Centennial of Rome

Started by b1gb0b57, January 07, 2020, 02:59:30 AM

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Why did Ras Al Khaima make commerative coins in 1970 (as KM22) to commerate the centennial of the Fall of Rome? In a mixed lot, I found a brass medal (apx. 32mm) that has the solder of KM22 on it. I tried to send a borrowed pic from the internet, but I was told too big. Why the coins? and why the medals? Also, any idea of the value of the medal?



At this time, there were a few issuers of pseudo-coins, led by US Franklin Mint and including an Italian company called ItalCambio, that were issuing fluff at a steadily increasing pace. Cataloguers and coin magazines and newspapers struggled with commercial and advertising interests against serious collectors objecting to the fluff and calling them medal-coins. The leading catalogue at the time, Yeoman, adopted the term pseudo-coins, still my favourite, but the advertisers objected, so they changed it to NCLT - non-circulating legal tender. The advertisers were still displeased with the first two words and managed a total win with the new leading cataloguers: Krause and Mishler (KM). At one point, the pseudo issues become so idiotic and took so much place that KM left out very large and repeat pictures - the same design on larger, smaller or different metal pieces. The advertisers won again: after one or two editions, KM caved in.

The issuers preyed on the poor, small and newly independent countries, getting them to agree to an issue of "coins" in return for a (usually small) royalty. The designs would not be relevant to the issuing country, but be aimed at prospects in a targeted market. Americans got saccharine pictures of flowers and beasties, the British portraits of their queen and heraldry, the Germans got German tennis players etc. The pieces would of course be sold by the fluff issuer and never reach the country they were purportedly struck for. This "business model" is still being used.

Your piece was struck at the beginning of this wave. It carries the name of a small, poor, newly independent country that would disappear into the United Arab Emirates in 1972. Its design is aimed at the Italian market: commemorating the capture of Rome, which is wholly irrelevant to the issuing country. At this time, advertisers could and did still claim that their stuff was legal tender, a good investment and wanted by coin collectors. So, to answer your question, this piece was issued to fatten the bottom line of a fluff issuer. There is no market for it. If you run into someone who collects this, you may expect some money for it. If I would have it, I would actually give it away and pay postage to an interested party to get rid of it.

As for posting pictures, see this thread for software that allows you to make pictures smaller. I borrowed the attached picture from the MA-coins web site.

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


Thanks Peter!

Just a pfunny note: After I left my question, I looked on ebay, and there were several of these as "buy it now" from $54 to $110 !
Maybe I should list mine!