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Netherlands Antilles, 1975, 5 cents, Cu-Ni, KM 13

Started by aws22, August 23, 2016, 10:03:22 PM

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Netherlands Antilles, 1975, 5 cents, Cu-Ni, KM 13
Weight 4.5 gm
Diameter 21.3 mm
Metal Copper-nickel
Mintage 2,000,000 Utrecht, Netherlands
Shape Quadrangular (4-sided)
Period Queen Juliana (1952-1980)
Netherlands Antilles, group of five islands in the Caribbean sea that formerly constituted an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Nice coin.

Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".


Perhaps surprising is the shape of this coin. The reason can be found in the Netherlands. The last time the country issue a silver 5 cent coin was in 1887. It was a coin of 0.685 grams, with a diameter of only 12.5 millimeters. The coin was too light and small to be practical. Yet, a bronze coin of 5 cents should have been double the size and weight of the 2½ cent: 8 grams and a whopping 47 mm.

Experiments started with a new coin metal: copper-nickel. Enthusiasm must have abounded, as patterns are known for Cu-Ni 10 cent coins also. Such 5 and 10 cent coins could be made bigger but not too big. However, since the beginning of coinage, people were used to only three coin metals: gold, silver and copper. Long delays followed as the mint produced prototypes with a hole (based on French and Belgian experience, but unsuitable for portrait coins), with a broad, smooth edge, a broad decorated edge and a portrait-less type with a narrower, but still broader than usual edge. A thick 5 cent with the halfway house edge was at last issued from 1907.

It flopped big. Although it was thicker and heavier and the design was totally different, its diameter was close to the 25 cent. Complaints arose that it could be passed for 25 cent in bad light. Production was stopped in 1909 after delivery of only 14 million pieces, many of which were subsequently returned for melting.

In 1913, a new type followed: it was square with rounded corners. This type found acceptance. It was quite popular in the Dutch Antilles, so when the Netherlands reverted to a round (bronze, but much lighter) coin in 1948, square coins remained in circulation in the Antilles.

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


Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".