Author Topic: Denmark: which coins are "sets only"?  (Read 234 times)

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Offline Vincent

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Denmark: which coins are "sets only"?
« on: April 07, 2019, 10:51:36 AM »
Just a few decades ago coins were produced every year in Denmark - as in most other countries - for general circulation. The concept of a coin being issued in mint sets, but not released into circulation, didn't really apply. With the increased use of electronic payment systems, it is now the case that each denomination is being struck for circulation during most years, but not all years.
   I'll start with a story. During the 1960s it was thought that the 10 øre denomination did not exist with the date 1959. The 10 øre coins in circulation at the time were the 1948-60 and 1960-72 types. One collector had convinced himself that - since coins were normally issued every single year - there had to be a rare 10 øre 1959 out there somewhere. And he was right. After having searched through large amounts of 10 øre coins he finally found one from 1959. The 10 øre denomination was indeed issued every single year from 1948 to 1988, before it was demonetized in 1989. During the 1970s and 1980s people - including non-coin collectors - have been pulling the 1959 coins out of circulation, so it is now only scarce, not rare.
   Those days are over. It is no longer reasonable to expect that every denomination will be produced for circulation every year. They might be produced for sets, but not for circulation, thus creating coins that were only released in sets, or "sets only" coins.
   The 5 and 10 kroner coins were not minted with the date 1996. 10 kroner 2000 does not exist. 2, 5 and 10 kroner were not minted with the date 2003. Apparently, no additional supply of those coins were needed during those years. The mint sets of those years simply do not contain those denominations. This policy would change after 2003. There is no year in which 20 kroner coins were not issued, if we include circulationg commemorative types.
   One way of figuring out if a particular coin is a "sets only" coin or not is by looking at the mintage fugures. They are usually in the millions each year for each coin type, although in recent years the mintage firgure for some coins has dived below on million. Thus, there are several coins from 2009 onward with mintage figures between half a million and one million. Compare that with the production numbers for mint sets, which is in the tens of thousands per year. (With regard to mintage figures and production numbers for mint sets, I am using Siegs Møntkatalog Norden 2017, 48th edition, 2016). This method is good up to and including 2014. According to Siegs Møntkatalog (p. 3), production numbers for later years have not been made available by the National Bank. With regard to coins from 2014 or earlier, there are 16 coins with five digit mintage figures, all belonging to the narrow time frame of 2009 to 2012. The mintage figures are between 18.000 and 27.000. I consider these coins to be "sets only" coins. The catalogue agrees with me, the same sixteen coins are marked (p. 306) with an asterisk, indicating that they were released in sets only. The first "sets only" coins in modern Danish coinage history are thus from 2009. From this point on, the mint sets would contain a coin of each denomination, regardless if it had been minted for circulation during that year or not. The sixteen coins are:

50 øre 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
1 krone 2010, 2011, 2012
2 kroner 2009, 2010, 2012
5 kroner 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
10 kroner 2010, 2012

As I have noted in another text (On the condition of coins in official mint sets of Norway, Sweden and Denmark), the coins in the relevant mint sets are in BU condition, unless it's a proof set.
   The coin with the lowest mintage figure, apart from those just mentioned, is 50 øre 2013, with a mintage figure of 114.000. One might be forgiven for suspecting that this would be a sets only coin. However, the coin was released in rolls. The coin in my own collection comes from a mint roll. In November 2018 I even found one in circulation! (See image). Next in line would be 2 kroner 2014 with a mintage of 382.000. In this case we're clearly into circulation coinage territory.
   With regard to coins from 2015 onward, only 10 kroner 2016 is complicated. I have been able to obtain all other coins from 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 from mint rolls. (I.e.: I bought the coins from someone who had the mint rolls). During 2016, Jørgen Strandgaard was replaced by Lars G. Sørensen as mint master. Because of this, there are two versions of 10 kroner 2016 (and also 50 øre 2016): with mint master's initials JS and with mint master's initialt LGS. I had been informed that 10 kroner 2016 LGS was a "sets only" coin. I decided to check the website of the mint for any information. It turned out that they were offering 50 øre 2016 JS and LGS and 10 kroner 2016 JS in mint rolls in their web shop - but not 10 kroner 2016 LGS. I see this as an indication that the original information was correct - that 10 kroner 2016 LGS has only been released in mint sets. The 2016 mint sets do not contain the JS coins. Apparently, the circulation 10 kroner coins of 2016 were made early in the year and the mint sets were made late in the year - thus, the circulation coins carry the JS mark, while the coins in sets carry the LGS mark.
   Siegs Møntkatalog appears to be confused regarding the two versions of 10 kroner 2016. On p. 278 they seem to believe that the LGS coin is the common one and the JS coin is the scarce one. This is simply a mistake. I believe that one or more of the non-existent coins from 1996, 2000 and 2003 are listed in some editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins. This is also a mistake.
   Getting a bit fringy, the 10 and 20 kroner coins of 2011 were, in addition to the normal versions, released in frosted versions. These were sold in sets (with two coins in each set). Getting even more fringy, there was a special presentation set minted for the Queen in 1584 (not a typo!), containing coins that were only minted for this set.

Offline redlock

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Re: Denmark: which coins are "sets only"?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 07:49:02 PM »
Thanks for this highly interesting read  8)



P.S.:
Have sent an email.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 08:04:50 PM by redlock »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Denmark: which coins are "sets only"?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 08:26:52 AM »
With ten years hindsight, we may look back on the Lehman crisis of 2008 and see it as an economic watershed in many ways. One of these ways is coinage. Before Lehman, mints had for many centuries been state institutions, but there were some trends eating away at the presumption.

Since the collapse of the Soviet empire the political left was in disarray. It was not just the extreme left. Even the moderate left suffered, apart from a period of wariness when the euro was introduced. Conservatism profited to the point where it undermined the political centre. "Market thinking", modelled on crude capitalism from the US became more fashionable than it ever was. In this period, the euro was introduced, creating a situation where mints lost their national protection and had to compete in a situation of vast overcapacity. It is a well-known situation. It happened in shipbuilding, textile making, air transport, steel making, car making to name a few. Conservatives now had a problem. On the one hand, they were champions of "free trade", on the other hand, nationalism was rife among them.

Lehman brought things to a head. Growth collapsed, taking macro-economic demand with it. The lower middle class, left behind, radicalised into populism. They came to power in a few countries only, where they acted as if the world could go back to 1975, 1950 or even 1925. The moderate right advocated a flight forward, towards an ever cruder capitalism. The moderate left was still dazed and wondering what had happened to them.

Meanwhile, in Mint-land, things were looking down. Privatising mints had become the norm. Closures followed. Political deadlock made it difficult to impossible to de-monetise small value coins, so they had to be produced in mass, as many were discarded, rather than re-cycled into circulation. Mints were told to fend for themselves, even provide what amounts to a social service (facilitating small payments) at no cost at a time when electronic money was taking away market share and Lehman was slowing demand. What's a poor mint to do? The answers turned out to be variants of "screw the get rich quickly (GRQ) crowd". Mints desperately tried to create a market for the sort of souvenir fluff they knew how to make.

First, issues of commemoratives multiplied. Collectors followed the GRQ. Next, commemoratives became non-circulating. An early case was the UK £5 pieces, but today, even the humble €2 piece is going that way. It wasn't enough, even with competing mints (the GRQ is somewhat international, collectors are quite international) falling by the wayside.

Now, I can see a new trend emerging. An early proponent of the idea was the French mint: it produced full year sets with coins that had not been issued into circulation. Latter-day novodels, if you wish. The idea got a push when Finland decided not to circulate 1 and 2 eurocent pieces and collectors wanted them anyway. Now, it is becoming more and more normal to find that if you want to be "complete", you have to buy stuff you would normally not buy. Year sets with coins that are not in circulation have led the way to long series of commemoratives, some of which are circulated while others are not.

The idea is clear: wring money out of the GRQ. Rationally, that would seem to mean keeping collectors interested to act as demand of last resort. Instead, collectors are slowly, very slowly disengaging, witness the trend on this site for people to say they are no longer interested in non-circulating commemoratives. Some mints have already discovered that the GRQ will buy even without collector demand. Commemoratives are getting weirder and more impractical by the year, but the GRQ thinks it;'s great.

Our lines of defence are clear also. Make information available on what circulates, in order to avoid disappointment. Forget "complete". Make a sharp distinction between coins as money and the rest. You will find on this site that these conclusions were drawn years ago. Research such as Vincent published above is very helpful for collectors. Let's have more of it.

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

Offline Vincent

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Re: Denmark: which coins are "sets only"?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 11:41:52 AM »
Thank you for putting things into a broader perspective - and for the kind words! I am a type collector with regard to most of the stuff I collect, so I might not notice the trend toward "sets only" coins as sharply as a date collector would. It's certainly worth keeping an eye on in any case.

There's a very specific reason why production of several coin types came to a temporary halt in 2009. On October 1st 2008 the smallest coin, the 25 øre, ceased to be legal tender. People started rummaging through drawers and piggy banks to find their 25 øre coins before they became obsolete. The end result was that large amounts of coins of all denominations came back into circulation and there was no need to make new ones. I found this in the mint's product catalogue from fall/winter 2009 (available here), p. 3 (translated):

In connection with the demonetization of the 25 øre, the Royal Mint has nevertheless received a significant backflow also of other denominations. Because of this, the stocks have been so ample that there is no need in 2009 to mint every denomination for circulation.

The following denominations have not been minted in 2009: 50 øre, 2 kroner and 5 kroner. It is also not anticipated that there will be a need in 2010 to mint every denomination for circulation.


So, this gives us the immediate explanation as to why there was a lull in coin production at this point in time. But it doesn't explain the break with previous policy regarding mint sets. In previous years, coins that had not been minted for circulation were also not minted for mint sets. Beginning in 2009, they were minted for mint sets and became "sets only" coins. I do see this as an attempt to get collectors to buy the mint's sets.

I have always thought of mints as primarily minting coins for circulation, and then making products for collectors as a secondary thing. The idea of mints being economically dependent on income from products sold to collectors (such as mint sets) is rediculous, but it does seem that there's a trend in that direction.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Denmark: which coins are "sets only"?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 12:19:15 PM »
Turnover is still dependent on circulation coins, but increasingly, profit comes from the fluff. I some cases, the fluff subsidises circulation coin production.

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