As a long time collector of the Kennedy Half Dollar series produced by the United States Mint, I was extremely excited when I first heard about the set of gold and silver coins from the Central Bank of Ireland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s Presidential visit to Ireland in 1963.
Previous coverage of the revelation of the design for the coins, the launch ceremony for the coins, and an exclusive interview with the designer of the coins have appeared on CoinUpdate.com. For World Mint News Blog, I wanted to share the arrival of my own gold and silver two coin set. Click any image for a larger version.
Both coins share a common obverse design created by Irish sculptor Tom Fitzgerald and inspired by some of the most memorable photographs of President Kennedy. The result is a front-facing portrait, which works equally well on the larger sized silver coin and small sized gold coin.
On the United States half dollar, we have become very familiar with the profile portrait, designed by Gilroy Roberts, which is closely reminiscent of Kennedy’s Presidential Medal. Seeing an alternative is at once refreshing, and the Irish coins seem to capture a more stirring and inspirational pose. The designer described how in many images, President Kennedy “seemed to be looking up into the air – almost into the distance or the future.” The coins beautifully capture this impression.
The obverse inscription around the outer edge reads “50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Visit to Ireland 1963-2013” with the face value at the base.
The reverse design of the coins carry the traditional Irish harp, along with “EIRE” and “2013”.
The .925 sterling silver coin carries a face value of 10 Euros, with a weight of 28.28 grams and diameter of 38.61 mm. The .999 fine gold coin carries a face value of 20 Euros, with a weight of 1 gram and diameter of 13.92 mm. The two coin set was offered with an issue limit of 10,000 units. The silver coin was also offered individually with an issue limit of 15,000.
I purchased the two coin set, which is presented in a case housed in an outer box. A numbered certificate of authenticity is included featuring a photograph of President Kennedy, as well as a photograph and brief background from his visit to Ireland in the summer of 1963.