The first coins of the Irish Free State were released into circulation in 1928. The designs, by Percy Metcalfe, were chosen for their reflection of agriculture which was essential to the economy of Ireland at the time. Many of these designs graced Irish coinage up until the adoption of the Euro in 2002. In honour of these magnificent designs the Central Bank of Ireland is issuing three new €15 silver proof coins. Following the extremely popular horse and salmon coins, this year the third and last in the series pays tribute to the Irish Wolfhound. Originally featured on the sixpence, this modern interpretation of the original design is by renowned designer Emmet Mullins. This magnificent coin, struck to Proof quality in sterling .925 silver, will be of great interest not only to coin collectors, but also to all animal lovers around the world. These commemorative coins are strictly limited to only 8,000 for collectors worldwide. The Original Coin Designs of Percy Metcalfe In 1928, a new Irish coinage was introduced. The eight new denominations bore a wonderful series of animal designs reflecting Ireland’s agriculture-based economy. The coins depicted mainly Irish farm animals and they were created by Percy Metcalfe. These elegant animal designs have been revered by collectors ever since. The wolfhound design which was originally used on the sixpence wasn’t retained with the introduction of decimal currency in 1969 and disappeared from Irish coinage. Now the wolfhound returns to grace Irish coins once again and features for the first time on an Irish Euro coin.