Launch of new €15 silver proof coin to commemorate life and work of Sir Charles Algernon Parsons

01 September 2017 Press Release

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Sir Brendan Parsons (7th Earl of Rosse, Lord Rosse) and Lady Rosse

Pictured above at the launch of the coin: Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (Assistant Professor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD), Sir Brendan Parsons (7th Earl of Rosse, Lord Rosse) and Lady Rosse

  • Central Bank launches special coin commemorating the life of work of Sir Charles Algernon Parson, inventor of the steam turbine.
  • Silver coin has limit of 6,000 pieces and is available to buy for €60.
  • All Collector coins and coin sets now available to buy online from

The Central Bank has launched a special €15 silver proof limited edition commemorative coin to commemorate the life and work of Sir Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1931), inventor of the steam turbine. The commemorative coin is now available to purchase online from the newly launched website

This Charles Algernon Parsons coin has a limit of 6,000 pieces and is available to purchase for €60. This is the third coin in the Central Bank’s Science and Invention Series, all of which are now available to purchase online, along with other available commemorative coins and collector coin sets.

Parson’s invention of the steam turbine engine was a major breakthrough in electrical engineering and electric power generation.  Parson’s steam turbines revolutionised marine transportation and naval warfare, increasing both the speed and efficiency of sea-faring vessels. 

This silver proof coin features a portrait of the engineer with an early model of his steam turbine engine, encircled by an inscription and representation of turbine blades.  The coin was designed by Antonella Napolione to honour the achievements of Sir Charles Algernon Parsons and has been struck in .925 sterling silver by BH Mayer Mint.

Sir Charles Parsons grew up in Birr Castle Co. Offaly, where Birr Castle Science and Garden centre now attracts science enthusiasts from around the globe. His father, the Third Earl built the famous Great Telescope while his mother Mary Rosse was a famous pioneering photographer.  

Further information:

Media Relations – [email protected] or 01 224 6299


  • For more information about Sir Charles Parsons and his work, see the Birr Science Centre at Birr Castle Gardens, where Trinity College Dublin is now building a cutting edge radio telescope. The Parsons Family, Lord and Lady Rosse, still live in the family home at Birr Castle Demesne.

Proof Coin

Proof coins are collectable coins and are not intended for general circulation. They are minted using specially polished dies and blanks that give them a mirror-like finish. These coins are struck at least twice during the minting process. They are individually handled and protectively stored in order to prevent tarnishing. This is in comparison to general circulating coins, which are struck once during the minting process and are handled in bulk. The defined, intricate and shiny appearance of proof coins gives them their collectable quality.


  • Current and prospective customers can browse at length with ease of access to information about each coin.
  • Registered customers will have the ability to check orders and order history, while services such as wish lists and saved baskets will assist customers with shopping.