Author Topic: Pros and cons of round coins  (Read 2660 times)

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Offline Rangnath

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Pros and cons of round coins
« on: May 01, 2007, 12:46:23 AM »
Is there any inherent advantage, all things being equal, to round designs versus square or rectangular ones?  Can one generalize about pre modern coins and say "most coins follow round patterns".
Richie

Offline lusomosa

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Re: Pros and cons of round coins
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2007, 11:30:57 PM »
I think that the round shape is the most user friendly of all shapes. One must not foreget that the very first coins were lumps of elektron from Western Turkey ( the Greek settlements of Ionia and the kingdom of Lydia ).These lumps of Electron also called whitegold ( Alloy of gold and silver ) were created facilitate trade and there were a lot of very carefully weighted fractions of the standard used by the different cities that issued those coins.
The smaller the fractions the rounder the form, this was surely mot a matter of esthetic's but a matter of practical metallurgical production. Any lump of metal under pressure spreads itself in all directions thus creating a more of less round form.
Bigger coins ( heavier than 10 g were less "round" and may have very funny shapes ...
The oldest minting method that really made sure that the disc was perfectly round were the first coins of the Greek colonies of southern Italy.
Besides the interesthing method of repeating the theme on both sides of the coin with the reverse "INCUSE" , the last stages of the minting process was to give a nice rounded shape some decorated with points, lines or a combination of both.

After the first elektron coins , the Persian Daric and their silver counterpart the Sigloi had very often an oblong of almost a rectangle shape.
But thereafter Greek coins remained round.  The Romans followed the Greek tradition...
Only in India they had long silver coins which I now don't remember the name (already in the Fifth century BC ).
In China they had oddly shaped copper objects but are they really coins ?

I leave any further comments for the next.

Greetings

LP

Offline Prosit

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Re: Pros and cons of round coins
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 01:31:39 AM »
I think that if you want to take a bit of metal from each coin to gain a slight business advantage...
the clipping a bit off a corner would be easier to do than removing some metal from a round coin.

Also round coins tend to be less destructive on any container that carries them than sharp cornered square coins
making round coins a bit more resistive to losing inadvertenly.

Just thinking out loud here.

Dale

Online Figleaf

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Re: Pros and cons of round coins
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2007, 07:39:19 AM »
For modern coins, round is practical because they can be accepted in coin driven machines in any position. You will see non-round modern coins only in areas/times of few or no vending machines or used for pseudo coins. In earlier periods, round may have been preferred because it is easier to make a planchet that is more or less round, than an acceptably square or rectangular planchet with rounded corners (to protect skin and clothes).

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

Offline lusomosa

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Re: Pros and cons of round coins
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2007, 03:13:56 PM »
I like two two last entries, good thoughts.

Any way during periods of crises many silver coins were scraped on the sides so that people could have silver for their own use.
The aim of this action was to leave the coin as round as possible, but some turned out with funny shapes.

In Portugal this was common practice until a "rim" was placed on silver coins at the biginning of the 17th century, to stop the practice.
 If you are interested I'll try to find some examples of this method and post it under this or under an other subject...

LP

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Re: Pros and cons of round coins
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2007, 03:15:34 PM »
Round coins aren't always practical,as blind people cannot distinguish between the coins if they are all the same shape.That is why the 20 Euro-Cents & the New Zealand 20c. coins have been struck in the Spanish flower shape.

Aidan.