Fifty pence (Irish coin)

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Fifty pence / Caoga pingin
Ireland
Value 50 pence
Mass 13.5 g
Diameter 30.0 mm
Thickness 3.15 mm
Edge Plain
Composition Cupronickel
Years of minting 1970–1988, 1996–2000
Catalog number
Obverse
Design Irish harp
Design date 1970 (first use 1928)
Reverse
Irish fifty pence (decimal coin).png
Design Woodcock
Designer Percy Metcalfe
Design date 1970 (first use 1928)

The fifty pence (50p) (Irish: caoga pingin) coin was a subdivision of the Irish pound. It was introduced in Ireland on 17 February 1970. It replaced the ten shilling coin when decimalised, and due to this conversion was introduced a year before Decimal Day in 1971.

It is a seven sided coin, an equilateral curve heptagon of constant breadth (3 centimetres) and mass 13.5 grams. The sides are not straight but are curved so that the centre of curvature is the opposite apex of the coin - this is an equilateral curve which allows the coin to roll freely in slot machines. It was of the same shape and size of the British coin of the same denomination, as both nations' pounds were pegged until 1979. The coin used the woodcock design from the pre-decimal farthing coin, introduced to the Irish Free State in 1928.

Dublin Millennium

On 31 May 1988 a special design was circulated for the "Dublin Millennium", although Dublin is thought to have been founded by the Vikings in around 841 – the issue was regarded for publicity and collectors only.

The millennium coin was the first decimal to feature words on it, the word "Dublin" in Roman script and "Áth Cliath" in Gaelic script, its equivalent in the Irish language. The coin was designed by Tom Ryan who would later design the Irish pound coin. Not many of these limited edition coins were produced.

Production of fifty pence coins ceased between 1988 and 1996 because of previous oversupply and because of reduced demand following the introduction of the twenty pence coin. The coin was withdrawn on the advent of the euro in 2002, with its last minting issue in 2000.

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