Author Topic: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage  (Read 4448 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2017, 01:14:10 PM »
Short after they released that computer drawing (so very early in the process). It was very dumb of them to include that as they did not take into account that in future years the date in roman numerals would contain much more roman numerals and would likely no longer fit on the edge.

The minted trial pieces that were handed out to businesses did not have that edge lettering. The only piece that may ever have been minted with it is the trial strike that was minted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the Royal Mint in 2014.

Thank you, eurocoin. I didn't know that. Strange that I just noticed it now, but I have been busy lately.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2017, 01:24:17 PM »
   Denom      Diam      Metal      Shape      Weight      Thickness   
   1p      20.3mm      Red      Round      3.6g      1.65mm   
   2p      25.9mm      Red      Round      7.1g      1.85mm   
   5p      18.0mm      White      Round      3.3g      1.70mm   
   10p      24.5mm      White      Round      6.5g      1.85mm   
   20p      21.4mm      White      7-sided      5.0g      1.70mm   
   50p      27.3mm      White      7-sided      8.0g      1.78mm   
   £1      23.4mm      Yellow/White      12-sided      8.8g      2.80mm   
   £2      28.4mm      Yellow/White      Round      12.0g      2.50mm   

The current UK system.



DenominationApprox. DiameterColour/CompositionShapeApprox. Weight
5p18mmRed (Copper-plated steel)Scalloped edge2g
10p22mmRed (Copper-plated steel)Round4g
20p20mmWhite (Nickel-plated steel)Heptagonal3g
50p24mmWhite (Nickel-plated steel)Octagonal6g
£123mmYellow/White (Bimetallic)Round7g
£225mmWhite/Yellow (Bimetallic)Round9g
£528mmWhite/Yellow/Red (Triimetallic)Decagonal11g

hertfordian's proposed system.



DenomDiameterMetalShapeEdgeThicknessWeight
5p18.0mmRedRoundMilled1.6mm2.8g
10p19.5mmRed12-sidedSmooth1.6mm3.4g
20p21.0mmWhiteRoundAlternate smooth-milled1.6mm3.9g
50p22.5mmWhite7-sidedSmooth1.8mm5.0g
£124.0mmYellowRoundSecurity groove1.9mm6.0g
£225.5mmYellow10-sidedSmooth2.2mm7.5g

<k>'s proposed system.



   Denom      Diam      Metal      Shape      Weight      Thickness   
   1c      16.25mm      Red      Round      2.3g      1.67mm   
   2c      18.75mm      Red      Round      3.1g      1.67mm   
   5c      21.25mm      Red      Sp. Flower      3.9g      1.67mm   
   10c      19.75mm      Yellow      Round      4.1g      1.93mm   
   20c      22.25mm      Yellow      Round      5.7g      2.14mm   
   50c      24.25mm      Yellow      Round      7.8g      2.38mm   
   1 Euro      23.25mm      Yellow/White      Round      7.5g      2.33mm   
   2 Euro      25.75mm      White/Yellow      Round      8.5g      2.20mm   

The euro system.



By including the euro system, I am not comparing like with like. However, it was a logical system that was developed from a clean slate, and it shows how you can have a generally smaller and lighter system of coins. By contrast, the UK decimal system did not have an entirely clean slate: it incorporated the 5p and 10p at the same respective sizes as their predecessors (the shilling and 2 shillings) and even retained the sixpence coin as a 2½p equivalent. As a result, the minimum gap between coins is not the recommended 1.5mm but only 1.1mm in around three cases.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2017, 01:51:48 PM »
I would criticise hertfordian's choices, because he has only a 1mm gap between four coins, and two round coins have only a 1mm gap between them. This would confuse blind people. So, I think my system is superior in terms of functionality, but his would look prettier than mine. If we had a forum poll, probably most voting members would choose looks over functionality.  :-\
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Offline chrisild

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2017, 02:22:49 PM »
By including the euro system, I am not comparing like with like. However, it was a logical system that was developed from a clean slate, and it shows how you can have a generally smaller and lighter system of coins.

Just a quick side note, off-topic but not totally OT in the context of your post. ;) The specifications for the euro coins were modified in February 1999 (a few months after some mints had started the production, oh the joy) due to requests of the vending industry and blind people. The weight of the 50 cent coin went up from 7.0 to the 7.8 grams you list, and the edge of the 10 and 50 ct was changed from "coarse milled" to "shaped edge with fine scallops" ...

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2017, 05:24:22 PM »
Thanks, chrisild, I never knew that. No doubt some examples escaped into private hands before they were all melted.

The bronze coins followed by brass-coloured coins in the euro system reminds me of the Federal Republic coin system, of course. How many other European systems started with bronze, brass? The higher euro denominations are bimetallic, but pre-euro Germany never had bimetallics. Who was the first European country to have standard circulating bimetallics? France? Italy?
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Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2017, 05:44:25 PM »
   Denom      Diam      Metal      Shape      Weight      Thickness   
   1p      20.3mm      Red      Round      3.6g      1.65mm   
   2p      25.9mm      Red      Round      7.1g      1.85mm   
   5p      18.0mm      White      Round      3.3g      1.70mm   
   10p      24.5mm      White      Round      6.5g      1.85mm   
   20p      21.4mm      White      7-sided      5.0g      1.70mm   
   50p      27.3mm      White      7-sided      8.0g      1.78mm   
   £1      23.4mm      Yellow/White      12-sided      8.8g      2.80mm   
   £2      28.4mm      Yellow/White      Round      12.0g      2.50mm   

The current UK system.



DenomDiameterMetalShapeEdgeThicknessWeight
5p18.0mmRedRoundMilled1.6mm2.8g
10p19.5mmRed12-sidedSmooth1.6mm3.4g
20p21.0mmWhiteRoundAlternate smooth-milled1.6mm3.9g
50p22.5mmWhite7-sidedSmooth1.8mm5.0g
£124.0mmYellowRoundSecurity groove1.9mm6.0g
£225.5mmYellow10-sidedSmooth2.2mm7.5g

<k>'s proposed system.



Looking at my proposed UK system again, and comparing it with the current system, you'll see that collectors would not be pleased. My 50p, though still 7-sided, falls by around 5mm in width, ending up only 1mm wider than the current 20p. This would not please collectors of the commemorative 50p, which has a nice amount of space to display thematic designs. Really only my proposed £2 coin is wide enough to carry a decent-sized commemorative theme. So the cost of collecting commemoratives would go up. The round pound had different designs, but at 22.5mm it was only good for heraldry and symbolism, though the bridge series did work well. It's interesting to remember that in pre-decimal times, the UK used an especially large non-circulating coin, the crown (5 shillings, 38mm), for commemoratives. Australia, however, issued a few 2 shilling commemoratives, whereas New Zealand preferred the half crown for that purpose. Australia didn't have a half crown, of course.

As for the cost of commemoratives, back in around 1999 or 2000, Richard Lobel of Coincraft (London) sent a letter to Coin News (UK), complaining that our commemorative 50p coins made collecting too expensive for young people. He suggested we should use 10p coins for that purpose instead, to bring down the cost and come closer to the US practice of issuing commemorative quarters. That was back in the early days of more regular circulating commemoratives. You will remember how in the 1950s there were so many rabbits in some countries that the disease myxomatosis had to be introduced (or did it just happen?) to control their population. Perhaps the UK could end up having the same problem with coin rabbits.  :-X

Anyway, my functional system fails somewhat on aesthetic and collector grounds. Also, my system of "round coin, polygonal coin, round coin, polygonal coin", to aid the blind, is somewhat counter-intuitive. Different countries have different coin system traditions, and people tend to regard their own country's system as the norm.
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Offline chrisild

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2017, 06:53:40 PM »
Both Germany and the Netherlands had "copper" for the low value coins, but NL did not have brass. Belgium did have brass coins but used nickel-plated steel for the 1 fr coin (lowest denomination in the 90s), and Spain had brass for the 5 pesetas (lowest den.), then nickel.

Slovakia had a "German style" setup (again, appearance wise) before the euro: The 50 halierov coin was "copper", the 1 koruna was "brass", the 2 and 5 were "nickel" ... and then the brass 10er ruined it all. ;) Slovenia had aluminum (low den.), brass (mid range) and nickel ... and so on. (The words copper, brass and nickel refer to the appearance; the actual compositions were different.)

Italy started issuing bimetallic coins in 1982; I think they were the first ones in the world. France followed in 1988; between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s they had heavy brass-style 10 francs coins, then the mint tried small nickel coins with the same denomination (which were too close to the half franc), and then came the bimetallic piece ...

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2017, 07:24:10 PM »
Both Germany and the Netherlands had "copper" for the low value coins, but NL did not have brass.

Interesting. You know that if a pop star A's song contains something that sounds a little like pop star B's song, then pop star B can sue and win damages. I would therefore like Germany to sue the EU and donate me some of the damages for suggesting the idea.  8)

As for aluminium, I did not include that metal in my proposed system. Back in November 1979, I was standing in an East Berlin street on a grim day, inspecting the East German (GDR) coins that I held in my hand. Then came a gust of wind, which blew a couple of the aluminium ones out of my hand. Yet quite a few West European countries did use that metal - and even zinc too, in Denmark and Austria, as I recall.
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Offline SandyGuyUK

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2017, 10:47:50 PM »
I would criticise hertfordian's choices, because he has only a 1mm gap between four coins, and two round coins have only a 1mm gap between them. This would confuse blind people. So, I think my system is superior in terms of functionality, but his would look prettier than mine. If we had a forum poll, probably most voting members would choose looks over functionality.  :-\

That's a fair point re: the 1mm difference - what I realised I *didn't* do in my table is think about the edges which you have done :-)

It's certainly harder than one would have imagined trying to come up with something from scratch! :-)
Ian
UK

Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2017, 11:33:42 PM »
It's certainly harder than one would have imagined trying to come up with something from scratch! :-)

Well, you're the one who posed the question, and it's one that would never have occurred to me, but I enjoyed tackling it. I did find it tough, though. And even the options I chose don't quite satisfy me. There are minor variations on them that would still work well, I reckon.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2017, 02:22:30 AM »
Here is evidence from 1979 that the Treasury (under Mrs Thatcher's first government) and the Mint would have preferred a round pound with a larger diameter, namely a brass coin of around 28mm. The story behind this is that the plan was to replace the large 10p, which had a diameter of 28.5mm, with a smaller 10p coin. That size slot could then have been filled by a large pound coin. However, the Treasury had given the Royal Mint a very tight budget, and it would not have been possible to keep to the budget if a large pound coin had been produced. That's the law of unintended consequences for you!
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Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2017, 02:51:02 AM »
Mrs Thatcher and the chocolate money.  :-X
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2017, 09:38:53 AM »
 :D :D :D
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2017, 05:42:03 PM »
Here is a reminder of my proposed "ideal" 2 pound coin:

£2   25.5mm   Yellow   10-sided   Smooth   2.2mm   7.5g

Now I see that the German 2 Mark coin had the following attributes:

Metal   Copper-nickel clad Nickel
Weight   7 g
Diameter   26.75 mm
Thickness   1.79 mm
Shape   Round

So at 1.25 mm wider than my proposed £2 coin, it is still 0.5 g lighter.  :o  Though my proposed coin is very slightly thicker. But maybe I haven't been ambitious enough with my proposals.  :(  Still, I mustn't obsess about it.  :)

 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 09:03:08 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: The Royal Mint's 1979 suggestions for the future of the coinage
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2017, 07:04:37 PM »
Mrs Thatcher and the chocolate money.  :-X

Just as well chocoholic chrisild wasn't there. He would have tried to eat it.  ;D
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