Author Topic: Defunct currency names of modern times  (Read 10973 times)

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Offline <k>

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Defunct currency names of modern times
« on: December 01, 2012, 05:47:04 PM »
I was thinking recently about defunct currency names. I don't just mean defunct currencies, since the Zimbabwean dollar is a defunct currency, but the name 'dollar' lives on. Some defunct currencies do fit, since the Argentinian austral is now defunct, and so is the currency name 'austral'.

There are usually at least two parts to a currency; the unit and the subunit, e.g. dollar and cent. In some cases the name of a subunit becomes defunct. For instance, the Angolan kwanza was divided into 100 lwei. However, the lwei was replaced by the centimo in the 1990s, though the kwanza still exists.

In some cases, a defunct name is very close to an existing name. The Mozambicans had some coins minted in 1975, which were called meticas: there were 100 centimos to the metica. However, that currency did not survive, and it was replaced by a new one, in which there were 100 centavos to the metical. The plural of metical is meticais.

There are times when the name of a subunit seems to disappear from history. Modern African states have typically suffered from high inflation, so gradually the Ghanaian pesewa, a subunit of the cedi, and the Zambian ngwee, a subunit of the kwacha, disappeared. However, the pesewa re-emerged in 2007, after the Ghanaians revalued their currency. The Zambians will revalue their currency in January 2013, so coins denominated in the ngwee will once more be seen.

When the UK switched from a pre-decimal to a decimal system in 1971, the shilling disappeared - though the old shilling and two shilling coins still circulated until the early 1990s. And the shilling still survives in countries such as Kenya and Uganda, though really it is a different beast, since it is divided into 100 cents there, not 12 pence.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 06:16:43 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 05:56:35 PM »
I eventually want to make a list of defunct currency names of the 20th and 21st century. The advent of the euro has destroyed some names, such as the Finnish 'markka' and the German 'Mark'. You could argue that both were the same name, as both were divided into pennies, e.g. pennia and Pfennige. In which case, have a look at this topic: Families of currencies.

The Greek drachma has disappeared, but who knows whether it will one day return? In any case, the dirham (found in Arab countries) and the dram (used by Armenia) still exist, and the name 'drachma' is related to both.

One unusual name I came across is the 'sengi'. 100 sengi were equal to 1 likuta (plural makuta) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Those names are now defunct too, as is the "zaïre": that country name, Zaïre, which replaced the name Democratic Republic of Congo, is now defunct too.

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translateltd

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 09:28:36 PM »
Farthing and halfpenny, sou/sol/soldo, denier/denaro, livre (French, not Lebanese), lira (Italian, not Turkish) ...

By the way, has anyone ever seen *circulated* examples of the Congo/Zaire sengi/likuta coins?  Or were they all exported for sale in cheap plastic packs to collectors around the world?


Offline <k>

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 10:19:35 PM »
Farthing and halfpenny

I wouldn't include those, as they are just fractions of the penny subunit - "farthing" comes from the word "fourth" (as you know, though others may not).
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Offline malj1

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 10:26:44 PM »
The guinea was used for many years of the 20th century as a money of account,  decimalisation having killed it off in 1971 but in fact it was way back in 1813 when it was last issued.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 11:12:08 PM »
The guinea was used for many years of the 20th century as a money of account

Again, I wouldn't include the guinea, as it is a curious thing, being 21 shillings. The pre-decimal pound consisted of the pound itself, with subunits of shillings and pence. Crowns and florins I would regard as coins, rather than subunits - though you may disagree with that verdict. I am aiming to stick to units and subunits of currencies, excluding oddities.
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Offline @josephjk

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 11:21:02 PM »
 Annas
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 11:26:14 AM by @josephjk »

Offline <k>

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 11:43:28 PM »
Yes, we still have rupees, but annas are dead and gone. The anna was stuck in the middle between pice/paise and rupees, and decimalisation put paid to it - which is also how we British lost our shilling.
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Offline Pabitra

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 05:26:58 PM »
Indian Princely states had quite a few denominations which vanished.
Kori of Kutch and Chukram and cash of Travancore come to my mind immediately.
Mohur and Ashrafi were other denominations, which were meant for bullion coinage. Sometimes, Nepal mints those denominations.
Iran had Pahlavi which were replaced with Azadi.
Iran may not make new coins with those denominations, given its economic situation.
Some of smaller denominations of Vietnam ( especially South) are gone for good.
Making a comprehensive list would be quite interesting even though tiring

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 05:44:56 PM »
THe US mil and the Malta mil.

Peter
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Offline <k>

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2012, 05:50:45 PM »
THe US mil and the Malta mil.

Peter

Yes, there are no mils left in the world now, other than defunct coins. Tunisia still has the millime, and I suppose that in theory countries using piastres and pounds, such as Egypt and Sudan, could still revive the millieme subunit, if they revalued their currencies.
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Offline dheer

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 04:37:32 AM »
The Indonisian Currency subunit was "Sen", this has disappeared long time now ... the lowest denomination is rupiah 50 ...
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Offline dheer

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 04:45:32 AM »
And in another 3 years time or so the Indian subunit "Paise" will vanish :) ... right now there is only one coin of 50 Paise that to not widely in circulation ... so I may as well put this for 21st Century ...
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translateltd

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 07:13:22 AM »
The Indonisian Currency subunit was "Sen", this has disappeared long time now ... the lowest denomination is rupiah 50 ...

Likewise the Japanese "sen", which was legislated out of existence in 1953 - Japan has been a "one-currency-unit state" since then.   And the "rin" (1/10 sen) long before that.

The öre/øre/eyrir in Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Iceland has either gone or is moribund.

Offline <k>

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Re: Defunct currency names of modern times
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 12:12:39 PM »
Likewise the Japanese "sen", which was legislated out of existence in 1953 - Japan has been a "one-currency-unit state" since then.   And the "rin" (1/10 sen) long before that.

The öre/øre/eyrir in Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Iceland has either gone or is moribund.

They could come back in future years, of course, if the relevant currencies were revalued.

Brunei still uses the sen, I see, as does Malaysia.
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