Long Beard's Blog

22 Jan 2023

Year of the Rabbit

Coins | Long Beard

With today being the Chinese Luna New Year, there are numerous world-wide mint offerings in commemoration of the event. The subject of this week's blog is the only coin truly befitting, and one struck for commerce. The Ireland threepence from 1928 to 1968. Enjoy!

To begin, and in actuality, the image on the reverse is not that of a rabbit but a hare. What's the difference you ask? A rabbit weighs on average 3-4 pounds, are born naked with their eyes closed (called kittens) and live roughly 2 years. Only a mere 5% survive the first year. A hare, on the other hand, weighs 5.5 to 8 pounds, are born fully furred with eyes open and live 3 years on average. A greater 25% survive the first year. Rabbits live in burrows underground, hare in bowl shaped nest of grass concealed in brush. Yet with all of the other similarities they are appropriate to the animal being represented.

Where the threepence stands as to being deemed the true lunar representative may be traced to it's origin and design choice for the coin. The people and country of Ireland are primarily agricultural and rather simple. This explains the simplicity and theme of uncluttered designs. As for the hare on the threepence, this particular creature bears a different meaning other than a food source commonly thought of. As mankind expanded following the Ice Age, taking their Pagan god's with them. One such was Eostre, goddess of the moon. Celtic mythology holds that a hare, quite often seen starring up at the moon was Eostre in earthly form gazing at her home. Adding to the lore, it was said that at certain times when man looked up at a full moon an image of a rabbit carrying an egg could be seen. Contrary to what we've come to believe, these things combined are why we celebrate Easter. Eostre, the rabbit which begins breeding in the spring and the lore of seeing one with eggs.

Short, but appropriate to the occasion. The images provided are from my personal collection, 8 short on the threepence and the highest graded thus far.



Level 6

Beautiful coin! I love the old Pagan Gods! There's a bit of magic going on... ; )


Level 5

Wow! Beautiful coin!


Level 6

I really enjoyed this. I have been a person that studies the "old gods" and she is a personal favorite of mine. Some people believe Easter was taken from her celebrations. A common thing that was done. Thanks LB.


Level 6

Thanks for the education. A 1967 Canadian nickel has a rabbit.


Level 5

Year of the Rabbit. Nice story. Highest graded is nice !


Level 4

What a beauty of a coin!


Level 7

Very well put. I love the coin. Most Irish coins that we collect have an animal on it. You described our people very well. I did not no the difference between the rabbit and the Hare. Thanks. I enjoyed the read Thanks!!

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