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Irish Paper Money

Visit our forum for collectors of irish banknotes!

Website last updated: 08.08.2016

Welcome to irishpapermoney.com, the web's oldest resource on the paper money of Ireland, live since mid-2000. Our web site aims to be a source of information for collectors from around the world of Irish currency notes, with hundreds of images of all series of Irish banknotes. It also presents interesting and new information for collectors through the attached forum. As of 31 July 2015, sitewide upgrade completed.

Extra banknote pictures are being added constantly, as they are scavenged from the web.
Major additions of new sections are listed on the updates and contents page.

• There is a selection with Irish Banknotes for Sale which is updated as new Lists are available.

• Consume the latest news on the Irish Paper Money Feed.


Buying and Selling Old Irish Banknotes

I am always interested in buying old Irish notes, both for my own collection and to resell. I have Irish bank notes for sale through my mail order list.

I am happy to give valuations of old Irish bank notes free of charge whether or not they may be for sale. Do feel free to email me, or to post on the valuations requests thread. There is also background information on recent auction sales and values on the forum.

Before selling your old notes, you are always best advised to get several quotes, and estimates of their value. You may decide that you prefer to put your old notes into an auction, or sell them on-line. Be aware of the fees that are charged for these services.

If you are valuing them yourself using a catalogue, or on-line resource, then you should become familiar with grading the condition of the notes. A general guide to grading is also on this web site, using old Ten shilling notes as examples.

Some old Irish notes are very valuable, for example, those dated 1928; or some of the war code notes (1940–1944); and some series are generally of significant value, such as the Ploughman notes. Detailed current valuations for Ploughman notes in the forum are kept up to date. Some of the rarer Irish notes are very valuable.

Latest significant additions to irishpapermoney.com

25.07.16: Added a section on Variations in Irish Banknotes. The section includes Lavery Mulberry Variety £1 notes (1959–1963); and also 01X, 02X prefix £1 notes (dated 11.3.63).

17.03.16: B Series Banknotes View By Date and C Series Banknotes View By Date sections added, each displaying an image of every date of issue of all the denominations of both series.

06.11.15: Added a page to the History section with a brief history of the Irish joint Stock banks of note issue.

10.09.15: Limerick Soviet Notes section updated with the addition of expanded information on types of Limerick Soviet banknotes, and new images of the notes.


Latest additions of significant banknotes

20.03.16: ETO War Code £20 note, dated 10.1.44, added to the view by dates section. This is a rare note, and is an important addition to the census of surviving twenty Pound notes.

04.03.16: Four A Series 'Lavery' Fifty Pound note dates which had not previously been recorded have been added to the view by dates section. Three of the dates are in 1943, completing the year by date. These are rare notes, and are a significant addition to the census of surviving notes.



The Ploughman Scan Survey (PSS) is a census of all surviving Ploughman notes

The PSS survey aims to record all surviving Consolidated Bank Notes, by saving an image of each one. One aim is to establish the relative rarities of different issues with respect to each other. Another aim is to build up a knowledge base of the grades of surviving notes.

This is the first survey of its kind carried out on Irish currency notes. With well over 2500 notes recorded so far, results and updates are presented in the Ploughman notes forum attached to irishpapermoney.com. The PSS survey has been underway for several years, and is building up a useful database on the Consolidated Ploughman notes.

Detailed results are published periodically.

Collecting Paper Money of Ireland

The Structure of Irish Paper Money Issues is briefly as follows: Old Notes (1783-1928), issued by the Joint stock commercial banks; Currency Commission and Central Bank of Ireland Legal Tender Notes (Irish Government issue, 1928-2001), and Consolidated Bank Notes (Ploughman notes, issued by the commercial banks, 1929-1941); Northern Ireland notes (issued by the commercial banks, 1929-present day).

The web site site main page links to all the Series of paper money of Ireland, and a pictorial history of Irish currencies which shows the progression of issues of Joint stock commercial banks from 1783 through to modern era Government issues.
A section to be added at some stage will cover issues of the Private banks which generally are pre-1835.

Dates on Irish banknotes
One of the more interesting things about Irish banknotes is that every note has a date on it. This gives collectors a lot of extra scope for planning their collections. The reason for the dates is security, with each date corresponding to a particular prefix or group of prefixes. Irishpapermoney.com aims to presents an image of every date of each of the banknote series.

The Lavery Legal Tender Notes (the A Series) are widely regarded as being one of the great world series of bankotes, being issued more or less unchanged for nearly 70 years, from 1928 to 1977. In addition to these, the Ploughman series (1929-1941) is also an attractive and highly sought-after note issue. Both series fall under the interest of Commonwealth collectors. During the second world war a special marking was added to Legal Tender notes, of a letter in a circle, creating an interesting variation to the basic design, the Emergency Tracer Overprint war code notes.

The Irish currency

At the time of the establishment of the Irish Free State there already existed a sophisticated banking system throughout the island of Ireland, which utilised the English Pound Sterling as a currency in various different forms. Sterling had been Legal Tender in Ireland since 1826. Before this, there had been an Irish Pound which was separate from the Pound Sterling, and had had a different value to it.

During British rule a great variety of banknotes circulated in Ireland from about 1709 onwards. Currency stability had been attained by the time of the Bankers (Ireland) Act, 1845, which built on earlier acts and regulated the issue of paper money in Ireland. Banknotes then were issued by six commercial banks under license from and control of the Bank of England. English currency circulated also.

After Irish independence in 1921 the need for a distinctive Irish currency and an authority to control it became apparent. A Banking Commission was appointed on 8 March 1926 by the Minister for Finance to study the matter. The Banking Commission recommended the establishmnet of a new currency, the Saorstat Pound, linked at parity to British Sterling, and an issuing authority, the Currency Commission to oversee the new note issue. The Irish Pound was divided into 20 shillings, and issued in seven denominations, 10 Shillings, £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100.

The currency circulating in Ireland changed radically with the provisions of the 1927 Currency Act. The Currency Commission was created and commenced the issue of Irish Legal Tender Notes in 1928 (this became known as the Lady Lavery series). In 1929 the Associated (commercial banks) Banks' issues in the island of Ireland split into Consolidated Banknotes controlled by the Currency Commission in the Irish Free State, and a new Belfast issue in Northern Ireland.

In 1943 the Currency Commission was disloved and replaced by a new regulatory authority, The Central Bank of Ireland with increased powers. This was on the findings of a report by a second Banking Commision in 1938. The Central Bank Act, 1942 established the The Central Bank of Ireland in place of the Currency Commission and provided for the withdrawal of the right of note issue from the commercial banks, leaving the Legal Tender Notes the only notes issued in Ireland.

With parity of value between Sterling and the Irish Pound, Northern Ireland notes and Bank of England notes always continued to circulate in the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland, though the notes of the Currency Commission and later the Central Bank of Ireland did not circulate in Britain or Northern Ireland.

This system continued up until Ireland became part of the ERM in 1979, breaking the link with Sterling. Ireland went on to be a founding member of the Euro zone in 2002, which lead to the replacement of the Irish Pound in circulation by the Euro. The last Irish note to be issued was a £50 note, dated 8 March, 2001.


Primary Sections on irishpapermoney.com

A Series (Lavery)B SeriesC SeriesPloughman NotesOld pre-partition notes
Northern Ireland NotesReplacements and ErrorsWorld War 2 issuesVariations in Irish Notes
Limerick SovietHistorical Timeline of Irish BanknotesAbout Ireland




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