Author Topic: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark  (Read 263 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline eurocoin

  • Indexer
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 737
The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« on: January 23, 2019, 11:59:41 AM »
The Minister of Finance has made a bill to amend the Dutch Coinage Act. In it amongst other things the omission of mintmarks and mintmastermarks from Dutch coins and ducats is being proposed.

Furthermore the omission of all articles related to Dutch bullion coins and the omission of Mintmaster as a protected title that may only be used by the general director of the Royal Dutch Mint are proposed in the bill. These latter things were only added to the Coinage Act a few years ago.

If approved -which is expected to happen- the amended Coinage Act will come into force from 2020.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27 836
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 01:02:58 PM »
A mint master mark indeed seems superfluous at a time when mint masters are no longer personally responsible for the coins.

If simplification is the objective, "no mintmark" could be made to signify the Utrecht mint, just like on US coins it used to mean Philadelphia. However, there should be a legal possibility to distinguish the coins struck at another mint than Utrecht in the future. After all, even ministers cannot predict the future.  ::)

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

Offline FosseWay

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 946
  • Göteborg, Sverige
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 02:59:59 PM »
However, there should be a legal possibility to distinguish the coins struck at another mint than Utrecht in the future.

Why?

I am being a devil's advocate, of course, because as a coin collector I like both variety and to know that a given issue was minted in more than one place and how to tell them apart.

But from the point of view of the normal user, what difference does it make where a coin was minted, and why therefore do they need to be able to tell issues from one mint apart from those from another?

Offline chrisild

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8 188
  • NW ˇ DE ˇ EU
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2019, 06:28:07 PM »
Why?

The default reply from the German government would be "quality control". Even when a collector coin from DE has no mintmark, there will still be some gimmicky feature that lets people determine whether a coin was made in, say, Stuttgart or Hamburg.

But yes, in the case of a mint which makes coins at precisely one facility, a mintmark is not necessary. Then again, many "one factory" countries use mintmarks. And Switzerland did away with the "B" (for Bern/e) a while ago but re-introduced it later ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27 836
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2019, 06:48:53 PM »
Why? Because I can think of a number of scenarios in which it becomes necessary to outsource (part of) the coinage. Think of Greece at the time the euro was introduced. Greece didn't know until late in the day that it would "qualify" for accession, was taken by surprise and had to outsource part of its first mintage to other mints. Of course, history doesn't repeat itself, but there is no reason the Dutch authorities cannot be taken by surprise, especially by developments they do not control, such as the financial position of the Belgian company that now owns the Dutch mint.

So why would you use a mintmark for coins struck at a foreign mint? As chrisild says, quality control. Consider a scenario in which part of the coinage is outsourced. After some months, some bimetallic coins start falling apart. The Dutch ministry of finance needs to know whether they were minted in Utrecht or not, simply because the mint is responsible for the quality of the coins. After all, that's why the Utrecht mint went belly-up. If there's no mint mark, the guilty party will argue that it's not proven that part of the other mint's coins weren't deficient also.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 12:33:10 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Pabitra

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 008
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2019, 02:01:33 AM »
Apart from that, mint mark is also used by mints to market their capability when bidding for tenders globally. In international tenders, unless specifically indicated that mint marks are not permitted, mints use their mint marks.

Offline FosseWay

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 946
  • Göteborg, Sverige
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2019, 08:18:15 AM »
I guess I'm coming at this from the perspective that the Royal Mint produces coins for a lot of different countries yet only in rare cases adds a mintmark.

While UK coinage struck by other providers has generally carried a mark (the last I can think of is the H and KN pennies of 1918/19), there has been no attempt at, for example, distinguishing between RM coins struck at Tower Hill and those struck at Llantrisant during the transition to the new RM in the late 1960s/early 70s.

Offline Pabitra

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 008

Offline chrisild

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8 188
  • NW ˇ DE ˇ EU
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2019, 08:06:55 PM »
Finally found a source. :) The consultation period has just ended, and the bill can be found here:
Wijziging van de Muntwet 2002 in verband met de aanbesteding van het vervaardigen van munten en het afschaffen van beleggingsmunten

At the bottom of that page there are download links for two PDF files (in Dutch). One is "Voorstel Wijziging Muntwet" which lists the portions of the current law that, according to this bill, would be modified. The second one, "Memorie van Toelichting", explains the concept.

From that second document: "Artikel 6a regelt dat de algemeen directeur van de KNM de titel muntmeester voert, KNM munten in opdracht van de Staat vervaardigde munten voorziet van de munttekens van zowel de KNM als de muntmeester en dat deze tekens bij ministeriële regeling vastgesteld worden. Nu KNM niet langer het nationaal munthuis zal zijn vervalt dit artikel."

Maybe I don't quite understand this, but - if this becomes law - couldn't the mint still use mintmarks and mintmaster marks? Sure, they would not be required by law as the KNM is no longer the national mint. But if it wants to use them, wouldn't it be free to do so?

Christian

Offline eurocoin

  • Indexer
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 737
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2019, 10:23:13 PM »
From that second document: "Artikel 6a regelt dat de algemeen directeur van de KNM de titel muntmeester voert, KNM munten in opdracht van de Staat vervaardigde munten voorziet van de munttekens van zowel de KNM als de muntmeester en dat deze tekens bij ministeriële regeling vastgesteld worden. Nu KNM niet langer het nationaal munthuis zal zijn vervalt dit artikel."

Maybe I don't quite understand this, but - if this becomes law - couldn't the mint still use mintmarks and mintmaster marks? Sure, they would not be required by law as the KNM is no longer the national mint. But if it wants to use them, wouldn't it be free to do so?

No. The mintmark and mintmastermark have always been regulated strictly. Not only was the inclusion of these marks mentioned in the Coinage Act but since a few years also laid down in a separate ministerial regulation which determined precisely what these marks looked like and also included images of them. Therefore I do not think at all that it is their intention that once the precise articles concerning mintmark and mintmastermark have been omitted from the Coinage Act, mints and mintmasters will be allowed to freely add their marks on the Dutch coins without any form of regulation.

Although there is one public reaction to this bill (which unfortunately is completely offtopic), some time ago with help of the clever thinking of a fellow member I sent a nice letter to the Treasury explaining exactly why the omission of the mintmark is a bad idea. The Ministry of Finance is required to soon publish what they did with the advice given (and why they decided to do what they did), so it will be interesting to see what they will say.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 11:20:33 PM by eurocoin »

Offline Angus

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2019, 10:15:57 AM »
So would it just be Dutch coins that didn't have a mint mark or would coins produced for other countries (e.g. Luxembourg) not have them either if this came into effect?

Offline eurocoin

  • Indexer
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 737
Re: The Netherlands: Bill to omit mintmark and mintmastermark
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2019, 10:30:26 AM »
So would it just be Dutch coins that didn't have a mint mark or would coins produced for other countries (e.g. Luxembourg) not have them either if this came into effect?

This change of the Dutch coinage act will only affect the Dutch coins. However the Royal Dutch Mint may decide to stop using the mintmark and mintmastermark at the same time on the foreign coins too, although I consider it to be highly unlikely that they will do so. The production of several types of the same coin with a variety of marks like they for example do for Luxembourg still appears to be profitable.