Netherlands 1980 coin set

Started by <k>, December 31, 2022, 03:25:13 PM

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<k>

Netherlands 1 gulden 1980.jpg

Netherlands, 1 gulden, 1980.


The common obverse of the set features a portrait of Queen Juliana.

That is traditional for a monarchy.


Queen Juliana was born in 1909 and this portrait was first issued in 1950.

She looks somewhat matronly for a 40-year-old.


Otherwise, it is a quality portrait.

Was it a good likeness? I do not know.

Whatever, it is definitely preferable to the modern Dutch portraits.

They make the kings and queens look like two-dimensional puppets.
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<k>

#1
Netherlands guilder set 1980.jpg

Netherlands coin set of 1980.


Here are the reverses of the set.

We see that there are only two tiers of coins:

1] Round and bronze.

2] Round and nickel.


Six coins but only two tiers.

By this stage, many countries included polygonal coins to aid recognition.

This set does not. Did it matter?


With six coins you might also expect three tiers rather than two.

Maybe an extra metal type and therefore colour. Did it matter?
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<k>

Let's look at the set's design.

The 5 and 10 cents share a design.

So do the 25 cents and gulden (guilder).

Those four coins all include a crown, so there is consistency there.


The 1 cent and 5 cents are not consistent, design-wise.

The 5 cents features orange leaves.

The 1 cent includes no pictorial elements.

Four crowns but only one naturalistic design element.


The year on the 1 cent coin is positioned near the bottom.

On the other coins, it appears on the upper half of the field.

The figure '1' is shaped like a "J" and fills most of the height of the coin.

This makes it stand out, design-wise, from all the other coins.


The designs, then, are reasonably consistent but stylistically uninspiring.

A separate design per reverse would have been more interesting.
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<k>

Denominations, now.

We have 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents.

Also 1 gulden  and 2½ gulden.


Many countries that use a subunit of 25 (rather than 20) do not use a 50 subunit.

Apparently, they prefer to use two 25 subunit coins rather than a 50.

The Netherlands followed that pattern with this set.


A 2½ guilder unit strikes me as a rather messy denomination.

The Netherlands, after all, adopted decimalisation early.

Why add a fractional figure to a high value denomination?

However, since the Netherlands had a 25 cents coin, it was logical to that extent.
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<k>

Now let's look at the coin diameters.

1 cent: 17.1 mm.

5 cents: 21 mm.

10 cents: 15 mm.

25 cents: 19 mm.

1 gulden: 25 mm.

2½ gulden: 29 mm.


There is a 6 mm gap between the 25 cents and 1 gulden coins.

That is excessive and unnecessary.

It's as if a gap was left for a planned 50 cents coin.


In general, there is a minimum 4 mm gap between coins in the same tier.

That would be considered rather large these days.

The UK has a 3 mm gap in general.

The euro coins have a 2.5 mm gap, I believe.

At these small scales, those figures are sufficient.

But those were different times.
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<k>

#5
In sum, 6 coins were a reasonable size for a coin set.

This was done by using a 25 cents coin rather than a 20 cents coin.

It is usual to omit a 2 cents coin in such a set.

And when a 25 cents coin is present, a 50 cents coin is often not considered necessary.


The set was easy to use and the coins were easily distinguishable.

It lacked some modern features, such as a polygonal shape.

And there were only two tiers and therefore two metal colours to the set.

Also the design was somewhat staid.

The oranges and orange leaves did not fit with the other designs.

However, they were traditional on Dutch coins.


Altogether, then, a functional and succinct set, if not particularly exciting.

Perhaps this reflects the Dutch characteristic of modesty.  :)
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chrisild

As for the Dutch pre-euro denominations, keep in mind that until WW2 they also had a 2½ cent coin. So it was quite normal for them, I think, to also have 25 ct and 2½ gulden coins (plus 25 and 250 gulden notes). As for the 1 cent piece, the year that you mentioned, 1980, was also Juliana's last year as queen - and Beatrix's coins do not have that denomination any more. (The 5 ct was the lowest one then; in 1988, a 5 gulden coin was added to the range.)

As for the orange, that will be a reference to the royal house of Oranje. The crown above the CoA makes some sense; the royal portraits do not feature crowns. (The Beatrix and Willem Alexander coins do not have that CoA anyway.)

One funny thing about Dutch pre-euro coins is that most of them had nicknames which were very commonly used: stuiver (5 ct), dubbeltje (10 ct), kwartje (25 ct), rijksdaalder (2½ gulden). Now the "size gap" that you mentioned (between kwartje and gulden) might have something to do with the silver content of previous 25 ct and 1 G coins; not sure. But the "size development" of the 2½ gulden is quite impressive: 38 mm until the end of WW2, then 33 mm (still silver) until 1966. In 1969 that changed to Cu-Ni and 29 mm. :)

<k>

#7
I had forgotten about the 2½ cents coin. I wonder if it was popular.

The UK predecimal 6 pence coin was retained as a 2½ pence coin in the 1970s.

It quickly became unpopular and was rarely seen.
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Figleaf

#8
The 1980 series can only be understood correctly as a historical inheritance. Your judgement by today's standard gives no insight. After the Napoléonic and Hitlerian occupations, there was a need to adjust the coins as well as to stick as much as possible to the old series, if only for the sake of acceptance.

There are four, not two sub-sets: bronze (½ 1 2½ cent), low silver content (5 10 25 cent) and high silver (½ 1 2½ gulden). After 1945, the series was adjusted by deletion of denominations and adaption of the two highest values to the oil crisis and dollar crisis. The fourth series are the gold coins of 5 and 10 gulden, that were quickly replaced by banknotes. Cutting many corners here for the sake of simplicity.

Until decimalisation, the basic unit for silver was the stuiver. Other denominations were expressed in stuivers. At decimalisation, the cent became the single minor unit. This is how the decimal series worked in 1980:

½ centn.a.1/200 guldendisused
1 centn.a.1/100 guldenretained
2½ cent½ stuiver1/40 guldenabolished
5 cent1 stuiver1/20 guldenretained
10 centdouble stuiver*1/10 guldenretained
25 cent5 stuivers¼ guldenretained
50 cent10 stuiver½ guldenabolished
1 gulden20 stuiver100 centretained
2½ gulden50 stuiver250 centretained
5 guldenn.a.500 centreplaced by paper
10 guldenn.a.1 000 centreplaced by paper
* Hence its nickname "dubbeltje"

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

<k>

Quote from: Figleaf on December 31, 2022, 05:29:02 PMYour judgement by today's standard gives no insight.

Yes, another rubbish topic from <k>.  :'(

But in terms of what you could compare the set with, and the standards that certain other trends were working towards, maybe it does give some insight.  8)
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eurocoin

Quote from: <k> on December 31, 2022, 03:25:13 PMWhatever, it is definitely preferable to the modern Dutch portraits. They make the kings and queens look like two-dimensional puppets.

The modern portraits are indeed very bad. Hopefully there will still ever be 1 proper portrait on the obverse of the Dutch coins before coins are being abolished, but I have little hope. The portraits on the coins of countries like Belgium, Spain and Monaco are far superior. Just normal classical portraits.

chrisild

Quote from: <k> on December 31, 2022, 06:10:12 PMYes, another rubbish topic from <k>.  :'(

Phhhhh. ;) Your perspectives are simply different - you look at the issued set and draw conclusions, Peter says why this and that "oddity" makes sense historically. It's roughly the same thing with US coinage: Whenever I mock at the relatively big 5c coin and the almost tiny 10c piece, there will be somebody who explains that the dime used to be a silver coin. Yeah, "used to". (And then we have the giant but almost unused half dollar, and the handy but largely ignored $1 coin. 8) )

Figleaf

Quote from: <k> on December 31, 2022, 06:10:12 PMYes, another rubbish topic from <k>.

That's rubbish. :)  Any thread that evokes serious discussion cannot at the same time be rubbish and you in particular cannot claim you get only criticesm and no praise.

However, holding yesterday's stuff up to today's insight is like arguing that Jefferson doesn't count because he held slaves. Some people will do so, but I claim the liberty to argue that it gives no insight.

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

chrisild

Quote from: <k> on December 31, 2022, 03:25:13 PMWas it a good likeness? I do not know.

It sure is "recognizable". Keep in mind that in all that time (Juliana was Queen of the Netherlands for more than 30 years) her portrait on circulation coins never changed. This Dutch Wikipedia article also has some photos of Juliana. Now when you look at the commem issued for the 25th anniversary of her reign, well, that looks more like her, at least at that age.

Maybe those somewhat abstract portraits of Queen Beatrix and King Willem Alexander have a similar "background": Instead of adapting the portrait every couple of years, you pick a sort of silhouette that can work for many years.

Figleaf

The official explanation is that the portrait is based on the appearance of the royal at their coronation. That is not true of the 1980 series for two reasons. First, Wilhelmina's abdication came as a surprise and it took years to develop a new portrait. Second, prof. Wenkebach, who did the portrait, was not averse to abstraction, though he used it only in small doses.

So yes, in that sense, the portrait was highly recognisable, though not a good likeness, especially as Juliana got older. It makes sense. Even if you update the portrait repeatedly, you always run behind the fact. Also, you run against public sentiment against change for little gain. An abstracted portrait has staying value and remains relevant.

[rant]Also, ever since photography came about, realistic portraits have little if any artistic value and no point. Even worse, they are an excuse for not having talent since coin designing by scanning a photo has become acceptable (see the ultra-ugly designs of the commemorative coins of Luxembourg)[/rant]

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