Author Topic: Quiz Question No.5 (with a reference to the rules)  (Read 1012 times)

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Online Figleaf

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Re: Quiz Question No.5 (with a reference to the rules)
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2009, 10:04:08 PM »
I think that description is close. A heptagon is a mathematical figure with 7 straight sides and therefore sharp angles. The 50p's sides are not straight, its angles are rounded and its sides are equal. Equilateral takes care of the equal sides and curved describes the shape of the sides, but we need one more word for the rounded corners.

The case of the 20 eurocent is no different. It has 7 equal, curved sides but its corners are shaped differently. You could, therefore also call it an equilateral curved heptagon, you would also need an additional word for the corners, but the word would be different from the one applicable for the 50p.

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

Offline chrisild

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Re: Quiz Question No.5 (with a reference to the rules)
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2009, 11:40:56 PM »
I am not happy. ;) The shape of the Spanish Flower is quite different from that of the pseudoheptagon that the UK and some other countries have.

Copy the edge line of one segement (ie. of the part between two indentations of a 20 cent coin) and paste it so that it continues the previous segment. Do that several times, always continuing the original angle, and you get a perfectly round line - a circle which has the same diameter as the coin. Try that with a British 20 pence or 50 pence coin ...

Christian

Offline UK Decimal +

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Re: Quiz Question No.5 (with a reference to the rules)
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2009, 12:09:53 AM »
The official description from the Royal Mint has already been quoted.   I wonder whether they took out a patent (or similar) on the shape and its description.

I think that the Royal Mint must have the last say as they 'invented' it.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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

Online Figleaf

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Re: Quiz Question No.5 (with a reference to the rules)
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2009, 01:31:22 AM »
Ow, well. It all depends on your point of view, Christian:

1. Find the middle of the corners of the 50p. You can draw a circle that touches all seven points. You can of course do the same thing with the 20 eurocent. The only difference is that in the case of the 50 p, the circle is bigger than the coin, while in the case of the 20 eurocent it is smaller.

2. Find the middle of the sides of the 50p. You can again draw a circle that touches all seven points and you can de the same thing with a 20 eurocent coin, but now, you will find that the circle is sometimes slightly inside (at the rounded corners) sometimes outside (away from the centre of the side) of the coin, while in the case of the 20 eurocent, the circle is larger than the coin.

3. Find the middle of the corners of the 50p. You can connect these points so that they become a regular heptagon inside the coin. You can do the same thing with the 20 eurocent and get the same result: a regular heptagon. And that was my point.

And I am not asking you to agree with it or to stop calling it a Spanish flower (no idea where that name comes from). I just think it is a nice realization that both coins are using the same principle: find a shape that is clearly non-round in the human eye, yet will act very much like a round shape in a coin-eating machine.

As for the the UK mint having intellectual property rights on the shape: I doubt it very much. There are much older tokens and medals using the same shape. Of course, you can add the exact curvature of the sides and corners, but then it becomes easy to play with that to make a slightly different combination, if anyone should want it. I think it is more like one solution to a common problem of distinguishing coins with different denominations and there are many more other ways to do that. It would be downright silly to try to acquire intellectual property rights on something that can so easily be avoided. It will cost you to create and maintain that right and no one in his right mind will ever want to buy the right to use it, unless deluded by debatable sales techniques (not the specialty of government operations).

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

Offline chrisild

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Re: Quiz Question No.5 (with a reference to the rules)
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2009, 01:54:59 AM »
Agreed, especially with your introductory comment "It all depends on your point of view". Guess this is similar to the old question of whether one sees two faces (profiles) or one vase. When I look at a 20 cent coin, I see primarily the "sort of round" shape; when looking at a 50 pence coin, I notice the "corners" first. Can't help it. :)

As for why the shape of the 20 cent coin is called "Spanish Flower", well, it was first used on Spanish 50 pesetas coin (1990-2000), and the type resembles a flower (the indentations or notches are a little deeper, I think), hence Spanish Flower. See here http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flor_espaņola, and click on "Deutsch" and "English" too. Or have a look at this http://www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/coins/common/html/index.en.html ECB page. Even New Zealand's central bank  http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/currency/money/0101459.html uses the term ...

Christian

Online Figleaf

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Re: Quiz Question No.5 (with a reference to the rules)
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2009, 10:49:14 AM »
Great links. Thanks, Christian!

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