The Central Bank of Ireland has produced a special edition coin featuring WB Yeats to honour the 150 year anniversary of his birth.
The coin has been designed by Irish artist Mary Gregoriy, who has created a visual image of Yeats’ most famous poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
There will only be 8,000 of the special edition coins produced. The coin’s monetary value is €15. They are available to buy from the Bank of Ireland for €44, although because of the limited number of coins being issued, they could well be selling for much more online in the coming months. Rare coin collectors will be keen to secure one of the Yeats coins.
The coins show Yeats with his hair entwined with linnets and bees, two of the creatures mentioned in The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
Each individual coin weighs 28.8grammes and has a diameter of 38.61mm. They are struck in .925 sterling silver.
The coin was exhibited at a special event at Abbey Theatre Dublin, a place Yeats had great love for. He was one of the key writers in Dublin that helped establish the theatre at the start of the 20th century.
Central Bank Commission member Des Geraghty said: “This coin honours the Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature, William Butler Yeats.
“Yeats was central to the creation of both our first National Theatre and our first national coinage and one could hardly think of a more appropriate place to launch a coin celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth than the Abbey Theatre.”
Yeats is one of the leading figures of Irish history. He was a Nobel Prize winning poet, and also a romantic and nationalist during the early 20th century as Ireland struggled to gain independence.
More on WB Yeats
Read the Lake Isle of Innisfree
Love story of WB Yeats and Maud Gonne