Author Topic: Lowest denominations  (Read 5902 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #75 on: May 30, 2016, 08:34:47 PM »
An equally interesting question is whether there are countries with a significant minority language that issue circulation coins only in the majority language. Italy (German), the Czech republic (Hungarian), Canada (French) and the US (Spanish) come to mind.

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

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #76 on: May 30, 2016, 08:51:17 PM »

Another country to alternate languages every year is Croatia....

Yes, although IIRC only for the name of the plant/animal on the reverse, where it alternates between Croatian and Latin (the Linnean genus/species name, not necessarily what the Romans called the plant/animal in question). The country name and denomination is only in Croatian.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #77 on: May 30, 2016, 09:02:19 PM »
An equally interesting question is whether there are countries with a significant minority language that issue circulation coins only in the majority language. Italy (German), the Czech republic (Hungarian), Canada (French) and the US (Spanish) come to mind.

Not Canada. AFAIK all text on Canadian coins that isn't in Latin is in both French and English. Generally this only applies to commemoratives, as the standard coinage was (I imagine) specifically designed so that the only text was <monarch name in Latin> D.G. REGINA/REX, the name CANADA (which is the same in both English and French) and the currency names DOLLAR(S) and CENT(S) (which ditto).

And of the countries you list, Canada is the only one where both languages are official, and I think this makes a difference. Indian coins are generally in Hindi and English, which are the country's official language, even though the number of speakers of India's other 20-odd languages are far more numerous than e.g. Spanish speakers in the US and certainly French speakers in Canada.

What would be particularly interesting would be if there is a country which has more than one official language but only issues regular coinage in one of them (or at least not all of them), excluding those which use Latin or some other third language that is not official. The Soviet Union did; all its coins were in Russian apart from the text "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" in all the republics' official languages in minuscule script in the national arms. But I'm not sure precisely what the legal status of the non-Russian languages was. If it was similar to the status of Welsh in the UK or Basque in Spain - i.e. an official language in Wales and the Basque Country respectively but not in the whole country - then the USSR doesn't really count.

Are there others?

Edit: I've answered my own question. On circulation coins at least, the text on Irish coins is only in Irish (entirely true on pre-2001 coinage; true of the national side on euros), even though the official languages of Ireland are Irish and English. It consists of the one word ÉIRE, Irish for Ireland. The predecimal coins also had their denominations in Irish.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #78 on: May 30, 2016, 10:33:33 PM »
Mmm. Cents in English would be centimes in French.

Why does it matter what the official languages are? If a government doesn't make a minority language official, that doesn't change the number of people using the minority language. To me, "official language" is as meaningful as "legal tender", i.e. it has no meaning.

I'd add to your argument that a minority language could be a painful reminder of the recent past, such as Russian in the bits and pieces of the Soviet empire now independent. You can't expect countries putting salt in an open wound voluntarily, though it would be politically meaningful in Georgia and the Ukraine.

Another multi-language currency area is the euro. Their solution is a common denomination on the circulation coins, with the option to add the same name in a different script and indifference to how people call or pronounce the denomination (euros, cents, centimes, centimos, lepta ...)

Peter
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #79 on: May 30, 2016, 10:37:40 PM »
Belgium and Luxembourg have a sort of nonchalant way of dealing with the languages in use. :) On Belgian collector coins you will usually find all three versions (nl, fr, de) of the country name; the circulation coins use the country code, and with the €2 commems it depends. Sometimes German (a minority language) is left out, sometimes English or Latin is used. Luxembourg has the country name in Luxembourgish, but if there is any issue-specific text on the collector coins, that will usually be in French.

Interesting side note regarding Norway: The main language or variety is Bokmål, but there is also Nynorsk. Of the four coin denominations in circulation, three use "Norge" (bokmål) while the 5 NOK coin says "Noreg" (nynorsk). The paper money has both versions.

Christian
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 10:59:51 PM by chrisild »

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #80 on: May 31, 2016, 06:59:29 PM »
Mmm. Cents in English would be centimes in French.

I don't know whether that is true of Canada. But if so, then cents can be seen as an abbreviation.

Quote
Why does it matter what the official languages are? If a government doesn't make a minority language official, that doesn't change the number of people using the minority language. To me, "official language" is as meaningful as "legal tender", i.e. it has no meaning.

From the point of view of the administration of coinage (and law courts, government departments, you name it) of course it matters what the official languages are. The number of unofficial languages spoken somewhere is only limited by the total number of languages spoken anywhere. No-one seriously suggests that all the above-mentioned official instances should publish their doings in thousands of languages.

The choice of official languages can be extremely political, of course, and can defy numerical statistics (I'm pretty certain more people speak Polish in Ireland than speak Irish, for example). But (a) there has to be some form of standardisation so that all users know what they're getting, and (b), having made the choice of languages for good or ill, you have to apply it.

Offline Prosit

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #81 on: May 31, 2016, 11:05:24 PM »
Spanish hasn't been seen on US coins mostly because (IMO) the Hispanic population isn't well organized politically and don't seem to intentionally vote as a block.
If they were to organize politically as much as they are capable of, then that would be a totally different story. They have the potential to have a lot bigger impact than they do.

Dale




An equally interesting question is whether there are countries with a significant minority language that issue circulation coins only in the majority language. Italy (German), the Czech republic (Hungarian), Canada (French) and the US (Spanish) come to mind.

Peter

Offline chrisild

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #82 on: June 01, 2016, 10:36:48 AM »
I don't know whether that is true of Canada. But if so, then cents can be seen as an abbreviation.

It's not. Maybe the idea stems from the strange concept in France that the mere word "cent", as the sub-unit of the euro, would cause confusion. ::)  After all, "cent" also means 100, except I cannot imagine any situation in real life where that could be a reason for some misunderstanding ...

Canadian law says: "Les valeurs nominales de la monnaie canadienne sont le dollar et le cent, celui-ci étant la centième partie d'un dollar."

Christian

Offline mrbadexample

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #83 on: June 02, 2016, 04:58:13 PM »
Why is it I ask what I think is a relatively simple question, only to find out that it's not very straightforward at all?  ;D

Thanks all for the input. I learn a little more every day. ;)

Offline <k>

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #84 on: June 10, 2016, 10:45:04 PM »
Guernsey, half penny, 1971 and 1979.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 10:59:26 PM by <k> »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #85 on: June 11, 2016, 12:25:14 AM »
Nice "echo strike" on the 1979 coin. Hope its yours. Didn't realise before that the 2 in the denomination was re-cut. The stuff designers can get exited about...

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #86 on: June 11, 2016, 12:32:17 AM »
I just noticed that. I have quite a few modern Guernsey coins - I have the 1971 half penny listed as being in my collection, not that one. Then again, I did get a set without the NEW but didn't get round to listing it - this was about 1998, that I bought that set. Must revisit my hefty albums some time.

Offline mrbadexample

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #87 on: June 11, 2016, 08:21:12 PM »
Guernsey, half penny, 1971 and 1979.

Don't we get to see the obverse, <k>?  Half a penny...half a job. :P

 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 11:00:06 PM by <k> »

Offline mrbadexample

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #88 on: June 11, 2016, 08:25:50 PM »
At last, the elusive quarter farthing. :)

Offline mrbadexample

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Re: Lowest denominations
« Reply #89 on: June 14, 2016, 09:51:42 PM »
Norway 1 ore 1884: