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Animal designs in sets and mixed thematic sets

Started by <k>, June 01, 2022, 04:24:41 PM

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<k>



Irish Free State, 1928.

Animal designs look good on coins, and "all animal" coin sets generally look good too.

Sometimes an almost "all animal" set has heraldic designs on the top one or two denominations, but that is standard practice.
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<k>



Mauritius, 1971.

A single animal design among non-thematic designs does not work well and should be avoided.

In any case, heraldic designs belong on the highest denominations. The quarter rupee design should have been placed on the half rupee and the deer should have been moved to the 10 cents coins. Then some more thematic designs should have been placed on the lower denominations.
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<k>

#2
Singapore 1967 set.jpg

The Singapore set of 1967 includes one building among all the animals. Buildings do not go well with animal designs, unless they are relatively small and scenic.

Also, a large heraldic animal design has been included on the dollar coin among the natural animals. This does not work well. Either a coat of arms or heraldic shield, or else another real animal of some species, would have looked better.
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<k>

South Sudan set.jpg

South Sudan.

Here again we have one building structure - an ugly oil well - among the animals. It does not fit very well.
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<k>



Argentina, 1989.

Here we have a set with an equal number of animal and building designs, so there is a balance of a sort.

Each design is attractive in its own right, but the busy building designs do not go well with the animal designs, which leave more blank space on the coin. Building designs and wildlife designs together should generally be avoided in a mixed thematic set. Do you agree?
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<k>



Guernsey, 1968 / 1971.

Here we have a mixed thematic set. There are two animals and one building, but they go well together, because the building design is scenic and the design is not over-busy.
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<k>







Trinidad. Two birds, two flowers - and one design of steel drums. The drums are a nice design but don't fit.

All wildlife and only one other theme on a single coin does not work at the level of the whole set.
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<k>



Mauritania.

Again, a balanced number of coins per theme: three animals, three manufactured cultural objects.

Both sets of themes look good, but together? I'm undecided.  :-\
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<k>

#8


Australia, predecimal set.

This Australian set is not perfect. Why must a kangaroo appear on both penny and halfpenny? Despite this, the kangaroo designs are very attractive. Wheat ears are featured on the penny: one plant theme against all the animals both heraldic and natural - not a good balance. Also, the wheat ears design is highly stylised in comparison to the animal designs.

A coat of arms appears on the sixpence, while the more modern version appears on the florin (2 shillings). Why TWO coats of arms? In a thematic set, the heraldic designs traditionally appear on the highest denominations, but the heraldic 6 pence design is squeezed between the 3 pence and the beautiful ram design.

Perhaps the 3 pence was too small to accommodate an animal design. Koala and emu designs were considered for the three pence and six pence coins but not used.

See: Australia: Rejected pre-decimal designs of 1937/8.
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<k>



The mixed thematic predecimal set of New Zealand works well.
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<k>

#10


South Africa, 1965.




South Africa, 1990s.


Animals and plants (flora and fauna) always go well together.
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<k>



New Caledonia, 1967.


Animals and boats and simple structures in beautiful natural scenery also go well together.
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<k>



Ireland, decimal pre-euro coinage.

Heraldic and/or non-natural animals do not go well with natural animals.
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<k>



United Arab Emirates.

Animals, an oil well, a coffee jug. Not ideal, but not a disaster either.
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<k>



Sudan, 1 piastre, 2006.   N# 18101.

The other coins in the set.



Two animals and two unrelated thematic designs. A set that doesn't work particularly well.

Here is another reason that the set is flawed. If a coin series for a republic includes the coat of arms (or national emblem), usually it falls into one of these three categories:

1] The coat of arms appears on all the obverses.

2] The coat of arms appears on two or three of the highest denominations.

3] The coat of arms appears on the highest denomination only.

On the current Sudan series, first issued in 2006, the national emblem does not appear on the highest denomination or any of the higher denominations. Nor does it even appear on the lowest denomination. It is squeezed between the 1 piastre and 10 piastres. The 5 piastres coin on which it appears is only 18.3 mm in diameter. Was this meant to downgrade the importance of the state? South Sudan seceded officially only a few years later, in 2011.

Not only that, but the 5 piastres coin, with its heraldic design, is squeezed between the different thematic designs that appear on the other coins. A thematic set usually reserves the highest denomination for the coat of arms / national emblem.
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