Author Topic: Circulation coins without a country name  (Read 6678 times)

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Offline <k>

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Circulation coins without a country name
« on: December 04, 2012, 05:43:13 PM »
Coins must be among the few objects that explicitly identify themselves. Their legends state: the country in which they are intended to circulate (though they may not have been minted there); their year of issue (though they may have been minted in an earlier year), and their face value.



However, some coins omit the country name. 1953 was the last year in which British coins carried an implicit reference to the country. Note the letters "BRITT OMN REGINA", which stands for REGINA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM and means "Queen of all the Britains". Yes, "Britains" - not "Britons", referring to the Dominions (Commonwealth realms) in a rather patronising way.





That part of the legend was removed from the coins from 1954 onwards.





But we British are intelligent. We always know which country we are in and which coins to spend when we go shopping.  8)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 09:35:07 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 05:44:23 PM »


Our member Fosseway, whose images these are, tells us that the pre-WW1 Austrian heller coins had no currency OR country name.
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 06:13:02 PM »
There are quite a lot of coins from pre-1871 German states that don't have an explicit declaration of their country/state. Numerous others do, but in very abbreviated forms that aren't immediately recognisable. Don't have any pictures to hand immediately, I'm afraid.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 06:17:34 PM »
There are quite a lot of coins from pre-1871 German states that don't have an explicit declaration of their country/state. Numerous others do, but in very abbreviated forms that aren't immediately recognisable.

The very same applies to coins from the euro area. Some have a full country name, some use a short version, some have an abbreviation/country code, and others do not mention the issuing country.

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 06:18:58 PM »
others do not mention the issuing country.

Christian

Could you list these for us?  ;)
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Offline villa66

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 06:24:41 PM »
...However, some coins omit the country name. 1953 was the last year in which British coins carried an implicit reference to the country. Note the letters "BRITT OMN REGINA", which stands for REGINA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM and means "Queen of all the Britons".

That part of the legend was removed from the coins from 1954 onwards.

Originally I had thought "Britons," but sometime over the years I (thought I) learned that the reference was to "Britains." That is, not the people, but the places.

Could I ask for a fact-check here, so I can either keep or jettison the following entry into my coin-notebook?

X: It’s worth noting that these 1954 shillings and the other British coins of that year drop “BRITT OMN” from their legends. Given the changing status of the Commonwealth countries, “Queen of all the Britains” (not Britons) was thought inappropriate. The change makes one year types of all of Elizabeth’s 1953 coronation coins. (xx)

 ;) v.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 06:33:31 PM »
Originally I had thought "Britons," but sometime over the years I (thought I) learned that the reference was to "Britains." That is, not the people, but the places.

That is what I learned too. I've always thought that "Britains" referred to Great Britain and the one across the Channel. ;)

Christian

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 06:39:46 PM »
Originally I had thought "Britons," but sometime over the years I (thought I) learned that the reference was to "Britains." That is, not the people, but the places.

Could I ask for a fact-check here, so I can either keep or jettison the following entry into my coin-notebook?

X: It’s worth noting that these 1954 shillings and the other British coins of that year drop “BRITT OMN” from their legends. Given the changing status of the Commonwealth countries, “Queen of all the Britains” (not Britons) was thought inappropriate. The change makes one year types of all of Elizabeth’s 1953 coronation coins. (xx)

You are AFAIK quite right, both historically and linguistically. Britannia is the Latin for Britain; Britanniarum, which is the form <k> rightly spells out in full as being on pre-1954 UK coins, is the genitive plural thereof, i.e. 'of the Britains'. That was meant precisely as you say. The standard way of referring to nationals in general of a given country in Latin is to use the masculine, not the feminine, form. Hence on pre-1603 English coins the monarch's titles include an abbreviated form of Rex (or Regina) Anglorum, which is a masculine form. I'm not entirely sure what noun would be used for 'Britons' in the modern numismatic context, but IIRC Julius Caesar used Brito, of which the relevant form here would be Britonum.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 06:40:20 PM »
Could you list these for us?  ;)

Fortunately the list is pretty short. 8)  Circulation coins without a country indication were issued by:
Belgium (1999-2007)
Finland (1999-2006)
Germany (2002-today)
Greece (2002-today)

Of course the coins from Greece are easily recognizable anyway, due to the characters on their country specific sides. Whether Austria should be listed above ... well, each coin has the Austrian flag. Similarly, one needs to know that RF and RI are short for French Republic and Italian Republic. Others, like the newer pieces from Belgium and Finland, have the regular country codes.

Christian
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 06:33:26 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 06:42:08 PM »
Yes, "Britains" is correct. I unthinkingly took the translation from Tony Clayton's site, and now I have lost the link! So Christian thinks the other Britain is Britanny? Or is he pulling our legs? I well remember the Frenchman who said, in the 1960s, that he liked Germany so much, he was glad there were two of them! The idea of more than one Britain strikes me as surreal, and to regard the territories and countries of the Empire and Commonwealth as "other Britains" - well, that seems to belong to an alien and archaic mentality.

See: http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1913&chapter=112588&layout=html&Itemid=27

UT BRITONES, FAME FAMOSA COACTI, BARBAROS SUIS E FINIBUS PEPULERINT; NEC MORA, FRUGUM COPIA, LUXURIA, PESTILENTIA, ET EXTERMINIUM GENTIS SECUTUM SIT. - Saint Bede, The Complete Works of Venerable Bede

"Britones" means Britons, then. I imagine translateltd can do the honours for us here.
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Offline villa66

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 07:43:53 PM »
Thanks all for the quick fact-check. I'll keep the entry and maybe expand it a little. (And I'll swipe the two Germanies joke today.) The "Britains" construction struck me as odd also--I knew the British never went much for that "making the colonies into a part of Metropolitan France" sort of fiction--which is why I made a note of it.

Thanks again.

 ;) v.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 07:55:06 PM »
So Christian thinks the other Britain is Britanny? Or is he pulling our legs?

Not really. In older times it was pretty common to list all kinds of territories in the title of a king, no matter whether that king actually "controlled" the country/territory or not. Today some kings and queens have pretty short titles while others (see here for example) have pretty long ones. Since tradition plays an important role in the UK (certainly when it comes to the monarchy), I don't consider the "Britain and Brittany" idea to be too far fetched. It could well be wrong though. :)

Christian

translateltd

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 08:28:42 PM »
The story as I understand it is that "BRITT.OMN" was added in 1902 as a tribute to the countries and territories within the Empire that had contributed to the efforts in the South African War, "elevating" them to the status of "other Britains", hence the reference to King/Queen of all the Britains until 1953.  Changes in status in the meantime meant this would have become quite out of date, and doubtless a bit patronising, by then, hence the change.  Quite curious that they didn't revert to "BRITT.REG." as in Victoria's day, though.

Another point that occurs to me is that "BRITT" is itself a plural (the abbreviation of BRITANNIAE is BRIT; doubling the final consonant marks the plural = BRITANNIARUM), so even prior to 1902 the legend referred to "the Britains", the only addition in 1902 being OMN = All.


Offline <k>

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 07:52:25 PM »


This Haiti 5 centimes coin of 1904 carries no country name, but it appears to be a one-off.
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Offline Gusev

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Re: Circulation coins without a country name
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2014, 11:23:31 AM »
Nepal, Paisa, 1918.
Without "Nepal".
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