Poll

Which type of 20 pence surface is best ?

The countersunk version, as used in the UK, St Helena-Ascension and Gibraltar
3 (75%)
The flat version, as used in the Channel Islands and the Falkland Islands
1 (25%)
The new Isle of Man version: flat on one side, countersunk on the other
0 (0%)
I am neutral on the matter
0 (0%)
Don't know
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 4

Voting closed: August 26, 2017, 04:31:21 PM

Author Topic: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?  (Read 1237 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22 874
Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« on: August 18, 2017, 04:31:21 PM »
The complaints department at the European Court of Numismatic Justice recently received another complaint from Alan71:

I didn't like the 20p at first.  I didn't like the fact that the design wasn't in-keeping with the other coins. Even today I still prefer the Jersey and Guernsey versions, that aren't countersunk.

The 20p was introduced in the UK in 1982. It was unusual in being countersunk. i.e. it had a wide rim, which was meant to help the blind distinguish it from the penny.

Not all the sterling area territories adopted a countersunk version. Which do you prefer, and if not the countersunk version, would you introduce it to the UK?

Below are some examples of the variations.





Left: Isle of Man twenty pence, 1992: flat surface. Right: Isle of Man twenty pence, 1993: countersunk surface.

From 1993 onward, all the Manx twenty pence coins had a countersunk surface. The Isle of Man is the only part of the sterling area to have switched the surface type of its twenty pence coins.





The 20 pence of the Isle of Man's new design series of 2017 is countersunk on the obverse but flat on the reverse - another Isle of Man first!

 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 07:16:32 AM by <k> »
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22 874
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 05:04:25 PM »


Isle of Man, 50 pence, 1980.  New York Exhibition.  Edge inscription:  ODINS RAVEN VIKING EXHIBN NEW YORK 1980.



Given that the Isle of Man has issued three 50p coins with edge inscriptions, I'm somewhat surprised that they haven't done it with any 20p coins yet. Then perhaps they might also produce a countersunk 50p.  :D  Apparently the Asperger's mafia discovered that the inscription words landed on the 50p edges in different orders, so then they had more variations to collect.  :-X
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline Alan71

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 142
  • Derby, UK
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 08:22:39 PM »
When the 20p came out, it was the fact that it was so different from the other decimal coins.  The inscription was placed differently, the date was on the "wrong" side, the lettering was different.  Some of this I could blame on the countersunk design.  Also, at the time the coin was smaller than the 5p (still is smaller than the 10p, but less so).  The thick rim made the coin seem even smaller, particularly on the obverse. 

Since the 2008 re-design, the inscription, date and lettering has been brought more firmly into line with the other coins and there is less of a difference.  In fact, the thick rim holds the inscription perfectly.  Dent's reverse design isn't dictated by the surface, and in fact sees it as a minor inconvenience.  The coin carries the worst part of the shield (legs and tails) so would probably look even more boring if the countersunk surface was abolished.

However, there's definitely something satisfying about the Jersey and Guernsey 20p coins (I know there are other flat ones but these are the only ones I've actually used).  The obverse looks like a smaller version of the 50p.  To me it works better, somehow.  I do remember thinking it would be good if (when they issued the smaller version in 1997) the 50p was similarly issued with a countersunk surface to match its sister coin.

I like the new Isle of Man 20p.  That reverse design would not have suited the wide rim, but the obverse looks fine with it.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22 874
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 09:06:26 PM »
Well, that was deep. Let's have an illustration of the Ironside and Dent 20p coins, the better to understand your explanation.





20p, 1982: reverse design by Ironside.





20p, 2008: reverse design by Dent.



And you'd already thought of a countersunk 50p? The idea had only occurred to me today.





I take the UK 20p as standard, so the flat versions just look incomplete to me. Illogical, I know, but there you are. Even the Gibraltar 20p is non-standard, as some versions have a significantly wider rim than the UK coin.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline Alan71

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 142
  • Derby, UK
Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 11:19:00 PM »
And here are the 20p coins of the three pound-at-par users that have only ever issued the "flat" version.  To be fair, I think all six of these designs (obverses and reverses) could be adapted to the countersunk version.  All of them have designs that are limited by wording around the edge.  As we've seen, the wide rim is perfect for the inscriptions.

Guernsey version 3 (and current) obverse


Guernsey version 2 (and current) reverse


Jersey version 3 (and current) obverse


Jersey version 2 (and current) reverse - version 1 was very similar but included the date in the rocks


Falkland Islands version 2 (and current) obverse


Falkland Islands version 1 (and current) reverse
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 11:32:28 PM by Alan71 »

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22 874
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 11:39:54 PM »
So, you're a convert to the countersunk 20p. Yes, let's make the flat 20p history - it's almost as bad as the flat Earth theory.

How about an upside-down 20p? That hasn't been done yet.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline Alan71

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 142
  • Derby, UK
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2017, 11:50:05 PM »
So, you're a convert to the countersunk 20p. Yes, let's make the flat 20p history - it's almost as bad as the flat Earth theory.
It really does depend on the design.  The Machin and Maklouf portraits were restricted by the wide rim, the Rank-Broadley less so and the Jody Clarke barely at all.  The William Gardner reverse didn't allow itself to be restricted and the Matthew Dent design is basically saying "F*** you" to it. 

However, the Isle of Man example you gave earlier, where the same design is shown on both versions, is clearly being inhibited by the wide rim.  Gibraltar keeps getting the width of the rim wrong.  The 2017 Isle of Man seems to have found a compromise - allow it for a wordy obverse inscription but disregard it for an unrestricted reverse design.

I still stick to what I said before - if you're going to issue a coin that's less than half the weight of a coin that's only half its value (and even today still weighs less) don't over-emphasise it by having a wide rim that serves to make the coin look even smaller.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22 874
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2017, 12:01:19 AM »
However, the Isle of Man example you gave earlier, where the same design is shown on both versions, is clearly being inhibited by the wide rim.

That's only because the countersunk version, unlike the flat one, includes the denomination in words, instead of putting Ellan Vannin on the rim.

Quote
Gibraltar keeps getting the width of the rim wrong.

Is that so? Didn't know there was a wrong and a right width.  :o

Quote
The 2017 Isle of Man seems to have found a compromise - allow it for a wordy obverse inscription but disregard it for an unrestricted reverse design.

So now you're going for a bit of both.  ;)  You're all over the shop tonight.  :D
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Offline Alan71

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 142
  • Derby, UK
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 08:32:52 AM »
Here's another reason why I'm not a huge fan of the countersunk 20p:



I mean, look at it.  It's revolting.  The lettering has dirt in and inside the wide rim it's going green!  This particular coin is dated 2006, but it can happen at any age.

And while I'm about it...

Two other things.

Firstly, the alloy used.  The higher copper content means that even when new, it's noticeably a different colour from other cupro-nickel coins.  I wonder what the poor coin did to deserve that, considering the 5p and 10p remained in their original alloys for almost another 30 years!  The 20p alloy is perhaps partly responsible for the state of coins that I've given an example of above.

And if this wasn't bad enough, the 5p and 10p are effectively reissued not once, but twice in the lifetime of the 20p, and the new nickel-plated steel ones look brighter than the old.  The 20p was already the oldest coin of any significant value still in circulation, but this is further emphasised by the withdrawal of the old £1 and the cupro-nickel recovery program, rendering most 5p and 10p coins being of recent dates.

All in all, one of my least favourite denominations in terms of appearance, for various reasons.

Offline Alan71

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 142
  • Derby, UK
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 08:46:44 AM »
Oh, and one more thing.  On other coins, the rim isn't part of the design, it's merely a framing device.  On the 20p however, it constitutes a major part of the coin's appearance.

The rim takes the knocks, and on the 20p this is more noticeably so.  Notice on the example I gave in my previous post.  This isn't as bad as some, but look at the edge under "REG".  Even on new coins the angles can sometimes look a bit crushed, something the 50p does not suffer from.

I never realised how much I dislike this coin until you started this topic, <k>. 

Yes, the flat 20p as used by Jersey, Guernsey and others (though not exclusively, as they have massive numbers of UK versions circulating) really does wear and age better.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22 874
Re: Which type of 20 pence surface do you prefer ?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2017, 10:12:38 AM »
I never realised how much I dislike this coin until you started this topic, <k>. 

It's your own fault for obsessing about looking at things under magnification. That's probably a certifiable disorder.  >:(

If you get any 20p coins in change, you should look after their special needs and brush inside their rims with a toothbrush before you go to bed at night. So there.  :P
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.