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The sixpence (6d, Irish: reul) coin was a subdivision of the pre-decimal Irish pound, worth 1⁄40 of a pound or 1⁄2 of a shilling. The Irish name (reul) is derived from the Spanish real.
The coin was originally struck in nickel, like the threepence coin, and was very well wearing. The metal was changed to cupronickel in 1942 as nickel increased in value.
It was expected that this coin would circulate alongside the new decimal coins, with a value of 2 1⁄2 new pence as in the United Kingdom. With this in mind the Central Bank of Ireland continued to have the coin minted, last dated 1969, while minting decimal coins. However, the coin ended up being withdrawn instead, never to become a decimal-based coin; it remains the last pre-decimal coin to come off the production run.
Engraver: Percy Metcalfe
The Celtic harp is a triangular harp traditional to Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In Ireland and Scotland it was a wire-strung instrument requiring great skill and long practice to play, and was associated with the Gaelic ruling class. In the Republic of Ireland, it appears on the coins and coat of arms.
Irish Wolfhound, facing left.