World of Coins

Research and reference => Coin and medal production technology => Topic started by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:00:08 AM

Title: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:00:08 AM
I want to confine myself here to trends affecting circulation coins. No doubt there are trends involving collector coins, proof and mint sets, marketing gimmicks, etc., but they belong in the “Coin collecting” board.

Some of these trends started in the last decade or two of the 20th century but have since become more widespread and visible. In every case, there are also examples that go against the trend, but by definition they are fewer than those following the trend.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:01:11 AM
The first trend I have noticed is that there are fewer humans on coins: not generic humans, such as those depicted riding a horse, or driving a tractor, or whatever else, but known personalities. A good example is Latin America, where, back in the late 20th century, almost every country used to include portraits of their national heroes and liberators – generally high-collared military men of the 1800s, often with side whiskers – on their circulation coins.

The liberation of Latin America from its mainly Spanish rulers took place roughly between 1810 and 1830. It was occasioned by Napoleon’s invasion and conquest of Spain and Portugal. He made his own brother king of Spain, whilst the whole Portuguese royal family promptly sailed to Brazil and set up court there. There are still plenty of Latin American countries that honour their national heroes on their coins, but we have seen both Uruguay and Colombia adopt thematic wildlife designs in recent years – 2011 and 2012 respectively. We must assume that, as time has passed, these countries are feeling more secure in their nationhood and no longer feel the need to hark back to their old heroes. However, outside Latin America, the most noticeable country bucking this trend is Jamaica, which used mainly wildlife designs in the 1970s but has switched to national heroes since the 1990s.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:01:54 AM
A special case is Fiji, which dropped the Queen from its coins just this year. This was long overdue, as Fiji has been a republic since 1987. Now Jamaica is talking of becoming a republic. Since Jamaica’s coins do not show the Queen in any case, this would make no difference in numismatic terms, but I expect this to become an accelerating trend after the death of Elizabeth II.

I do not expect that so many countries or territories will be keen to carry the portrait of King Charles III (or whatever he will become) on their coins. Probably the British overseas territories will still carry the royal portrait, but in 20 or 30 years’ time it is likely that the coins of Australia and Canada will be monarch-free. The various portraits of QEII have graced billions of coins worldwide; I expect that never again will any individual come close to matching her record.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:02:50 AM
Another continent that is slowly ditching human personalities from its coins is Africa. After World War 2 decolonisation gathered pace, and by 1980 it had mostly been completed. It was of course important for the newly independent countries to honour their founding fathers, so portraits of Nkrumah (Ghana), Kaunda (Zambia), Kenyatta (Kenya) and Nyerere (Tanzania) were all to be found on circulating coins, both during their presidencies and after. Tanzania’s coins still carry Nyerere’s portrait, but coats of arms have replaced presidential portraits on the circulation coins of Ghana, Gambia, Malawi and Zambia, and Kenya is planning to follow suit. Though it is generally the rule that reigning monarchs, in contrast to presidents, always appear on their national coinage (not just in Africa but worldwide), it is interesting to note that, unlike his father (or Mswati III, reigning king of Swaziland), Letsie III of Lesotho has never had his portrait depicted on the coinage.

The USA, by contrast, has long had a tradition of honouring its former presidents (though never a current president, of course) on its coinage and, since it is such a conservative country, that is unlikely to change any time soon, so the trend will never be universal. I am talking here only about standard circulation coins of the world: human personalities, of past and present, will always be in demand on commemorative circulation coins.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:03:10 AM
The second trend I have noticed is that allegorical figures are less common on coins. They were to be found on the coins of Italy and Portugal before those countries adopted the euro, but no longer. Marianne still lives on, and can be seen on the coins of French Polynesia and New Caledonia also, but since 2008 even old Britannia has disappeared from the new coins of the UK - though the older ones continue to circulate, and she still graces the eponymous gold Britannia coins. Can anyone think of other countries where the national allegorical figure has been retired?
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:03:38 AM
The third trend I have noticed is that thematic sets are becoming more common. By thematic sets, I mean sets with representational designs depicting wildlife, ships, architecture, etc. I have already mentioned the recent wildlife sets of Colombia and Uruguay, but Morocco is another recent example. Formerly such countries were more likely to have rather old-fashioned designs incorporating wreaths, symbolic devices or elaborate patterns. The United Emirates, which introduced a thematic set in the 1970s, was an early exception among Arab states, but Algeria was the next to issue a thematic set (of beautiful wildlife designs) in the 1990s. Many countries of sub-Saharan Africa have long produced design series depicting wildlife, but this has not usually been the case in the deeply conservative North African, Arab and Middle Eastern countries.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:04:01 AM
The fourth, very noticeable, trend, is that coins are getting smaller, thinner and lighter. Artists complain that the relief is lower, so that it is technically more difficult to produce a satisfying design. This all comes down to cost. As metals rise in price, so mints want to use them in smaller quantities, or else they use cheaper metals, which are then plated in order to produce coins of the desired colour. Some countries resist this trend, notably mineral-rich Australia, whose 50 cents coin still measures 31.5mm in diameter and weighs just over 15 grams, despite the fact that it buys you very little these days.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:05:36 AM
The fifth trend is perhaps related to the fourth – or perhaps not. While polygonal coins are still popular in some countries (e.g. the seven-sided 50p and 20p in the UK), in other countries, such as Fiji, East Caribbean States, the Solomon Islands, Swaziland, they have been replaced by coins with an inner polygonal rim. Such coins seem polygonal at first glance, but on closer inspection it is apparent that they are round. Is this trend a product of fashion or function? It is hard to say.

Some say that as coins become smaller and lighter, it becomes correspondingly harder for vending machines to recognise polygonal coins. I am not so sure about this, since technology generally improves significantly over time. By contrast, countries that have bucked the trend in recent years are Malawi and Samoa.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26954.0;attach=44493;image)

Fiji, 50 cents, 1994.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=26954.0;attach=44495;image)

Fiji, 50 cents, 2009.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=89819;image)

Malawi bucked the trend and introduced a seven-sided 5 kwacha coin in 2013.

 
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:06:42 AM
Staying with the fifth trend, should the “Spanish flower” be regarded as polygonal or not? The shape is an integral part of the euro series, and Malaysia has recently adopted it for its new 50 sen coin.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:07:33 AM
The sixth trend is the continuing rise of the bimetallic coin. It has a long history, but as a circulation coin it was really only commonly seen from the end of the 1980s onwards. The French adopted it for their 10 francs coin, and even Russia briefly introduced a couple of circulating bimetallic coins in the early 1990s.

Here is the latest example, due to be released in Singapore in mid-2013. Not only is it bimetallic, but it has an inner polygonal rim!



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=18887.0;attach=32705;image)(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=10007.0;attach=32757;image)



Bimetallic coins are more expensive to produce, therefore they are restricted to the higher denominations, since it is important that these coins are not counterfeited. That is the main reason for their existence, but they are also easy to distinguish visually from other coins. They are also highly attractive, being supermodels among coins, so they are avidly sought by collectors, which means more profits for mints. Everyone wins!
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:08:41 AM
The seventh trend is the increasing use of latent images and laser marks. Like bimetal, these features help protect coins against forgery. In the near future perhaps all high denominations will include such features. In this hi-tech age, it should be possible to place forgery beyond the capabilities of the amateurs.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=19864.0;attach=32674;image)

Canada, 2 dollars, 2012.  Latent maple leaves (top), laser marks (bottom).
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 12:11:54 AM
The eighth trend is the decreasing use of coins. If I travel by bus or train or Tube, I never use cash: I simply swipe my personal travel card (the Oyster card, as it is called here in London). When the balance on my card falls below a certain amount, it is automatically topped up from my bank account. At supermarkets, you can use your credit or debit card, but I still prefer to use cash at the self-service checkout, for two reasons: 1] I can easily get rid of all my small change, happily feeding far more pennies to the machine than I would ever tender to an assistant; 2] I like to receive coins in change, as sometimes I pick up a circulating commemorative that I don’t already have. There are frustrations, though – my last bill came to GBP 19.96, so I poured three 2p coins down the slot and fed in a twenty pound note. The machine duly spat out FIVE 2p coins for my 10p change. I could have kicked that machine – I’d been trying to get rid of those 2p coins for a fortnight.

Because of my dislike of small change, I would like the UK to switch to a version of “Swedish rounding”. Everything could still be priced to a single penny, but at the till the total would be rounded up to the nearest five pence. As trends go, I don’t know whether Swedish rounding is spreading or not. Any ideas? Or have you noticed any other trends that I haven’t mentioned?

I suppose it’s possible that in 20 years’ time coins will no longer be needed – at least in the technologically advanced countries. I have read that stamp collecting is in decline because fewer people use stamps in the age of the email. How long before technology sends coins along the same path?
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: malj1 on February 25, 2013, 12:47:53 AM
Quote
I would like the UK to switch to a version of “Swedish rounding”. Everything could still be priced to a single penny, but at the till the total would be rounded up to the nearest five pence.

This happened in Australia way back in 1991 - twenty-two years ago; the next to go will be the five cent. Prices for goods are still marked, for example, $9.99 and it looks cheaper but you will of course have to pay $10. However cheques are still written with the odd cents included. This also applies to credit cards.

The Australian 1 and 2 cent coins have not been de-monetised and are still considered to be legal tender and can be deposited in banks.

According to the Australian Currency Act of 1965, 1 and 2 cent coins are legal tender if, when submitted for payment, they do not exceed a combined value of 20 cents. There may be problems in getting a business to accept them however.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Pabitra on February 25, 2013, 10:59:15 AM
The fifth trend is perhaps related to the fourth – or perhaps not. While polygonal coins are still popular in some countries (e.g. the seven-sided 50p and 20p in the UK), in other countries, such as Fiji, East Caribbean States, the Solomon Islands, Swaziland, they have been replaced by coins with an inner polygonal rim.

Australia too retains polygonal coin whereas Maldives has recently removed non circular coins.

Another continent that is slowly ditching human personalities from its coins is Africa. After World War 2 decolonisation gathered pace, and by 1980 it had mostly been completed. It was of course important for the newly independent countries to honour their founding fathers, so portraits of Nkrumah (Ghana), Kaunda (Zambia), Kenyatta (Kenya) and Nyerere (Tanzania) were all to be found on circulating coins, both during their presidencies and after.

A country which has gone against this trend is Bangladesh which never had portrait of its founding father, Sheik Mujibur Rehman. It has gone in for the same recently.
Interestingly, it followed its earlier principal, Pakistan, which traditionally avoided human figures due to its interpretation in line with Islamic traditions.
Pakistan not only introduced the image of its founding father, Mohammed Ali Jinnah on its circulation coins but even used effigy of Benazir Bhutto, only case of famale effigy on coins in Islamic country.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: paisepagal on February 25, 2013, 12:32:46 PM
Come to think of it.... Taking the examples of sets from malaysia, euros, India, Brazil and quite a few others...I notice the lowest nominal coins are either in stainless steel/ copper nickle ("silver" coloured coins). Mid Level coins gravitate towards Aluminium bronze ("gold" coloured coins) while the top denomination(s) will be bimetallic. Moreover, if there are two bimetallics, it'll often be the case that the outer-inner ring will be Silver-gold colour combo for the higher value and Gold-silver for that of the lower denomination (à la 2€ & 1€ and 5zl & 2zl). However, if there is just one bimetallic, it used to be Silver-gold (eg 500lire, 10Bhat etc)...though now it tends to be Gold-silver (eg Indian Rs10, Brazil R1)   
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: chrisild on February 25, 2013, 12:36:34 PM
The USA, by contrast, has long had a tradition of honouring its former presidents (though never a current president, of course)

Ha! Calvin Coolidge! 1926! :) Sure, that was not a circulation coin but a commemorative half dollar, but still ...

In terms of trends, some very interesting (and accurate as far as I can tell) observations there. Was about to add the increasing use of less expensive materials, e.g. plated steel instead of copper or Cu-Ni, but then noticed that it is covered by trend #4.

Spanish flower shaped coins are basically round in my opinion, just as any coin with a milled edge is. And I agree, low denomination coins such as the British 1p and 2p pieces (or the 1 and 2 cent coins in the euro area) should go. Heck, it works fine in the Netherlands, but over here people would probably complain about the oh-so-inflationary effect of the euro. In the US the discussion is less rational than in neighboring Canada too ...

Christian
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Figleaf on February 25, 2013, 01:53:51 PM
Thank you for a nice, thoughtful thread, <k>. One more trend, though implicit in the trends you noted of more themed sets and fewer humans: heraldics disappearing. I think these three trends are in fact one.

That one trend is the death of the Pisanello (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisanello#Portraitures_and_medalmaking)-rule. The Pisanello-rule puts a portrait looking left or right with name and title(s) on one side of the coin and a pictorial identifier (that includes a coat of arms and allegories ranging from personifications to heraldic animals) with either a continuation of the titles or a personal motto on the other side. The Pisanello-rule was largely observed for silver and gold during centuries and perfected with the reducing lathes. It fits perfectly with such feudal desires as a personality cult and personal, rather than national loyalty.

Pisanello is clearly old hat now. The first to let the ruler disappear from the coin may have been the Norwegians and Swedes. The last may be the Luxemburgers, who insist on a portrait even on commonly issued euro commemoratives. The real issue is of course what replaces the portrait and arms. A map of the country is a clear sign of lack of inspiration. This is where the themed coins come in: people decide the country is too diverse to be captured in one symbol, so they pick a set of symbols.

Having left feudal influences behind us (at least for the most part), the next question would be not on form, but on substance of design. Themed sets range in execution from the saccharine populist to cutting edge modern art. Coins are small scale, low relief. Coin design is not comparable to photography or sculpturing, even though computers make it possible to turn good photos and sculptures into badly designed coins. It is possible to find a style that befits coins, but I would argue we are still experimenting.

Peter
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 01:54:58 PM
Good points on the use of metals by paisepagal. I was also unaware that a serving US president had been honoured - even if on a commemorative coin only.

I thought a little more about polygonal coins versus coins with an inner polygonal rim. Are the latter harder to forge? You can imagine an amateur with a mould, a cookie-cutter and the right skills forging a polygonal coin, but duplicating an inner polygonal rim would surely be much more difficult.

Anyway, Samoa used to have a seven-sided tala coin prior to its new design series of 2011, but all the other coins were round. However, in 2011, though the tala remained seven-sided, a scalloped 2 tala coin was added, yet all the lower denominations had an inner scalloped rim. So in a single set Samoa was both following and countering the trend towards inner polygonal rims.



(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FgLNJu8vTyQ/TgSBefpgmzI/AAAAAAAABh8/cdRA5mUG2LA/s1600/samoa2011.jpg)

Samoa 2011 set.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 02:38:29 PM
One more trend, though implicit in the trends you noted of more themed sets and fewer humans: heraldics disappearing. I think these three trends are in fact one.

The counter-trend being represented here by the UK, whose jigsaw series (introduced in 2008) is a post-modern treatment of a heraldic device. Unsurprising, perhaps, in a monarchy, where there are still lords, knights, viscountesses, etc., and where the Order of the British Empire (!) is still awarded!

> The first to let the ruler disappear from the coin may have been the Norwegians and Swedes.

Coats of arms are still popular on the higher/highest denominations of some coinages. Interestingly, the Scandinavians (like the Tongans) tend to place the royal portrait on the higher denominations only, perhaps because the smaller coins are not large enough to accommodate it.

Quote
> the next question would be not on form, but on substance of design. Themed sets range in execution from the saccharine populist to cutting edge modern art. Coins are small scale, low relief. Coin design is not comparable to photography or sculpturing, even though computers make it possible to turn good photos and sculptures into badly designed coins. It is possible to find a style that befits coins, but I would argue we are still experimenting.

Perhaps small delicate patterns for our increasingly small coins is the way to go. Malaysia's recent set is a good example:

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=84312;image)

 
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 02:45:02 PM
Australia too retains polygonal coin whereas Maldives has recently removed non circular coins.

Thank you for reminding me of the Maldives. Yes, their 5 and 10 laari coins were changed from scalloped to circular in 2012.

(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=20451.0;attach=32863;image)

Quote
A country which has gone against this trend is Bangladesh which never had portrait of its founding father, Sheik Mujibur Rehman. It has gone in for the same recently.
Better late than never, probably because they had never honoured him so far. After a few years in the limelight, he will probably also disappear from their coins.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 02:57:46 PM
The US half dollar of 1926, celebrating the Sesquicentennial of independence. As Christian pointed out, it portrays Calvin Coolidge, alongside George Washington. That bell has a crack in it, and I believe it still has not been repaired after all these years.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 02:59:02 PM
The Australian 1 and 2 cent coins have not been de-monetised and are still considered to be legal tender and can be deposited in banks.

According to the Australian Currency Act of 1965, 1 and 2 cent coins are legal tender if, when submitted for payment, they do not exceed a combined value of 20 cents. There may be problems in getting a business to accept them however.

Interesting fact of which I was unaware. Worth remembering.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 25, 2013, 06:21:37 PM
In an earlier post I mentioned the disappearance of some of the national allegorical figures, e.g. Britannia, Belgia, from the coins of Europe. It seems that soon one country will be bucking that trend: Latvia, which is set to join the euro in 2014. Here is one of the country's planned euro designs:

 (http://www.bank.lv/images/stories/thumbnails/images-stories-esuneiro-monetas-latvija-2eiro_LV-209x209.jpg)
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: chrisild on February 25, 2013, 11:50:19 PM
Right, and they will also do the heraldry thing. ;)  The mid-range coins will have the Great Coat of Arms, the low denominations show the Small CoA. Maybe it's because many in Latvia (actually most according to opinion polls) are against the introduction of the euro but the Latvian government want to "get it done "now: By putting traditional "icons" of the country on the future coins, they want to show that, despite the currency union, they still have their Latvian Maiden and CoA ...

Christian
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 27, 2013, 01:39:27 PM
Another trend I have noticed is the disappearance of circulating FAO-themed coins. Such coins were commonly found from 1968 onwards. They typically included the legend “FAO” and sometimes a slogan such as “INCREASE EXPORTS” or “PRODUCE MORE FOOD”. The design showed typical agricultural products or else agricultural workers in the field. Sometimes a standard circulating coin would have a FAO variant, where the design was essentially the same but the word “FAO” and an appropriate slogan was added.  Some examples of these were found in the 1970s in Swaziland, Jamaica, the Seychelles, Turkey and Bangladesh. Some circulation series were designated as FAO yet carried no slogan, text, or other indication that they were such; a good example is the United Arab Emirates set of the 1970s. (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,15809.msg111345/#msg111345)

Even in the 1990s, Croatia and Macedonia issued FAO versions of some of their circulation coins. As late as 1997, São Tomé and Príncipe produced  a complete new circulating FAO-themed design series (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,15809.msg111529.html#msg111529), with slogans. Since then, a few so called “countries of convenience” have produced very minor collector pieces, but I have noticed no new FAO-themed circulation coins or sets. The aspirations of Third World countries to industrialise or develop service-based economies, along with the collapse of communism, and hence the move away from agriculture, mean that countries will be less keen to issue FAO-themed coins, or even designs that depict agriculture or agricultural produce.

I remember reading about Malaysia’s competition in the 1960s (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,3118.0.html) to find suitable designs for its first independent coinage. The winner produced a set of beautiful designs of Malaysia’s exotic wildlife, including a tapir and a pangolin. These were duly shown to the prime minister for approval. “"No, this won't do", he said. "People will think we eat these animals.” Since Malaysia was already a highly aspirational country, the prime minister evidently thought that such designs would project an image of a poor, agriculture-based country.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 27, 2013, 01:42:50 PM
In 2011, Samoa produced a new design series (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,15809.msg119795.html#msg119795). The government had surveyed public opinion, which apparently thought that the old designs (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,15809.msg111350.html#msg111350) were old-fashioned and needed to be updated. Puzzled, I checked the old designs and thought they still looked high-quality and modern. However, the design themes suggest a purely agriculture-based economy: breadfruit, pineapple, coconut, banana tree, etc. – presumably not the image that the country wants to project these days. Interestingly, Tonga still uses circulation coins that are very clearly FAO-themed, and has done so since 1975. The country is due to issue a new design series later this year, and I expect there will be no FAO-themed designs or depictions of agricultural produce.

Looking at the circulation coins of other countries, it is obviously still acceptable to depict your local wildlife, whether animals or flowers and plants. The 5 rupees coin of the Seychelles features a palm tree, but the designs as a whole convey the impression that the country is a paradise of exotic beauty. Sub-Saharan African countries routinely depict their wild beasts on their coins: rhinos, zebras, lions, etc., but these are proudly presented as an aspect of their beautiful national heritage. You still find the occasional agricultural themes in modern design series, such as the cotton plant and tractor-driver on the Mozambican series (issued in 2006) (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,15809.msg111688.html#msg111688), but these are balanced by the designs featuring modern buildings, a rhino and a cheetah.

The message for the 21st century is: don’t feature agricultural produce on your coins (or do so only sparingly). I therefore expect FAO-themed circulation coins to die out, though there will still be the occasional commemorative issues. Worldwide, more people now live in cities and towns than in the countryside. This trend will continue until we are surrounded by hi-tech gadgets but have nothing to eat, at which point we will take to our time-machines to forage for yesterday’s food.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: chrisild on February 27, 2013, 01:57:32 PM
Hmm, the FAO Coin Program ended a few years ago (some time between 2000 and 2005). So don't expect any new issues. Now coins with food/agriculture themes will still be issued, I suppose, but not in the sense of a FAO program ...

Christian
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 27, 2013, 02:00:22 PM
Hmm, the FAO Coin Program ended a few years ago (some time between 2000 and 2005).

A sign of the times, I would argue.

Quote
Now coins with food/agriculture themes will still be issued

But there will be far fewer of them, I would suggest.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Figleaf on February 27, 2013, 02:06:02 PM
This goes beyond coins, existed before and may be the error of the century.

When I worked in OECD, I produced a report on the economy of a Latin American country. I noted that the trade pattern of the country was ag-based. I got a zinging reaction from the county's diplomats. I pointed out that exports were dominated by ag-products and that trade volume was clearly influenced by harvest times. They didn't let off until I removed the remark.

The problem with being ashamed of the ag-sector is that it takes a central place in economic development. An ag-surpus is the basis for sustainable growth outside the cities, which is where most people live. By neglecting the ag-sector, you build an economy that is a giant on clay legs.

Consider India. FAO estimates say 70% of some of its ag-production (notably milk) spoils before reaching the consumer. As much as 93% of food is bought from street vendors, who cannot protect produce against heat and insects. The World Bank says farm income can be increased by over 50% just by eliminating useless intermediaries from the distribution channels. Farmers are subsidised by the government, which does them little good. There is an effort to train and organise farmers. Ironically, it comes neither from the government nor from NGOs, but from big European (Bayer) and US (Walmart) companies, who see that with a better income, farmers would become better clients and produce higher quality stuff.

FAO has lost much clout after the genetically modified crop controversy. That should not diminish the fact that food is sorta important to humans.

Peter
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on February 27, 2013, 07:50:44 PM
Staying on the FAO theme, Guernsey's current design series (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,11469.msg77541.html#msg77541) (issued 1985) is described in the literature as a FAO series, though the coins do not have any identifiable FAO markings. The designs include tomatoes and Guernsey cows, obvious cash crops.

Other countries, such as South Africa and Bermuda, include designs of flowers or plants on their coins, but those are included only for their beauty or as national emblems, since they are not agricultural produce.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Pabitra on March 05, 2013, 01:37:58 PM
Better late than never, probably because they had never honoured him so far. After a few years in the limelight, he will probably also disappear from their coins.

Perhaps next year, when his daughter may no longer be the head of the government.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Pabitra on March 05, 2013, 01:49:23 PM
Moreover, if there are two bimetallics, it'll often be the case that the outer-inner ring will be Silver-gold colour combo for the higher value and Gold-silver for that of the lower denomination (à la 2€ & 1€ and 5zl & 2zl). However, if there is just one bimetallic, it used to be Silver-gold (eg 500lire, 10Bhat etc)...though now it tends to be Gold-silver (eg Indian Rs10, Brazil R1)

Interesting generalisation.
More than one bimetallic but same color combination retained is Mexico.

In case of India, Prof A K Sinha, who designed the first bimetallic, had recomended Rupees 5 to be bimetallic too. That somehow was not accepted and steel 5 Rupees was issued. Had that been issued, it would have been Silver-gold.

Also, not all bimetallics have to be two toned. See Algeria 10 Dinar, Cupro Nickel outer ring and Aluminum Inner portion.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: chrisild on March 05, 2013, 02:13:30 PM
More than one bimetallic but same color combination retained is Mexico.

Ah, but Mexico has five bimetallic coin denominations, and the two higher ones have a golden ring and a silverish pill. :) See this page (http://www.banxico.gob.mx/billetes-y-monedas/informacion-general/billetes-y-monedas-de-fabricacion-actual/billetes-monedas-fabricacion-001.html) (in Spanish). The $10 coin is actually in use; the $20 ... not much.

Christian
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Pabitra on March 06, 2013, 09:15:00 AM
Ah, but Mexico has five bimetallic coin denominations, and the two higher ones have a golden ring and a silverish pill. :) Christian

Thanks. As per my records, 20 Peso coin has never been issued in definitive series.
Only twice as commem in last 12 years.

Yes, 10 Peso is a circulation coin but not found much in use there.
To that extent, I stand corrected.
Most of the commems are 5 Pesos only.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Pabitra on March 12, 2013, 08:23:39 PM
Outer rings are silver or Cupro Nickel on higher value coins because that alloy is harder and more expensive. So higher value coins are made longer lasting at higher expense.
Centre core is Nickel bronze or Nordic gold which is comparatively cheaper and softer.

If there are two bimetallic coins in a series then the choice is clear. If there are more than two bimetallics, then the cutoff is economic trade off, as in the case of Mexico and Kenya.



Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: Prosit on June 24, 2014, 10:11:36 PM
I do think the elimination of physical money (coins and notes) is inevitable but not soon to happen.

Dale
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: canadacoin on June 24, 2014, 11:38:43 PM
I think another trend in the 21 century numismatics is an increasing number of colored coins with holograms, embedded objects (Swarovski crystals, Venetian glass, Meteorite objects etc).
You can hardly keep up with the new issues at the mint and due to budgetary constraints soon we will start collecting  images of the coins rather than coins themselves ;D.
Title: Re: Numismatic Trends of the 21st century
Post by: <k> on June 25, 2014, 12:11:21 AM
I think another trend in the 21 century numismatics is an increasing number of colored coins with holograms, embedded objects (Swarovski crystals, Venetian glass, Meteorite objects etc).

True enough, which is why I stated at the beginning of this topic: "I want to confine myself here to trends affecting circulation coins." I'm still waiting for the coin with only one side, which disappears when you turn it over.