Author Topic: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins  (Read 4576 times)

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Offline UK Decimal +

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Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« on: November 26, 2014, 03:45:00 PM »

Thank you Andy for a very interesting and useful topic.

A thought for the future, and it's something that I don't believe has happened before.   

There are, from time to time, rumours that Prince Charles may decline to take the Throne.   Should this occur, which way would the new monarch face on our coinage?

The situation is not like that of Edward VIII, as he was (uncrowned) King.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline <k>

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014, 04:49:19 PM »
There are, from time to time, rumours that Prince Charles may decline to take the Throne.   Should this occur, which way would the new monarch face on our coinage?

The opposite way to the Queen. If Charles did not become a monarch, he would not count. However, it seems he is determined to take on the role for which he has waited so many years. Whether he will choose to be called Charles III remains to be seen.

Offline UK Decimal +

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2014, 05:23:43 PM »
Yes, that seems logic.

Remembering that his first names (in correct order) are Charles, Richard, Arthur, George, how about King Arthur?

Bill.

Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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Offline Pabitra

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2014, 05:40:03 PM »
Thank you Andy for a very interesting and useful topic.


Where is real first post of this topic?

Offline UK Decimal +

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2014, 06:35:07 PM »

The first post (from myself) appears here as the first item.

A glance at the index shows one other held as 'sticky' which is Andy's full article on portraits.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline Arminius

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 11:26:00 PM »
`Problems“ like this make me think we are quite lucky abolishing the monarchy in 1918.

 ;)

Offline UK Decimal +

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2014, 11:33:08 PM »
`Problems“ like this make me think we are quite lucky abolishing the monarchy in 1918.

So, it appears that you do not have the equivalent of our "British Tradition".      ;)

Bill.
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People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline <k>

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2015, 10:34:35 PM »
Here's another thought: which British monarch's portrait has appeared on the most coins? By coins, I don't mean coin types, but the total number of coins minted. The competition must surely be between George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II.

In the case of George V, the British Empire is said to have reached its peak some time between 1920 and 1924 - though there are various ways of defining "peak". Furthermore, George V remained Emperor of India throughout his whole reign.

In the case of George VI, he ceased to be Emperor of India after 1947. Some hundreds of millions of coins - or would the amount even run into the billions? - would then have dropped out of the total of those bearing his portrait. However, against that, population was increasing more rapidly during his reign than in that of his father. So overall, it's possible that George VI wins out.

Finally we have Elizabeth II. The British Empire in effect comes to an end during her reign - though there are scattered remnants, e.g Bermuda, the Falkland Islands. Of course, several of the Commonwealth Realms still use her portrait, e.g. Australia, NZ, Canada, the Solomon Islands. As for collector coins, they were few and far between in previous reigns, but since the late 1960s the collector market has really burgeoned. So if we consider circulation coins separately, which of the three monarchs do you suppose has the edge? And if we then add in collector coins (the total number minted, not just types), would it make a difference? Could it theoretically raise QEII from, say, second to third place? Another factor to consider, of course, is the extreme length of QEII's reign: 62 years, so far.

So what are your thoughts? I am inclined to think the race must be between QEII and GVI. That's pure guesswork, of course. I doubt if anyone would have anywhere near reliable figures, even approximate one, for such an undertaking. We also have to consider that not all British Indian coins carried the monarch's portrait. Given that no non-British monarch would even come close in such a competition, nevertheless, who do you think would come closest?

Offline Pabitra

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2015, 11:57:36 PM »
I think QEII will win hands down.
The extreme length of her reign is the second most important factor.
The most important factor should be decimalisation of British Currency.
Whole lot of coins of even Queen Victoria reign onwards were made redundant and replaced with QEII coins and the Royal mint worked round the clock to mint huge number of coins to meet the demand.
Additional capacity was created in the Royal mint for the same.
The additional capacity was more than capacity of mints in India, Pakistan and other countries who became independent in 40's and later and had their own mints.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2015, 11:57:56 PM »
Since you are taking total numbers of coins struck, I should think that the longest reigns win: Elizabeth II and Victoria. My nomination for the closest non-Brit would be Constantine the Great.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2015, 12:01:43 AM »
The most important factor should be decimalisation of British Currency.
Whole lot of coins of even Queen Victoria reign onwards were made redundant and replaced with QEII coins and the Royal mint worked round the clock to mint huge number of coins to meet the demand.

I do remember using Victorian pennies and halfpennies in the 1960s - usually the bun heads, from earlier in her reign, and the much later veiled head.

Offline andyg

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2015, 12:04:11 AM »
The most important factor should be decimalisation of British Currency.

Yes,  decimalisation in UK, Australia and New Zealand plus the replacement of the earlier silver coins in Canada.

As regards the Indian coins - didn't some states issue their own prior to independence?
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline <k>

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 12:10:13 AM »
Since you are taking total numbers of coins struck, I should think that the longest reigns win: Elizabeth II and Victoria. My nomination for the closest non-Brit would be Constantine the Great.

Peter

I hadn't included Victoria, because the population was that much lower in her day. World population reached 1 billion in around 1800, then 2 billion around 1920, and 3 billion in 1959 - all estimates, of course. So, in Victoria's reign we have a significantly smaller population. Additionally, the industrial revolution is still getting into its stride, so people were not as wealthy as nowadays and would presumably use far fewer coins - indeed, in some parts of the Empire they possibly still bartered. But by now the world population is 7.2 billion, of which the portion using QEII coins will be significantly larger and richer than in Victoria's time. So, factoring in increased wealth, QEII must win easily.

My other thought is, would any monarch have reached the trillion mark of coins bearing his/her portrait? It's probably not possible even to estimate.

> the closest non-Brit would be Constantine the Great.

Food for thought!

Offline <k>

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 12:11:34 AM »
As regards the Indian coins - didn't some states issue their own prior to independence?

They did - Kutch, for instance, which stated the monarch's name on its coins but didn't show his/her face.

Offline andyg

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Re: Thoughts on portraits used on UK, etc., coins
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2015, 12:38:04 AM »
These are total mintages for UK coins...

                         George V   George VI               Elizabeth II
Farthings     234,859,870   296,517,800         20,463,437
Half Penny   498,992,904   571,963,200       798,014,800
Penny        1,344,426,744   628,153,200   1,421,851,600
Threepence   191,079,898   520,260,742      712,086,800
Sixpence           490,144,203   555,492,741   1,925,726,393
Shilling           443,406,274   437,141,452       690,118,481
Florin           296,958,895   398,701,459       456,210,066
Half Crown   325,550,908   327,933,910        282,169,277
Crown                   750,632   2,402,239          26,626,659
         
Decimal                                          ½p     3,528,008,250
(mintages to end 2013)                       1p   20,672,313,050
                                                  2p   10,043,180,000
                                                  5p     9,712,945,760
                                                 10p     4,798,139,380
                                                 20p     3,783,672,228
                                                 50p     1,867,871,930
                                                  £1     2,188,392,584
                                                  £2        487,254,686

   3,826,170,328            3,738,566,746   63,415,045,381
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....