Author Topic: The excess denomination  (Read 1185 times)

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Offline <k>

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The excess denomination
« on: August 19, 2017, 03:26:37 PM »
See also: The expected but missing denomination.



Have you ever thought that a certain coin, either in your own country or elsewhere, was an excess denomination? By that I mean an unnecessary denomination. in the UK in the 1970s, the old predecimal sixpence was kept until June 1980. It helped in the transition to decimalisation (1971), because at first a lot of Tube fares and parking fees were sixpence, and the relevant ticket machines and parking meters accepted the sixpence. As a half shilling, the denomination was useful, but as 2½ pence, it was not so useful. It's strange that it was kept for so long, but a minority of people were nostalgic about it and made a fuss about keeping it.



See also: Parking meters, Tube ticket machines, sixpences and decimalisation.

 
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 04:50:37 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 03:32:07 PM »
Though I have never been to the Bahamas, I know that they have a 15 cents coin, and I wonder just how useful it is. I doubt that I would find it useful, if I lived there. However, I notice that the USSR had a 15 kopecks coin, and this may have been copied by various countries of the communist bloc - I don't know. I suppose that it is no more unusual than the half crown in the UK (2½ shillings).

The USSR also had a 3 kopecks coin. It does not seem very useful to me, in a decimal system. We had a threepence coin in the UK, before decimalisation, but there were 12 pence in a shilling and a threepence therefore represented a quarter shilling, which made sense. Again, I think that the concept of a subunit of 3 was copied by some countries in the communist bloc.

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Offline FosseWay

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 12:03:54 PM »
Jamaica issued both 20 and 25 cent coins after decimalisation, as the successors of the 2s and 2s 6d.

In general I think the £sd system didn't need both the florin and the half-crown, though the absence of any useful coin or note at 5 shillings made the duplication more justifiable.

On the 3 and 15 kopek coins - I have a feeling that both were issued originally for specific reasons, such as the cost of a metro ride or phone call. The same is true of the DDR 20 Pfennig, which was issued in brass rather than aluminium so that it could be used in payphones. Presumably aluminium coins were too light to operate the mechanism effectively and the authorities decided for whatever reason that using tokens was not preferable.

Offline <k>

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 01:55:17 PM »
Jamaica issued both 20 and 25 cent coins after decimalisation, as the successors of the 2s and 2s 6d.

In general I think the £sd system didn't need both the florin and the half-crown, though the absence of any useful coin or note at 5 shillings made the duplication more justifiable.

Yes, I'd read about the reasons for the co-existence of the Jamaican 20 and 25 cent coins. UDI Rhodesia adopted the same policy.

Apparently the half crown, as a "piece of eight" (halve the pound and keep halving it) was far more traditional than the florin. The first UK florins, as 2 shilling pieces, were struck in 1849, to my original astonishment They were specifically marked "ONE TENTH OF A POUND", being a decimal experiment. When I used them as a child in the 1960s, they seemed such a natural phenomenon, as a coin worth twice a shilling, that I was surprised to learn that they were relative newcomers.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 01:59:12 PM »
On the 3 and 15 kopek coins - I have a feeling that both were issued originally for specific reasons, such as the cost of a metro ride or phone call. The same is true of the DDR 20 Pfennig, which was issued in brass rather than aluminium so that it could be used in payphones.

Communist logic: we'll decide the prices and then mint the coins to pay for them. Just as well they didn't have a 99-Pfennigland in the GDR.
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Offline chrisild

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 02:41:09 PM »
Communist logic

Except in those days telephony was a monopoly in many "capitalist" countries too. ;) The price of a local call in the Federal Republic of Germany was 20 Pf too, at the times when the list of phone companies one could choose from had precisely one entry ...

As for superfluous denominations, when Venezuela introduced the bolívar fuerte, they got a 10 céntimos coin and also a 12½ céntimos piece. Guess the latter was part of the series because they also had a 25c coin, so "two eights" would be "one quarter". Oddly enough, they did not have a half céntimo.

Christian

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 02:55:54 PM »
The 3 and 15 kopecks and multiples were not a communist invention. They already existed in czarist times.

Looking at older English coins series, it seems that the groat was initially more important than the threepence. Not sure when that changed, but I do think one of the two is in excess.

Peter
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Offline <k>

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2017, 03:11:30 PM »
A quarter shilling (3d) is more intuitive than a third of a shilling (4d). And if you disagree, I'll give you a fourpenny one.  >:D
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Offline <k>

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2017, 03:12:24 PM »
Except in those days telephony was a monopoly in many "capitalist" countries too.

True enough, but the government did not determine which denominations to issue on the basis of British Telecoms' prices.
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Offline Finn235

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 05:38:10 PM »
I've always liked the hairbrained explanations behind the oddballs in US coin history:

- 3 cent: Because postage rates decteased and Californians hated non-silver coins
- 2 cent: To compete with Civil War era store tokens, kept around because they were popular gifts to small kids for candy shops.
- 20 cent: To try to gain admission to the LMU
- $3 gold: Also postage stamps. They were easily confused with the $2.50 Quarter Eagle, but stuck around because they were popular for love tokens.
- $4 gold "Stella": Also LMU admission. Struck as a pattern and rejected by Congress, the congressmen were allowed to keep the presentation pieces, which circulated exclusively at brothels in the DC area.

Offline andyg

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2017, 06:39:31 PM »
True enough, but the government did not determine which denominations to issue on the basis of British Telecoms' prices.

People in glass houses....

The 4d was introduced on the recommendation of one Joseph Hume to facilitate payment of the then 4d London omnibus fare (!)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline <k>

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Re: The excess denomination
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2017, 06:51:16 PM »
People in glass houses....

The 4d was introduced on the recommendation of one Joseph Hume to facilitate payment of the then 4d London omnibus fare (!)

What they did in your day was a different matter, of course.  :P
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