Circulation sets with poorly unified design

Started by <k>, December 01, 2012, 11:17:49 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

<k>

Quote from: chrisild on September 07, 2013, 11:28:22 AM
if a mint wants to sell collector coins, it will aim at a unified or harmonized appearance, so that collectors will want the entire series. That does not apply to circulation coins.

Such a blanket statement is not true. It depends on the mint or issuing authority. Until 1985 Guernsey had not portrayed the monarch on its standard circulation coins, but from 1985 onward, it did so. This was because the authorities wanted the coins to have greater appeal to world collectors. The reverse of the coins was also changed, to provide a complete new design series, which does most definitely circulate, because I have been to Guernsey twice and used those coins.

Recent design series from around the world, be they from Colombia, Morocco or Angola, suggest that a lot more attention is paid to design these days than in previous decades. Since many mints are now commercial or semi-commercial affairs, this is hardly surprising.

Quote from: chrisild on September 07, 2013, 11:28:22 AM
Yes, if an entirely new series is designed and the issued, you want to have a "family" of pieces. But it is not necessary, in my opinion always to create six, seven, eight new designs when one is to be renewed or replaced. If some low denomination is phased out and a new high denomination coin is introduced, does that new piece have to look like the others which may have been designed 50 years earlier? Not really. Does it mean all the others need to be trashed? Not really.

No, but a "new look" coin can be designed to fit in more, rather than less, with an old set. Of course we must allow for such practicalities, as it is not always cost-effective to redesign a whole set, and sometimes the time is simply not available. There must be a balance between aesthetics, cost, and utility. But as a general principle, mints should pay close attention to design, and more and more, they do, and more and more they are achieving a balance between the different aspects. Everybody likes bimetallic coins, for instance, but these also serve the purpose of making life harder for counterfeiters, as do latent images and laser marks.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

chrisild

Quote from: <k> on September 08, 2013, 12:01:59 PM
There must be a balance between aesthetics, cost, and utility. But as a general principle, mints should pay close attention to design, and more and more, they do, and more and more they are achieving a balance between the different aspects.

Now that I would immediately sign. :)  The reason why I emphasized the difference between coins for collectors and "regular" coins was that, with the former, hardly any practical issues have to be taken into account: Pure gold, silver or copper is not really suitable for pieces that are used in circulation? So what, it's only the collectors who want them. But change the design style from very traditional to very modern/abstract in the middle of a series, and they may lose interest.

With circulation coins, many other aspects are important. However, the more relevant the "selling sets to collectors" part is, the more important a "unified" design family will be. And if we users and we collectors can profit from that, I will certainly not complain.

What I also find interesting: Banknotes are (not always but in many cases) updated at the same time. That is, a new note family may be issued one (denomination) by one, but they are often designed as a group. And in such cases you find more unified designs ...

Christian

SquareEarth

#32
China's 1980 set.

The 1 Jiao(Dime), 2 Jiao, and 5 Jiao pieces carried cogwheels and ears of wheat, but 1 Yuan bore an image of the Great Wall. The 1 Yuan also lacks an Arabic numeral.


Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao

SquareEarth

#33
I actually think of uniformity of a coin set as an advantage, since people are less likely to confuse one coin from another.

The Japanese set: it's rather uniform from 50 Yen onwards, but 1, 5, and 10 yen are quite unique, most probably because people were already accustomed to their designs.

Detective Conan talked a lot about Japanese coins, 5 yen can be used to make a "firecracker whistle" sound, 10 yen is the default amount to be donated to the Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, the holed 50 yen was used as a pendulum by Conan to inspire his uncle about the murderer's method.

Mr Wiki tells us that 1 Yen is exactly 1 gram in weight.
Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao

Pabitra

#34
Quote from: <k> on April 03, 2014, 03:59:44 PM
Mongolia uses its own version of Cyrillic script - an adaptation of a European alphabet, therefore it doesn't meet the criteria for this topic. Your images are too small to see the details - a medium-sized image of a single coin would have been better.
I was in Mongolia in 2005 and did not find any coins in day to day use.
Here is a clear image of latest coins.
They have the name of their central Bank in Cyrillic script.

<k>

The 500 unit looks like a commemorative. It doesn't fit with the others, as the thematic design (the person) is on the wrong side, compared to the others.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Globetrotter

Hi,

It's right, it's out of the established "style"

Commemorative: Sukhe-Bataar
Copper-nickel – 4.1 g – ø 22.1 mm
KM# 195

From wikipedia:
Damdinii Sükhbaatar (Mongolian: Дамдины Сүхбаатар; February 2, 1893 – February 20, 1923) was a founding member of the Mongolian People's Party and leader of the Mongolian partisan army that liberated Khüree during the Outer Mongolian Revolution of 1921. Enshrined as the "Father of Mongolia's Revolution", he is remembered as one of the most important figures in Mongolia's struggle for independence.

Ole

Pabitra

#37
Ha ha ha ......
What an interesting observation, k and Ole.

In that case, following series also looks that last coin is not part of the same series.

Do you both agree?

<k>

Another poorly unified set, from a purely aesthetic point of view, is the modern Bahrain coinage. I'll post some very small images of the obverses and reverses first, just as an overview, and then include much better images in the next post.

Before I tackle the designs, I'll point out that the colours of the coins, in sequence, go brass, brass, "silver", "silver", brass outer/silver inner. Perhaps it's a minor point, but a sequence of silver, silver, brass, brass, brass outer/silver inner, would have looked more in harmony, or else brass, brass, "silver", "silver", "silver" outer/brass inner.




Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

The presentation of the reverse designs is perfect, as all the elements are consistent between the coins.

As for the obverses, it is normal and traditional to have your highest denomination showing the country's national emblem or coat of arms, and that tradition is followed here. Now I will show the individual thematic designs in close-up. The images are not to scale.






50 fils.  Sailing boat.






25 fils.  A seal from the ancient Dilmun civilisation.






10 fils.  A palm tree.  The 5 fils carries the same design.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Looking at the images above, whilst the legends in the outer rim are all perfectly consistent with one another in style, the individual pictorial designs seem to belong to different sets. The boat looks like a simplistic modern logo. The seal is also simplistic, but not quite so simplistic as the boat, and it is of course simplistic for a different reason: it comes from ancient times. So the contrast of ancient and modern creates a stylistic clash, in this instance. Compared to the simplicity of those two designs, the palm tree is far more detailed, while still being more stylised than realistic. Again, the style of the palm design is very different from the other two, and these three very disparate elements just do not pull together at all, in terms of style and aesthetics.

I would also have preferred two different designs on the two lowest denominations, rather than seeing the palm tree twice. One other alternative would have been to give the 25 and 50 fils the same design, say of the boat, to follow the scheme of the lower denominations, or else simply to give all the denominations a palm tree design, except for the 100 fils, which could happily retain the national emblem.

All in all, this is a rather strange set, which does not gel stylistically.




See also:

Coinage of Bahrain.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#41
Madagascar is another country with an aesthetically unsatisfactory coin set. Look at the coins in the attached image "Madagascar part 1". Their rather quaint and old-fashioned designs were developed between 1965 and 1970. Now look at "Madagascar part 2". These designs appeared between 1978 and 1992, and reflect the "agrarian socialist" flavour of the times.

This is a set in two halves, and stylistically they are completely different. Each half is internally consistent. The older half (part 1) has a zebu head as the common reverse, while plants decorate the obverse. Meanwhile, the newer designs (part 2) shows pictorial thematic designs on the reverse only. Rather comically, the 2 ariary coin that was released in 2003 shows the denomination (the one near the top of the coin) in a newer font, which is similar but not identical (the letters appear slightly taller) to the font used on the higher denominations, with their more recent designs. For the sake of comparison, I have attached an image of the 1996 version of the 2 ariary coin (ARIARY ROA / 10 FRANCS).

This is truly a schizophrenic set. Both halves look old-fashioned now, and a new stylistically coherent set is needed. Madagascar is such an unusual place that it could produce a new and truly original circulation series devoted to its unique wildlife.




To see how an attractive set of designs for Madagascar might have looked, click on the link below:

Unadopted Madagascar designs of 1973 by Michael Rizzello
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

chrisild

#42
Quote from: Pabitra on April 03, 2014, 07:44:52 PM
In that case, following series also looks that last coin is not part of the same series.

Right, that Swiss 5 fr coin is a "younger" design. In the first years of the Swiss franc (mid-19c), all franken/franc denominations - from the 1/2 fr to the 5 fr piece - had the face value surrounded by a wreath, and a seated Helvetia on the other side. In 1875 the designs of the first three denominations (half, one, two) were changed to the standing Helvetia that you can basically still see today.

The fiver got a new design in 1888, and again a new one in 1922. The latter is (again with a few minor modifications) still used these days. In my opinion a set does not need to have a "unified" look. If you redesign all denominations at the same time, then it would be better to create a set that can be recognized as a set. Apart from that, I'm flexible. ;)

Christian

<k>

The French Polynesia set is another curious hybrid. The designs that you see on the 1, 2 and 5 francs first appeared in 1949 on the coins of French Oceania (now French Polynesia). They were created by G. B. Lucien Bazor and were detailed and elegant, yet despite their high stylishness, they do look very rather old-fashioned in style these days.






Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#44
In the 1960s, French Polynesia added new denominations of 10, 20 and 50 francs to the set.

The new obverse design of Marianne was the work of Raymond Joly, and the font he used is very different to that used by Lucien Bazor, which still appears on the lower denominations. The ceremonial pole design was created by Aleth Guzman, and the style is quite stark, compared to Bazor's rich elegance.

French Polynesia, 10 francs, 1967.  Upper part of a ceremonial pole.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.