholic Emancipation in the United Kingdom.
  2. A set of three stamps released on September 8, 1937in the Saint Patrick and Paschal Fire theme. The set (Scott #96 to #98) catalogs for around $700 MNH and $235 used. Saint Patrick is the most recognized patron saint of Ireland. March 17th is celebrated as Saint Patrick’s Day throughout Ireland and the rest of the world.
  3. A set of two stamps released on September 19, 1960 in the Europa common design type. The set (Scott #175 to #176) is rare and catalogs for around $140 MNH and $30 used. The design shows the Symbolic Wheel. Europa stamps represent the members of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Adminstrations (CEPT). In 1960, CEPT had 19 members including Ireland. The letter O of the word Europa is a Roman mail-coach wheel with 19 spokes, one for each 1960 member of CEPT. Ireland has released several other Europa stamps over the years and they form a good collectible theme.
  4. A long set of twenty stamps released between 1982 and 1990 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #537 to #556) catalogs for around $50 MNH and $40 used. The designs show Central Pavilion of the Dublin Botanical Gardens, Dr. Steeven’s Hospital in Dublin, Aughnanure Castle in Oughterard, Cormac’s Chapel, Saint Macdara’s Church, Killarney Cathedral, Casino at Marino, Cahir Castle, and the Central Bus Station of Dublin. The Cormac’s Chapel on the Rock of Cashel in South Tipperary and the Cahir Castle on an island in the river Suir are the oldest structures depicted in the set, both dating from the early 12th century.
  5. A set of three stamps released on May 14, 1997 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine. The set (Scott #1064 to #1067) catalogs for around $4 MNH or used. The designs show passengers waiting to board emigrant ship, family group attending dying child, and Irish Society of Friends soup kitchen. The famine resulted in the death of over a million people. Emigration along with the deaths contributed to the depopulation of Ireland. It had a population of over 8 million around 1830 but even after the population growth that started in the 1980s, it is yet to get close to that number.
  6. A long set of twenty one stamps released on January 1, 2002 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #1353 to #1373) catalogs for around $70 MNH or used. The designs show magpie, gannet, blue tit, corncrake, wood pigeon, kingfisher, lapwing, blackbird, goldcrest, chaffinch, robin, gray heron, roseate tern, curlew, barnacle goose, Greenland white-fronted goose, pin-tail, and shelduck. The set is the first one denominated in the Euro.
Numismatic Profile:

First Coins of Ireland dates back to the Hiberno-Norse coins which were first issued in Dublin around 997AD. They were local copies of the Aetherlred II of England issues. Regal hammered coinage and Milled regal coinage were introduced in the 15th and 17th centuries respectively. The symbol of the Crowned Harp (representation of the Kingdom of Ireland) stopped appearing in Irish coins in 1822 when standard British coinage was used throughout the island. Irish Free State national coinage was introduced in 1928 with the Saorstat Eireann (Irish Free State) inscription. Ireland adopted the Euro on 1 January 2002. In recent times, Ireland has issued many commemorative proofs although gold coins are rarely issued.

Numismatic items of Ireland include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNCs starts around $1. 2010 World Expo Silver Proofs, Irish Half Crowns from the 1950s and 1960s in VF, etc starts around $10. Recent Silver Pound Pieforts, Low Mintage Year Silver Florins, Silver Millennium Proofs, etc start around $40. Euro Gold and Silver Proofs starts around $60. High Value Silver Proofs, Double Proof Sets, etc go into the 100s.
Paper Money$10 and upCommon Poundage from the 1970s onward starts around $10. Specimen issues and Z replacements from the 1970s start around $50. Specimen Sets, Bundles, Rare Dates, Numbers, etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Woolen sweaters, Waterford crystal, whiskey, shamrock and Celtic related items, etc., are some of the typical keepsakes from this country.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Antiques$20 and up19th century maps start around $20. Original 18th century maps go into the 100s.
Art$20 and up19th century local scenes photo prints start around $20. 19th century original posters, cartoons, etc start around $30. Wood carving wall plaques start in the 50s. Original works by Edmund Sullivan, Valerie Shesko, Hall Groat, Oscar Wilde, etc start in the 100s and go well into the 1000s.
Pottery and Glass$10 and upNoritake cup and saucers start around $10. Waterford Crystal bowls and sterns start around $50 and go well into the 100s.
Curios$10 and upModern curios start around $10. Saint Patrick Medal Necks, Celtic Crosses etc start around $40. Vintage Lenox figurines, Waterford Crystal vases and other curios start around $50. Waterford crystal curios, doll figurines, etc start in the 100s.



Last Updated: 12/2015.

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