Author Topic: Obverse and reverse  (Read 39511 times)

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #75 on: November 22, 2009, 03:03:07 PM »
Aha!   I thought that might get something moving.

The common side of a Euro is the one of maximum importance as it applies throughout Euroland.   The content of the national side has relevance only within the nation which issued the coin and is often meaningless elsewhere.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #76 on: November 22, 2009, 05:15:03 PM »
Another case that proves how futile any attempt of coming to a generally accepted "definition" of what the obverse or reverse of a coin is. ;D

Christian

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #77 on: November 22, 2009, 05:45:56 PM »
Worry not, I pushed the bit about the Euro in just to prove a point about the importance of the 'common' side throughout the area.

I am quite happy to use the terms 'common' and 'national'.

However, I fail to understand why (say) a sprig of five oak leaves and a couple of acorns (Germany) are considered more important than an international requirement.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #78 on: November 22, 2009, 06:03:54 PM »
Further to the above, here are two currently valid coins, a 2c from Germany and a silver 3p (formerly 3d) from Britain, although you are extremely unlikely to find the latter in circulation.

Euro 'national' and British 'reverse' are depicted.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #79 on: November 22, 2009, 06:10:18 PM »
However, I fail to understand why (say) a sprig of five oak leaves and a couple of acorns (Germany) are considered more important than an international requirement.

Same here. For me the face value is the most important element, and that is on the common sides too. But of course a3v1 is perfectly right; the coins are issued by the member states (and the ECB only approves the issue volumes), and the issuing member state can be found by looking at the national side. Also, various European and national regulations say that the common side is the reverse ... so be it. :)

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #80 on: November 22, 2009, 06:24:01 PM »
Further to the above, here are two currently valid coins, a 2c from Germany and a silver 3p (formerly 3d) from Britain, although you are extremely unlikely to find the latter in circulation.

Easy. Two acorns make a side the obverse. Three acorns - reverse. ;D

Well, if by British law or tradition the side depicting the monarch is usually the obverse, then it makes sense to call the other side the reverse. In Germany we just use the EU terms for the obverse and reverse of the circulation coins; and with collector coins (regional money) we have a Bildseite which shows the "theme" of an issue, and a Wertseite that shows the value ...

Christian

Offline a3v1

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #81 on: November 22, 2009, 06:24:22 PM »
Bill,
Just a question out of curiosity. If the United Kingdom used the Euro as well, would you still regard the common side more important than the UK national side?
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #82 on: November 22, 2009, 06:34:12 PM »
If we used the €uro, I would consider the 'common' side as the more important and therefore the 'obverse' although I would refer to it as the 'common' side.   

However, bear in mind the the English word 'common' has more than one meaning.   From the Concise Oxford English Dictionary:-

common
    adjective (commoner, commonest)
1   occurring, found, or done often; not rare. Øwithout special rank or position; ordinary. Ø(of a quality) of a sort to be generally expected: common decency. Øof the most familiar type.
2   shared by two or more people or things. Øbelonging to or affecting the whole of a community: common land. ØMathematics belonging to two or more quantities.
3   showing a lack of taste and refinement supposedly typical of the lower classes; vulgar.
4   Grammar of or denoting a noun that refers to individuals of either sex (e.g. teacher) or belongs to a gender conventionally regarded as masculine or feminine.
5   Prosody (of a syllable) able to be either short or long.
6   Law (of a crime) of lesser severity.
    noun
1   a piece of open land for public use.
2   a form of Christian service used for each of a group of occasions.
3   (also right of common) English Law a person's right over another's land, e.g. for pasturage.

PHRASES
   common ground views shared by each of two or more parties.
   common or garden British informal of the usual or ordinary type.
   the common touch the ability to get on with ordinary people.
   in common in joint use or possession; shared.
   in common with in the same way as.

DERIVATIVES
   commonness noun

ORIGIN
   Middle English: from Old French comun, from Latin communis.


Note meaning number 3 of the adjective ...  >:D

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2009, 06:55:10 PM »
Here's a bit more fun on the subject.

In English, the 'obverse' sides are commonly known as 'heads' and the 'reverse' as 'tails'.

On the first scan, the only 'tail' to be seen is on the 'obverse' and the two 'heads' (note the plural) are on the 'reverse'.   The coins are the 25p for 1977 and 1981 respectively and full details can found in my series on the British Crown coins.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #84 on: November 22, 2009, 09:49:41 PM »
Note meaning number 3 of the adjective ...  >:D

The UK will fortunately never get to use the European currency. But at least I now understand what "Commonwealth" means. ;D

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #85 on: November 22, 2009, 09:55:20 PM »
Come on ;)

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

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #86 on: November 22, 2009, 11:56:31 PM »
But at least I now understand what "Commonwealth" means. ;D


Yes, wealth is common.  I wouldn't be bothered with it, myself.


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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #87 on: December 03, 2009, 04:56:31 PM »
Within the last couple of days, I've seen a post which suggests that there might be some doubt about which is the obverse and reverse on recent-ish UK coins which do not show the usual portrait of Her Majesty.   This is no way criticising any such posts.

In the UK we are lucky in having the Royal Mint website which clearly states which is which.   Take, for instance, the Crown coin which is the most likely candidate for confusion, the Royal Mint gives us the answer.

In England at least, the general public use the terms 'heads' for obverse and 'tails' for reverse but if you refer back to reply #39 in this topic, and with the information that the side illustrated is the obverse, you may wonder why the side with a tail (of the horse) on it is the obverse!

What I am really trying to point out here is that we have to be guided by official information (where available) and local knowledge.   Rather than argue about which side of a eurocoin is which, let's just accept that a couple of additional words have been introduced to our language; 'common' and 'national'.

Whenever I post illustrations of both sides of a coin, the order that I show them relates solely to my private referencing system which includes the letters o,r and now c,n as appropriate.   I always show them in alphabetical order (according to my coding) but it should be obvious which is which; if not, it could be because it is a question being asked.

Does it matter, in this context, which side shows the date or denomination?   I think not, because as soon as someone says that it does someone else will give an example of something which proves it wrong.

Are we happy, please, with the terms (in alphabetical order) 'common', 'edge', 'national', obverse' and 'reverse'?

Now, what doubts remain?   Let's see if we can find a way of covering coins to which the above does not apply.   Possibly we may need to add more words such as 'heraldic' to the list.   I do however appreciate that, particularly for early coins, such descriptions may not be possible so if there are illustrations they can simply be referred to as the 'upper' or 'lower' one and further labels become unnecessary.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #88 on: January 04, 2010, 06:03:31 PM »
... ...
Are we happy, please, with the terms (in alphabetical order) 'common', 'edge', 'national', obverse' and 'reverse'?

Now, what doubts remain?   Let's see if we can find a way of covering coins to which the above does not apply.   Possibly we may need to add more words such as 'heraldic' to the list.   I do however appreciate that, particularly for early coins, such descriptions may not be possible so if there are illustrations they can simply be referred to as the 'upper' or 'lower' one and further labels become unnecessary.

Bill.

Simply, are we all happy with how this topic has been left, or are there any 'matters arising'?

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #89 on: January 05, 2010, 02:32:49 PM »
Being an advocate of the "who cares" approach, I am probably not the right one to answer your question. ;) Guess that in some cases it would indeed make sense to call one side the heraldic or CoA side. But as for the obv/rev question, we will certainly not come to a one size fits all definition here ...

Christian