The Celtic harp has been on Irish coinage for centuries, but, from 1928 on, a strong animal theme has become prevalent. The three penny, or three pence, or 3d denomination has a rabbit. Other denominations have other animals: birds, dogs, pigs, horses, bulls, and even fish.
The 3d coins are made of nickel and most carry low value. Coins in excellent condition, like the one in our picture, command a few US dollars for collectors who want to add nice looking specimens to their collections. Coins dated before 1939 carry the legend SAORSTAT EIREANN (Irish Free State) and are more valuable.
Typical catalog values run like this:
3 PENCE BEFORE 1939 (SAORSTAT EIREANN):
worn: $1 US dollar approximate catalog value
average circulated: $5
well preserved: $40
fully uncirculated: $100
3 pence dated 1933 are somewhat rare, cataloging at $300 in fully uncirculated condition. much less if worn
3 PENCE AFTER 1938 (EIRE)
worn: less than $1 US dollar approximate catalog value
average circulated: less than $1
well preserved: $1
fully uncirculated: $8
3 pence dated 1939 are somewhat rare, cataloging at $500 in fully uncirculated condition, much less if worn
3 pence dated 1940 to 1948 catalog around $75 in fully uncirculated condition, much less if worn
Remember, as always, to use the concepts presented on our Terminology page to convert these catalog values to actual buy and sell values.