Show me the money!

World markets might be in freefall but here’s a reminder of better times. On January 1st 2002, Ireland changed it’s currency to the Euro along with the 14 other countries in the Eurozone. Price increases followed as retailers “converted” their prices from the Irish Punt to the Euro. The economy went into overdrive as cheap credit flooded the market and drove inflation to sky high levels.

Still, it’s handy going on holiday to Spain and not worrying about converting currency any more. If only we could afford to go on holiday again ..

Irish coins

In this gallery are each of the Irish coins and the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes that were legal tender until February 2002. More information about the changeover can be found on the ECBI Euro website. I also have a ten shilling note from 1963. Anyone remember those?


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11 thoughts on “Show me the money!


  1. I remember using those old 10 Shilling notes! They were real money.

    When I started work waaaaay back in 1965, I was paid £6 14s per week and stood in line to have it counted into my hot little hand!


  2. I was living in Amsterdam during the Euro transition. One Euro translated to exactly two of the old currency, the Guilder. It was astonishing to watch a fair proportion of businesses, particularly restaurants and cafes, simply replace the guilder symbol with the Euro symbol, doubling their prices in one fell swoop. For almost a year, the Dutch government solemnly denied that prices had risen but it was blatantly obvious that we had all been shafted.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Euro is handy when traveling or doing business in Europe, it’s a pity we don’t have it here in the UK, but the governments really dropped the ball by not enforcing a price freeze/direct conversion on goods and services for a month on either side of the big day.


  3. I managed to collect a full set of Irish coins from the last mint in 2002. I’m not sure how many others bothered to do the same but I feel cool anyway :)

    They brought back the Whispa, now its time to bring back the Punt!


  4. The old coin I really miss is the 2 Großchen coin in Austria. Worth about the same as a single toothpick when I was there in 1980 (umm, 1/10 of a US penny at the time, or about 1/25 GB pence), and made of aluminum. If you had a steady hand, you could float one (or more) on the surface tension and foam of your beer. Until someone pounded the table and they all sank and you realized it was time to quit screwing around and drink more…


  5. Grannymar – glad I jogged your memory! I have no idea where that note came from. Possibly from my dad but I don’t remember seeing it around the house while growing up. Wish I had a Irish Pound note but they went out of circulation before I thought to keep one.

    Donnacha – blatant rip offs then? It was harder to spot in Ireland, but I always thought the new Monopoly money didn’t buy as much as the old. Saw Monster Munch in a shop here. Tasted awful too :)

    Gamma – I know! The local Centra has a box of Wispas at the counter, still in the box. Enjoyed one the other night at the cinema and had another yesterday morning. Indulgent. I’m heading to the US shortly for a small bit, I wonder if I should bring a few Wispas along to show them what real chocolate tastes like?

    DaveP – That is disgusting! Imagine where those coins had been? I suppose the alcohol in the beer would have killed some bacteria and you’re here to tell the tale so they must have clean coins in Austria!


  6. No 100 pound note?

    they really should bring’em back. even if it stays pegged at 1.27 euro – the rest of those other boring countries can keep using those.

    long live the good old days


  7. Ug, these markets are depressing. I wish I was experimenting with short selling like last week. Anyway, yeah, I used to hate the look of foreign currency because it looked like play money, but it’s grown on me. I’ve got some old euros somewhere that I’ll keep just because they look cool. IMO, our newer U.S. currency’s starting to look pretty cool, too bad it’s not worth anything anymore :) Oh, and Donncha I love your avatar. It’s one of those photos that just makes anybody who sees it smile. It makes things like tanking markets seem a little less important.


  8. I think I have a complete set of coins as well, including the special 50p and £1.

    The notes though are already fading from memory. I felt like I’d never seen the fiver before in my life. And back then, I never even knew the £50 existed, let alone the £100!

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