Author Topic: Unusual denominations  (Read 4243 times)

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Offline Bimat

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Unusual denominations
« on: June 05, 2009, 02:53:02 PM »
Portugal had some fractional issues (like 2.5 Escudos) even before they adopted Euro.I don't know whether they were struck for circulation or not.
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 03:03:25 PM »
Well, Portugal did have a 2.50 escudos circulation coin until the mid-80s, and I think the 2.50 commems had the same specifications. So they may well have circulated. Now they have €1.50 and €2.50 coins, and those are regional collector pieces, issued at face but not for general circulation. The Spanish €12 coins won't really circulate either, but coins that can be had at face - such as the one this topic is about - are always better than others in my absolutely not humble opinion. :)

Christian

Offline tonyclayton

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 02:16:03 PM »
At the risk of being shouted down as being NOT EUROS, I would like to mention
the following interesting denominations:

Third-farthing (Malta)
One thirteenth of a shilling (Jersey)
Half Crown (Two shillings and sixpence) (UK and others)
Ninepence (token not issued in UK)
One shilling and sixpence (UK token)
Three shillings (UK token)
Three farthings (coin of Elizabeth I)
21/2 guilders (Netherlands)
6s8d (half a mark) (English noble and angel)

Offline chrisild

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 06:15:21 PM »
In the Weimar Republic, Germany had:

4 Reichspfennig (for economic reasons; people were supposed to spend less this way ...)
3 Reichsmark (commems though)

As for the Dutch 2 1/2 gulden coin, it probably made sense in a system that also had 2 1/2 cent coins (until WW2), and 25 cent coins (until 2001). There were also 25 and 250 NLG notes.

If we get more posts about "odd but not euro" denominations, we could split the topic. :)

Christian

BC Numismatics

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 01:39:02 PM »
At the risk of being shouted down as being NOT EUROS, I would like to mention
the following interesting denominations:

Third-farthing (Malta)
One thirteenth of a shilling (Jersey)
Half Crown (Two shillings and sixpence) (UK and others)
Ninepence (token not issued in UK)
One shilling and sixpence (UK token)
Three shillings (UK token)
Three farthings (coin of Elizabeth I)
21/2 guilders (Netherlands)
6s8d (half a mark) (English noble and angel)

Tony,
  The British 9d. token was never issued as a currency coin,as it was only a pattern coin.

Jersey had the 18d. token (which I don't have) & the 3/- token (which I DO have).

Ireland had tokens for 5d.,10d.,30d. (1/2 Crown),& 6/-.

Scotland's coinage system was full of extremely strange denominations,such as 1/2 Merk (6/8),& 1 Merk (13/4).

Aidan.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009, 03:24:57 PM »
Those commonwealth issues look funny to British-oriented eyes, but they were perfectly normal to the locals, as they were a Robinson Crusoe-ish compromise between the official currency (sterling) and the denominations the locals actually used:

Third-farthing (Malta): actually one grani, as on 9th June 1825, the governor proclaimed that the crown would be received for 3 scudi. As each scudo was 240 grani it follows that the penny was equal to 12 grani.

One thirteenth of a shilling (Jersey): actually 2 sous, as in 1841, the British pound was fixed at 26 livres of 20 sous each. A shilling was therefore 26 sous. I suspect that in 1813, the 18 pence and the 3 shillings went for 2 livres and 4 livres.

values of 1/4 and 1/2 of a larger denomination, such as the 2-1/2 gulden and the half crown are far descendants of the long-standing Spanish system of a peso of 8 reales, each worth 32 maravedis, with silver coins of 8, 4, 2, 1 and sometimes 1/2 real(es). As the crown and the leeuwendaalder were competing with the peso, the halfcrown was competing with the 4 reales coin. Likewise, the farthings, halfpennies, three-farthings and pennies were inspired by small Spanish silver. The Portuegese 2-1/2 escudo can also be explained by the erstwhile Spanish system.

That leaves the noble and angel, but you could also have mentioned the Dutch gold rider, going for 7 gulden. These rates are quotes of convenience. In reality, gold and silver coins were separate monetary systems. There was of course a conversion rate between gold and silver coin, but it was a market rate, depending also on the gold and silver content of coins. Saying that 7 gulden is a funny denomination is akin to saying that a dollar is a funny denomination, because it is 70 eurocents, while a pound is not a funny denomination, because it is 100 eurocents.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 06:47:15 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

BC Numismatics

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 03:35:51 PM »
Peter,
  Don't forget that the 'Anchor Coinage' of the British West Indies were all expressed in fractions of a Dollar,the smallest denomination being $1/16.Perhaps the $1/16 was equal to 1/2 Real in Spanish & Spanish-American currency.

Another series influenced by the Spanish currency system was the extremely rare English Testerns coins dated 1600,which were used in the Far East.The 8 Testerns was the equivilant of the 8 Reales.

Aidan.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2009, 04:00:09 PM »
Anchor money was a consequence of the British currency reforms of 1816 and the decline of the Spanish empire after the Napoleonic wars. It had no chance of succeeding against Spanish colonial silver, because it had the official weight and fineness of Spanish coin, while the Spanish colonial coins were usually underweight and not fine enough. They won by Gresham's law. In addition, the US reformed its currency in 1834, further diminishing the market share of British coins in the Americas. The dollar is of course a peso, so 1/16th dollar is indeed a half real.

The testerns are not a good example, since, as you note, they were patterns only, not used as money. The British trade dollar is a good example of a coin competing with some success against Spanish colonial silver and thrashing the US trade dollar.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 04:02:45 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Bimat

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 06:22:56 PM »
And don't forget the latest Polish 37 Zloty coin ;D(See the related thread here)
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

translateltd

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2009, 09:38:21 PM »

values of 1/4 and 1/2 of a larger denomination, such as the 2-1/2 gulden and the half crown are far descendants of the long-standing Spanish system of a peso of 8 reales, each worth 32 maravedis,

Peter

My records all say that the real was tariffed at 34 maravedí, not 32, which always sounds a weird figure, given that it's virtually indivisible except by 2 and 17.  32 would seem to make much more sense - can anyone confirm or deny either way, with sources pse?


BC Numismatics

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2009, 10:59:18 PM »
Anchor money was a consequence of the British currency reforms of 1816 and the decline of the Spanish empire after the Napoleonic wars. It had no chance of succeeding against Spanish colonial silver, because it had the official weight and fineness of Spanish coin, while the Spanish colonial coins were usually underweight and not fine enough. They won by Gresham's law. In addition, the US reformed its currency in 1834, further diminishing the market share of British coins in the Americas. The dollar is of course a peso, so 1/16th dollar is indeed a half real.

The testerns are not a good example, since, as you note, they were patterns only, not used as money. The British trade dollar is a good example of a coin competing with some success against Spanish colonial silver and thrashing the US trade dollar.

Peter

Peter,
  The Testerns were actually used as currency in the Far East.They were,in fact,struck upon the order of Queen Elizabeth I for the English East India Company's use.They couldn't compete with the Spanish & Spanish-American coins,because of their fineness,which made them targets for profiteers who melted them down for the silver.

Aidan.

Offline Bimat

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2009, 07:24:16 PM »
Also add the Kenyan 40 shillings coin (which is bimetallic) issued to commemorate 40 years of Kenya's independence (in 2003).
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline africancoins

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2009, 09:54:14 PM »
Well some of the denominations that have been mentioned are a little out of the ordinary - but some of the strangest can be found on the British Co-op tokens - amongst some of the scarcer pieces from this series are some of two-and-a-quarter pence and also two-and-three-quarter pence (obviously pre-decimal).... and those are just some I remember from ebay offer from a year or so ago. Although many of this series a denominated in pounds/shillings/pence (some with unusual amounts) there are also many (including some that are easy to find)) that are denominated in a weight of bread or coal, a volume of milk (not just pints but also quarts and gills) etc...

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2009, 10:02:40 PM »
Also add the Kenyan 40 shillings coin (which is bimetallic) issued to commemorate 40 years of Kenya's independence (in 2003).

Aditya,
  I had forgotten about that coin,which I do have.The Kenyan 40/- reminds me of the Scots 40/- coin dated 1692 that I also have in my collection as well.

Somaliland have also had the bimetallic 400/- medal-coins depicting Yasser Arafat & Yitzak Rabin,which came out in 2005.

Zimbabwe also had the $25 coin dated 2003,which came out in late 2008,but disappeared from circulation straight away.I also have that in my collection,plus the 2003 $10 coin.

Aidan.

Offline tonyclayton

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Re: Unusual denominations
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2009, 09:30:02 PM »
Tony,
  The British 9d. token was never issued as a currency coin,as it was only a pattern coin.

[snip]


Dear Aidan,

If you read my original post, I did say that the ninepence was NOT issued.