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Ireland 2015 Irish Science and Inventions II: Ernest Walton 15 Euro Proof Silver Coin


In 2015, the Central Bank of Ireland issued a 15-euro silver coin honoring the scientific achievements of Irish physicist Ernest Walton (1903-1995). In 1932, Walton and a team of physicists, including John Douglas Cockcroft, developed a procedure for artificially splitting the nuclei of Lithium isotope 7. Their achievement ushered in the atomic age and major advances in nuclear physics. In 1951, Walton and Cockroft were awarded a Nobel Prize for their achievement.

The Ernest Walton 15 Euro Proof Silver Coin is the second issue in the Irish Science and Inventions coin program. Struck in proof, the coin has a limited mintage of 6,000 pieces.




The “Brian Boru” harp design has adorned Irish coinage for 500 years. Percy Metcalfe’s design was first adopted in 1928 and remains a trademark feature of modern Irish coinage, making the transition from pounds to euros. Centered, harp. To the left, ÉIRE. To the right, 2015.


Rory Breslin’s design on the reverse of the coin depicts Walton and Cockcroft’s experiment. At the bottom of the design is an atom, an arrow points upwards to Lithium 7. An arrow points upwards to the left to an explosion. An “E” for energy streams upwards from the explosion. Einstein’s theory of special relativity “E=MC2“. On the left, two Helium (alpha) particles. Wrapping along the left side and bottom of the coin is the inscription ERNEST WALTON 1932.


Designer(s): English designer Percy Metcalfe led a long and distinguished career as a medalist and coin designer, his harp design has adorned Irish coinage since 1928. View Designers Profile. Irish sculptor Rory Breslin’s most notable works have been in the form of life-sized sculpture. View Designers Profile.

Coin Specifications:

Country:  Ireland
Year Of Issue:  2015
Denomination:  15 Euro
Mint Mark:
Mintage:  6,000
Alloy:  .925 Silver
Weight:  28.28 grams
Diameter:   38.61 mm
OBV Designer  Percy Metcalf
REV Designer  Rory Breslin
Quality:  Proof

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With CoinWeek IQ, the editors and writers of CoinWeek dig deeper than the usual numismatic article. CoinWeek IQ provides collectors and numismatists with in-depth information, pedigree histories, and market analysis of U.S. coins and currency.

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