London-based Dix Noonan Webb announced that its Dec. 12-13 sale will contain an extremely rare 1985 Irish 20 pence.
Ireland introduced its 20p in October 1986. It was the first decimal coin produced by the Republic and differs in size from the corresponding British coin. Before it was released all vending machines and public telephones had to be recalibrated to accept the new coin. For this purpose some 500 were produced dated 1985 as it was against the law to provide coins with a future date. Most of these were given to engineers working for Telecom Éireann. All were supposed to be returned but about 50 were not. Of these, just 10 are known to be extant.
The coin in the sale was originally given to a retired manager from Telecom Éireann. The estimate is £7,000-£8,000 [$8,500-$9,600].
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