Author Topic: Tokelau: unusual obverse beading on old collector coins  (Read 96 times)

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Offline <k>

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Tokelau: unusual obverse beading on old collector coins
« on: May 21, 2020, 08:54:43 PM »
From 1978 to 2003 Tokelau had an unusual configuration of beads on the obverse of its collector coins. They number 54, I believe, and are laid out in groups of three.

I vaguely recall that this has something to do with the number of islands but cannot be sure. Does anybody know?

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Tokelau: unusual obverse beading on old collector coins
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 09:09:43 PM »
There are 57 beads. 19 groups of 3.
I do not know their significance but it sounds interesting.

Offline africancoins

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Re: Tokelau: unusual obverse beading on old collector coins
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 10:48:41 PM »
Wikipedia says that Tokelau...

...consists of three tropical coral atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo), with a combined land area of 10 km2 (4 sq mi). The capital rotates yearly among the three atolls.

So the three very small islands are equals. There is not a whole load of islands.

The older coins have 18 groups of three beads, the newer one has 19 groups of three beads.

So it seems likely that groups of three beads are used as some representation of the 3 atolls.

I photographed the 1979 coin in March 2006 !

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

Offline <k>

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Re: Tokelau: unusual obverse beading on old collector coins
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 11:35:11 PM »
So I was right when I said 54 beads, and eurocoin counted the beads on a later coin.

And the number of groups of beads is therefore inconsequential. It is the number 3 that is significant.  :)

Offline <k>

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Re: Tokelau: unusual obverse beading on old collector coins
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 12:24:18 AM »
Wikipedia says that Tokelau...

...consists of three tropical coral atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo), with a combined land area of 10 km2 (4 sq mi). The capital rotates yearly among the three atolls.

So it seems likely that groups of three beads are used as some representation of the 3 atolls.

I do now remember reading that explanation for the number of beads some years ago.

Those beads reminded me of something else. The collector coins of the British Virgin Islands used three beads as a separator on the obverse from that year of their first issue in 1973, until and including the year 2000. No BVI collector coins were issued in 2001, but in 2002 BVI adopted a new portrait of the Queen, and the three beads were seen no more. I suspect that those 3 beads had no significance other than to fill the gap in the legend.