Author Topic: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s  (Read 6567 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Galapagos

  • Guest
Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« on: August 19, 2009, 09:29:21 PM »
In the 1960s, there was briefly a proposal for a joint currency of the following Gulf states:-

1] Bahrain
2] Qatar
3] Abu Dhabi
4] Dubai

As a result, the Royal Mint was asked to provide prototype designs for these coins. The British numismatic artist, Christopher Ironside, produced two sets of designs for this project. I saw illustrations of the sketches for these designs at the National Archives, London. The first set depicted each denomination within its own geometric Arabic design. (They reminded me of the Spirograph designs I used to produce with that childhood toy, back in the 1960s). This set, of which I didn't take photocopies, was favoured by the Royal Mint, in preference to the second set.

I did take photocopies of the second set, which was a more orthodox set of thematic designs, depicting a dorcas gazelle, a peregrine falcon, a local fish, a m0sque, an Arab dhow, oil derricks, and a date palm. In the National archive files, a note dated 24th Feburary 1966 says: "The project for a common Gulf currency looks like being shelved for the time being, and instead Qatar and Dubai are aiming to issue a joint currency in the near future."

Qatar and Dubai did go on to introduce a joint currency, using on its coins the dorcas gazelle design that was originally destined for the Arabian Gulf currency.

Christopher Ironside later produced the reverse designs for the UK's first decimal sets, as well as circulation sets for the Isle of Man, Tanzania, and Singapore, amongst others.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 07:12:54 PM by <k> »

Online Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 624
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 12:42:21 AM »
I think all these designs were eventually used on Gulf states or coins, except the clownfish and the mosque. I have been trying to identify the mosque. I didn't find anything similar until I came across this drawing. Could it have served as inspiration?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Galapagos

  • Guest
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2009, 04:10:32 PM »
Obviously these designs set the template for future Arab coins. The designs for the United Arab Emirates coins (1972) use a few of these themes. However, those coins were designed by Geoffrey Colley, another British artist who produced commissions for the Royal Mint, so he may have been inspired by Mr Ironside's designs shown above.

I am no expert, but the fish depicted looks more like an angelfish. A clownfish looks very different.

I'm not sure which building Mr Ironside based the Arab one on - maybe it was a generic one.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 06:33:58 PM by <k> »

Online Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 624
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 11:23:46 PM »
And what I should have mentioned in the first place is that I am grateful that you posted these designs here. I enjoyed the designs both for themselves and for the insights they give on other coins.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8 553
  • NW DE EU
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2009, 11:34:52 PM »
Let me echo that. :) Thanks for posting the images! It is always interesting to see coin designs "that could have been" ... As for the mosque, well, I don't think the "mosque" at Kew was his source of inspiration. The one used for the coin design has this "onion dome" style that many Arabic mosques have. Here is a (very recent and  b i g ) example from Abu Dhabi:



But I think it would have made sense to use some "generic" mosque on a coin that would have circulated in four countries. The other designs are not country specific either ...

Christian

Galapagos

  • Guest
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 12:05:58 AM »
Well, Figleaf and Christian, I'm glad you enjoy seeing coins that might have been. They've always fascinated me. Sometimes I look at a design that never made it and think: "If only!" And prior to looking at the documents for the Arabian coins, I never knew that there was such a proposed currency by such a grouping of countries.

Do either of you get the opportunity to view such designs by the mints of your own countries?

Offline chrisild

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8 553
  • NW DE EU
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009, 01:08:51 AM »
And prior to looking at the documents for the Arabian coins, I never knew that there was such a proposed currency by such a grouping of countries.

Did not know that either. In some articles about the planned (?) GCC currency that I read there were vague references to earlier currency union plans, but I did not pay any attention ...

As for the question about coin designs, see my reply here: http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,3931.0.html

Christian

Offline Harald

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
    • Monetary History & Numismatic Linguistics
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 08:52:47 PM »
Bahrain already hat its coinage introduced by that time (law of 9 December 1964) and Qatar was about to do so (law of 21 March 1966). These two currencies were then used by the other states of the Arabian Gulf. Probably that's why the proposals were not carried any further.

Are there any indications of the denominations for the patterns? The inscription just says, money for the Arabian Gulf.

cheers
--
Harald
http://www.liganda.ch (monetary history & numismatic linguistics)

Galapagos

  • Guest
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 09:26:58 PM »
Are there any indications of the denominations for the patterns?

Harald


Here's that important info:-

1 dirham - Arab dhow, and oil derrick
5 dirhams - m0sque
10 dirhams - date palm
25 dirhams - fish
50 dirhams - gazelle
1 Riyal - falcon

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 20 323
Re: Proposed Arabian Gulf Currency Designs of the 1960s
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2010, 07:58:47 PM »
The British numismatic artist, Christopher Ironside, produced two sets of designs for this project. The first set depicted each denomination within its own geometric Arabic design. This set was favoured by the Royal Mint, in preference to the second set.

Just in case anybody wondered what they looked like, here they are.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 07:17:47 PM by <k> »