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The relative scarcity of older coins in good condition is a function of many factors, the economic environment being one.

The value of a coin is a function of its scarcity for its type and condition, and the number of collectors seeking an example.

Uncirculated or better), with the exception of the first year of issue, 1928 which is generally common.

I believe that my opinions are as valid as any others and being on-line I can adjust them as I learn, but they are just my opinions. The level of grade inflation in the better US grading agencies is such that a coin which would have been universally called an attractive Fine twenty-five years ago will now readily get a grade of VF25-VF30. Unfortunately for my poor collection the 'attractive Fines' I bought twenty five years ago are still only 'attractive Fines' today!There is a proliferation of other grading agencies whose output is in my opinion is the equivalent of putting a label on a coin saying 'don't buy me'.So you really do have to get into the habit of judging the coin itself and not the slab it is in.It is a general rule that any dealer that sees a coin in a slab with a lower grade than he/she thinks it deserves will crack the slab and resubmit it in the hope of getting a better grade.The rarest coins in the world and the most expensive coins are not the same.

Naturally the most expensive are not particularly common, but it is certainly true that obscure but extremely rare coins (even unique examples) can be quite inexpensive.

Having said that the pieces are rare in these grades, it is clear that the Irish and UK markets for Irish coins are not yet mature enough for the real rarity of the higher uncirculated grade to be appreciated.

I am inclined to expect the MS65 prices to stretch away from the MS63 prices over time driven by the US market with its dependence on 'slabbing' and precise (albeit inflated) grading.

) sales in February and the 'Millennial Sale' in April 2000.

Part of this strength, viewed from the perspective of Irish pound prices, is probably reflected by the strength of Sterling and the US Dollar as many collectors are based in the UK and USA.

Because there are very few slabbed Irish coins traded there is little record of precise grades for the better uncirculated pieces.