Threepence (Irish coin)

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Threepence / Leath Reul
Value 3 pence
Mass 3.23 g
Diameter 17.7 mm
Thickness 1.9 mm
Edge Plain
Composition Nickel (1928–1942)
Cupronickel (1942–1969)
Years of minting 1928–1969
Catalog number
Design Irish harp
Design date 1928
Irish three-pence coin.png
Design Irish hare
Designer Percy Metcalfe
Design date 1928

The threepence (Irish: leath reul) or 3d coin was a subdivision of the pre-decimal Irish pound, worth 180 of a pound or 14 of a shilling. Leath reul literally means "half reul", the reul being a sixpence coin worth about the same as the Spanish real (a quarter of a peseta). As with all other Irish coins, it resembled its British counterpart, as the Irish pound was pegged to the British pound until 1979.

Originally it was struck in nickel and was very hard-wearing. In 1942, as nickel became more costly, the metal was changed to cupronickel of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The coin measured 17.6 millimetres (0.69 in) in diameter and weighed 3.2400 grams (0.11429 oz);[1] this did not change with the cupro-nickel coin.[2] The coin was minted at the Royal Mint starting from 1928, and ceased to be legal tender after decimalisation on 31 December 1971. Ireland did not adopt the brass dodecagonal threepenny coin that the United Kingdom used between 1937 and 1971.

The reverse design featuring an Irish hare was by the English artist Percy Metcalfe. The obverse featured the Irish harp. From 1928 to 1937 the date was split either side of the harp with the name Saorstát Éireann circling around. From 1938 to 1969 the inscription changed to Éire on the left of the harp and the date on the right.[3]

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