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Odd denominations

Started by Figleaf, June 23, 2007, 02:41:42 PM

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Figleaf

Come on, BCN, admit it. You are just jealous of someone who has driven the price of oil from $10 to $70 a barrel so the whole world can pay him for his stupid policies.  :P ;)

Meanwhile, I like that we got those nicks on record here. Also, if they really, really issue a 12-1/2 cent piece it would be a great conversation piece. I'd be looking forward to a coin of 16-2/3 cents! :D

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

BC Numismatics

Peter,
  The Venezuelan 12-1/2 Centimos is not a new denomination,as it was issued right up until the 1960's.The Dutch had the very strange denomination of 2-1/2 Cents in the late 19th. Century & the early part of the 20th. Century.

If you are collecting coins from nutcase dictatorships,you will be wanting the new Venezuelan 12-1/2 Centimos.

The only current nutcase regime whose coins are of interest to me is the barbaric Z.A.N.U.-P.F. regime of Robert Mugabe,who could be driven out of power some time in the near future,as Zimbabwe will eventually return to its membership of the British Commonwealth.

Aidan.

Figleaf

#2
I don't think the Zimbabwean coins are in circulation any more. According to this site 1 Euro = 342.314 Zimbabwe Dollar. On the black market, the ZWD is worth a whole lot less.

The odd denominations are mostly the fault of the Spanish. They defined the real as 32 maravedis. Each smaller coin was worth half of the previous denomination and each larger coin had a nominal value of double the following denomination, e.g. 4, 8 16 maravedis 1, 2, 4, 8 reales. This is a problem when you start to decimalize. If you take the peso of 8 reales as your basic unit, 4 reales becomes 50 centimos or centavos, 2 becomes 25 but 1 becomes 12.5.

The Netherlands were part of the Habsburg empire. They decimalized on the gulden of 20 stuivers with the old 10 stuivers becoming a half gulden and 5 stuivers (a denomination that didn't exist) being 25 cents. The 10 cents was equivalent to the familiar double stuiver, the 5 cents was a stuiver so it was a natural to have a 2-1/2 cents next, as it replaced the half stuiver or oord.

The US still has some Spanish denominations. It also decimalized on the Peso, so that a half dollar (4 reales) and quarter (2 reales, also called 2 bits in the US) were logical. It is too late for a 2-1/2 cent now, but a half nickel would not have been odd in that series.

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

translateltd

Quote from: Figleaf on June 23, 2007, 04:56:57 PM

The odd denominations are mostly the fault of the Spanish. They defined the real as 32 maravedis.
Peter

I understood it to have been 34 maraved?, not 32 - so direct halving doesn't go beyond 17.  Presumably 16 was chosen as the nearest easily divisible number.

Figleaf

#4
You are quite right, Martin. The pragmatic resolution of Medina del Campo of 1497 pegged the rate at 34 maravedi to the real (and 375 maravedi to the excellente). However, not only was the copper/silver price floating, but also the coins were changing in weight and fineness.  When the Dutch war of independence started in 1568, the maravedi floated towards 32 to the real, which resulted in a duit/stuiver ratio of 8:1, but it is too easy to say that there always was a 32 to 1 ratio. Under the successors of Philip II, the maravedi was heavily counterstamped to be doubled in value (sometimes two or three times) in a desperate attempt to keep inflation under control (and to let the poor bear the brunt of the consequences).

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

translateltd

Quote from: Figleaf on June 24, 2007, 12:07:31 PM
Under the successors of Philip II, the maravedi was heavily counterstamped to be doubled in value (sometimes two or three times) in a desperate attempt to keep inflation under control (and to let the poor bear the brunt of the consequences).

Peter

I have some interesting examples of those, with the host coin largely worn flat, and several counterstamps revaluing them - quite incredible, really.

Figleaf

Please post them if you have the equipment, Martin.

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

translateltd


translateltd

#8
Just remembered that I scanned a few for another Group a few years ago:

http://www.geocities.com/translateltd/coinpics/coppercobs.jpg

The bottom two show the multiple countermarks nicely.  And yes, I realise that the image name "coppercobs" is not strictly accurate :-)


Figleaf

I think that bottom coin is a 6 (counterstamp VI) maravedi 16?2 (date counterstamped, missing number may be 3, 4, 5 or 6) in the name of Philip IV (counterstamp IIII) Sevilla (counterstamp crowned S between dots). This is a relatively excellent piece. It has been counterstamped only once, there is a complete series of stamps and except for the date everything is sharp and legible. It's incredible that at the time, Spain was a superpower and very wealthy.

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

translateltd

Bottom left one (vaguely triangular and counterstamp VI) has a date of 1654 (I think I remember correctly) if you hold it at the correct angle to the light and squint appropriately; the 2nd-left looks like it's counterstamped VIII to me with a date 16x2, as you say.

BC Numismatics

Martin,
   Peter is right.They are 2 different coins,as the top one is not the same shape as the bottom one.The counterstamp on the bottom coin looks like a 'VI' (6) with an 'S' below it.This could be a counterstamp for 6 Maravedis counterstamping a coin of a higher denomination such as an 8 Maravedis.

Aidan.

translateltd

Quote from: BC Numismatics on June 25, 2007, 03:23:18 AM
Martin,
   Peter is right.They are 2 different coins,as the top one is not the same shape as the bottom one.The counterstamp on the bottom coin looks like a 'VI' (6) with an 'S' below it.This could be a counterstamp for 6 Maravedis counterstamping a coin of a higher denomination such as an 8 Maravedis.

Aidan.

Laughs out loud!!!

Aidan, *I* took the picture and posted it to the group.  They are my coins.  I have owned the triangular one since you were in primary school.  Peter briefly mistook the items in the photograph.
Please read messages carefully before you jump in to criticise and correct others.

Thank you for giving me the biggest laugh of the day!