* Recently (2006) fake 1941 farthings have appeared on the market - some of these were authenticated by a US grading company before they were advised that the coins were fake. The CuNi sixpences from the mid 1940s and even up to the 1962 issue are surprisingly difficult to obtain in Uncirculated grades. However I have never heard an explanation. Naturally the proofs are only of significant value if they are in original proof condition or nearly so. A brown or partially brown coin even though exhibiting no wear and clearly uncirculated is worth substantially less - in the region of € 160-€ 250. So very modern normal coins - for example minted after 1990 - are much more likely to look more like polished die specimens from the 1960s. The proof sets for 1928 have a recorded mintage of 6,001 sets - the constituent coins are very occasionally offered singly - so presumably all 6,001 of each coin were originally placed in the sets. One is on display in the National Museum of Ireland. It was sold in an Australian auction a few years ago and was subsequently sold by Spink in London in 2002. There is not a lot of data to support the prices I have supplied. So you really do have to get into the habit of judging the coin itself and not the slab it is in.
It is still not an easy coin to find but any long time collector of the series will confirm that they do turn up in nicer condition much more often than the 37 shilling or halfcrown. I believe that my opinions are as valid as any others and being on-line I can adjust them as I learn, but they are just my opinions. The level of grade inflation in the better US grading agencies is such that a coin which would have been universally called an attractive Fine twenty-five years ago will now readily get a grade of VF25-VF30. It is quite common to see Irish coins in slabs , from even the premier graders, which show clear circulation patterns of light wear with grades as high as MS63. 00 Most Irish sets of this period appear to have no records to indicate the issue figures. This is a particular problem in the 1933-1935 dates, but it does occur for all the nickel dates and was one of the factors in the change to cupro-nickel for the 1942 issue. The collector interest is slight (though this may be too generous a term). The corollary is that a collector with a more modest budget can buy an example which looks very like an UNC example for much less than the UNC price. A weakly struck example (particularly a problem with 1933) is worth less even if it is really UNC - if your don t believe this when you buy the coin, you ll certainly find out when you try to sell it. Be careful with grading these coins, look for good lustre, clean rims and examine the edges irish and single dating. Two below the previous uncirculated grade and one above it.
This coin exists because of the need to test the dies for the new penny and halfcrown reverses. But it is just as difficult to find as the 1930-1933 dates in really choice condition, but the price in top grades is depressed a bit because of the availability of the better but not choice pieces. Having said that the pieces are rare in these grades, it is clear that the Irish and UK markets for Irish coins are not yet mature enough for the real rarity of the higher uncirculated grade to be appreciated.. It is a general rule that any dealer that sees a coin in a slab with a lower grade than he/she thinks it deserves will crack the slab and resubmit it in the hope of getting a better grade. As the empty slabs are themselves now freely available there are coins appearing in slabs which carry grades which are not just optimistic but basically fraudulent - so caveat emptor. It makes a very big difference to the value of these coins irish and single dating. Where there is no grey background to indicate the normal grade for a coin that indicates that the con normally turns up in a grade lower than that on the table. Besides the 1928 proofs (and the 1966 10 shilling proof) the 1962 and 1963 proof pennies are the only readily available proof coins in this series. A seller looking to sell a coin may get significantly less unless they can tap into a direct market (such as on-line auctions) and even in these environments the risk factor reduces the percentage of these prices available. However I have managed to buy a Brilliant Uncirculated 1942 example and I believe that other uncirculated examples will turn up when people begin to look for them. You can decide for yourself which agencies fall into which categories.
The 1928 proof set also occurs in a silver box - I believe that these were presented to the members of the committee which managed the design of the currency. .