In conjunction with the Department of Finance, the Central Bank & Financial Services Authority of Ireland is issuing collector coins to participate in the 2009 Europa Coin Programme. This year’s theme is ‘European Cultural Heritage’. The Irish coins feature a modern representation of the famous design from the Ploughman Banknotes Series. The coins are individually in Sterling .925 silver and .999 fine gold or as a special two-coin set. Each coin has been minted to the highest proof quality and is subject to a strict issue limit. These coins will be issued on 6 May, the day that the original banknotes were first issued. The 2009 Ireland Ploughman Banknote coins pay tribute to the importance of agriculture in Ireland’s cultural heritage with a striking design inspired by the 1929 Consolidated Banknote Series. The modern interpretation of the Irish ploughman has been beautifully crafted with delicately frosted details contrasting with the mirror-like background. The same Proof quality finish has been applied to the National side of the coin. This traditionally depicts the Irish harp modelled on the ‘Brian Boru’ harp in Trinity College, Dublin. This harp has been used on Irish coins since 1928. Both designs perfectly represent Irish and European cultural heritage and these collector coins will be sought after by numismatists throughout the world. This is a limited issue offer - return your application form without delay to secure your little piece of Irish history. The Consolidated Banknotes series of Ireland was first issued in 1929. This series, commonly referred to as the Ploughman Banknotes, was in circulation for only a short period but it has become one of the most sought after banknote issues in Irish history. The popularity of the banknotes can be attributed to their rarity - they were issued by eight banks in varying denominations and quantities - and their evocative portrayal of a traditional Irish ploughing scene perfectly captured the essence of Irish farming culture. The series was issued in 1929 with the final Ploughman notes dated 1940. To mark the 80th anniversary of these historic banknotes, and in celebration of Irish cultural heritage, a commemorative coin has been minted bearing a modern representation of the famous ‘ Ploughman’ design. The designer of this exciting new coin issue for Ireland is Mr Emmet Mullins. Emmet is an esteemed Irish artist who will be well known to collectors as he has previously designed commemorative coins for Ireland in 2004 and 2006. Emmet drew his inspiration for his latest coin design from the original design of the Ploughman Banknotes by Dermod O’Brien. Bringing his own distinctive style to the portrayal of the ploughman, he has created a modern and stylised interpretation of a traditional Irish farming scene. Describing his design Emmet said, “Care was taken to design the coin in a way that was sympathetic to the original artist’s work. It is a modern portrayal of what is now considered a classic scene”. The resulting coin design is a fine work of art that has been beautifully recreated in silver and gold the minting of these limited edition collector coins.