Arrival: Ireland’s 2013 John F. Kennedy Gold and Silver Coins

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 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.

2013 Ireland John F. Kennedy Gold and Silver Coin

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.

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  1. VABEACHBUM says

    Thanks for the update on this release and congrats on your purchase. In looking at the pictures you have provided, this set certainly seems to be a worthy addition to your collection. Very well thought out in all regards of design, manufacture and packaging.

    I’m impressed that the sculptors were able to convey such a “real” appearance for Kennedy on these coins. It can’t be about the size of the coin, either, as the portrait looks just as good on the small gold coin as it does on the silver coin. Granted this is a commemorative release, but I think this still speaks volumes to how much more could have been done with the underwhelming artistic efforts found on the US Mint’s Presidential $1 Coins.

  2. fmtransmitter says

    Don’t forget, the Royal Mint is giving away a FREE silver coin to all baby’s born when the Royal Baby is born. Link on how to obtain the coin on the Royal Mint’s website. Cannot remember if you have to be a Brit or not.

  3. says


    I bought these coins for basically the exact same reasons you did. San Marino was also supposed to make a Kennedy coin, but apparently the ECB denied them permission:

    I thought the quality of the artwork on these coins was amazing, and am glad the Irish were able to get their coin out. I don’t think the initial stock photo did the coins justice and as always, “live” photos of the coins like you took seem to make them look better. I also was very impressed with the nice packaging – most of the people I showed the set to liked the packaging almost as much as the coins themselves.

    I still prefer the good old Gilroy Roberts version, though. 🙂

    This set has definitely whetted my appetite for the hoped-for half-dollar set the mint has been talking about for next year.

  4. Wes says

    New Royal Birth Coin for sell at the Royal Mint. Features The Sovereign design Of St George slaying the dragon.. First time it’s been minted on a Silver coin in 100 years.

  5. Louis says

    Wes- Thanks for the tip. Just ordered it. Downies wants $149 for the same coin, but from the UK mint it was 66 pounds, which would be about $100. And that free shipping coupon works more than once (HT7WEB). God bless the queen, and the new prince! Hey, wait a minute, didn’t we fight a war to get away from all this stuff?

  6. fmtransmitter says

    Love that George slaying the Dragon coin. Would be a nice addition to the collection. Have to pass on that one for now but if I can muster up the cash I would pop on that one. Beautiful coin.

  7. fmtransmitter says

    Yes Louis, we fought for our Independence from Britain but it is a brave new GLOBAL World now and with the atom bomb, things changed forever, it actually forced us to all GET ALONG!!

  8. Wes says

    Louis you’re welcome, I have received many tips from others on this blog. Including that free shipping code. With that code it is 66 pounds. Close to 102.00 U.S dollars.
    I am not surprised Downies has them for more. When the Royal mint product description page first went up it stated it’s exclusively available from the Royal Mint. Below that it stated “Only 10,000 available, with over half reserved already”. I suspect the dealers got the chance to reserve their orders first before the rest of us coin collectors had the chance. Anyways people may want to hurry if they want to order the Royal Birth Silver Proof Coin from the Royal Mint as there is no way of telling how many they have left available. Glad you got in your order. I was able to order only one because of low funds right now but I had to get one. They are due to ship as early as August 2nd.

  9. Wes says

    They have named the baby George Alexander Louis. That makes the St George coin even more fitting.

  10. VABEACHBUM says

    Agreed! All Hail King Louie!!!!

    I pulled the trigger on two George and the Dragon Coins. Given the very limited issues in Silver, thought it would be a nice add to the collection. Based on the product page at the RM, they seem to be selling quickly.

    Since this thread is about arrivals, I took delivery of my RAM “Southern Skies PAVO” and my New Zealand “KORU” coins this week from ECI / EuroCollections. As nice as the CRUX was in 2012, the PAVO is even nicer. The RAM clearly has the benchmark for domed coins. Good Luck US Mint. The KORU is absolutely stunning!! The designs and sculpting are so very intricate, yet very clean and easy to see. For me, another example of “buy it because you like it and can afford it.”

    On the down-side, I received an email from Euro Collections, indicating that they were going to remain affiliated w/ Downies, but would be taking their operations back inside the parent company. Still not clear on how that will impact upon product and shipping costs to US customers. I enjoyed that relationship in its current form. I have a bad feeling it will be missed.

  11. Wes says

    The Gold Sovereign supposedly struck on the birth date with a limit edition of 2013 just sold out at 800 pounds they made a nice profit. I know the Royal Birth St. George Silver Crown Coin coin isn’t a US coin but I am still surprised it hasn’t sold out. Shipping has been pushed out from August 2nd to mid August. I think the media is just taking notice of it after all the attention the free silver penny give away drew.

  12. Louis says

    @VAB- Thanks so much! There have certainly been plenty of King Louis’ in France, Germany, Britain, and probably elsewhere.

    I agree on the concern about the change with ECI. I am not sure if that means they are closing the Long Beach office. I dealt with the old ECI more when it was a Canadian outfit. Anyway, Downies is a well-run company and we will see how it goes.

    I like the artwork on the Maori NZM coin, but I can’t get everything I like. You know how it is.

    I strongly recommend the 2014 Tokelau year of the horse, the first 2014 lunar coin. It’s really gorgeous and available at a bullion price and mintage is only 50K.

    The silver royal baby coin is superb and will probably sell out soon.

  13. im just a bill says

    for you britannia enthusiasts, my cc was charged today for my order back in early july of the 5oz britty h’r/r proof.

    should ship soon i gather

  14. VaBeachSteve says

    @ I’m just a bill …. My cc also got charged today. I’ve never ordered from the RM so this will be my first shipment. The 5 oz looks nice online and I love the low mintage …. My big question is….. Which will I receive first? The 5oz’r from the RM or my W Eagles sets from our beloved US Mint?

  15. im just a bill says

    also my first time with the royal mint

    i got my wp set from the philly gift shop 2 weeks ago
    canceled my order w the us mint that was due to arrive in aug/sept

  16. Louis says

    Last year I placed my 1st RM order and from the time they shipped it arrived in about 5 days. I was impressed with the service.

  17. Call Hector says

    I have also the Kennedy’s coins and the sculpted portrait of J.F.K. on the real coin is simply amazing.In some forums they already talk about this coin as one of the strongest contenders for the Coin of the Year, and I completely agree.The portrait is really great.

  18. Wes says

    CBS morning news did a story on Kennedy’s trip to Ireland today and stated it was fifty years ago this summer. He met his cousin at her house and the Irish honor guards that greeted him on his trip where also at his funeral.

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