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Euro issues

Started by andyg, March 20, 2010, 09:46:51 AM

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andyg

Quote from: chrisild on March 20, 2010, 12:08:09 AM
About as inspiring or uninspiring as pieces of a CoA jigsaw puzzle on the reverse, and the very same royal effigy on each and every obverse ... ;)


quite true of course, but the saving grace is that these are only on UK coins.
I've never understood why there must be a common side, even us conservative brits have managed quite well without one since 2008....
I suspect if we to have the euro however, one side would be the common side, the other side would be the queens portrait... even more boring!

chrisild

#1
Quote from: AJG on March 20, 2010, 09:46:51 AM
I've never understood why there must be a common side, even us conservative brits have managed quite well without one since 2008....

The euro and cent circulation coins, and the €2 commems, are issued by the individual member states but legal tender in the entire euro area. That is appropriately reflected by the designs, I think - one common side, one country specific side. The practical side effect is that if you get a coin, say at a store, you only need to check one side; if that has the usual design, you can pretty much ignore the other side. Unless you are a collector of course. 8)

The collector coins (usually silver or gold, legal tender solely in the issuing member state) do of course not have "common" sides. Then again, they do not really show up in circulation, so who cares ...

Quote
I suspect if we to have the euro however, one side would be the common side, the other side would be the queens portrait... even more boring!

Quite possibly. In theory that could be solved by having a "main theme" and a smaller portrait of the queen, like on Royal Mail stamps. Practically however, well, that could have been an option for the Irish coins too, and they did not do it either. Besides, you won't have the euro, so don't waste any time thinking about possible designs ...

What I do not like about the €2 commems is that only the pill may be used for the actual design. The ring is reserved for the Stars of Europe. And while I basically like seeing "our" stars on "our" coinage, do we really have to have them on both sides? In this particular case of the Portuguese Republic commem the pill is not too busy anyway, but quite a few other designs - and not just commemorative €2 coins - suffer from that limitation.

Christian

chrisild

Quote from: Figleaf on March 20, 2010, 12:37:42 AM
Which one do you mean?

Apart from the circulation coins (which I find quite attractive) the Council Presidency commem (2007) is nicely designed. The Human Rights piece (2008) is a little abstract but interesting. And the Lusophony Games commem (2009) is fine if one ignores the fact that it basically reproduces the official logo only. :)

Would be difficult to discuss all Portuguese euro coins here, let alone escudos. And as I wrote, I do not find that new issue terribly attractive either. But maybe the government decided that after those somewhat "modernistic" designs it was time for something "traditional" again ...

Christian

andyg

Just to make Euro's that bit extra boring, there are also limitations on the number of times a state can change it's national side , the number of commemoratives that can be issued, and that circulating commemoratives can only be on 2 Euro coins.

The stars is only a minor problem.

Figleaf

Quote from: AJG on March 20, 2010, 11:40:13 AM
Just to make Euro's that bit extra boring, there are also limitations on the number of times a state can change it's national side , the number of commemoratives that can be issued, and that circulating commemoratives can only be on 2 Euro coins.

The stars is only a minor problem.

I think there are more than enough new issues as it is, actually and I wouldn't mind further restrictions.

[rant] The introduction of the euro has clearly caused overcapacity among European mints, especially in Germany, therefore also in neighbouring countries, like Austria and Belgium. In a time of privatization, mints are kept alive artificially with government orders for superfluous commemoratives and a shameful diarrhea of NCLT. Catalogues of euro coins already have hundreds of pages, just ten years after the introduction of the currency.

One of the characteristics of a strong currency is minimal change. In the second half of the previous century, the strongest currencies were USD, JPY and CHF, all coming with some metal changes, maybe a very minor design change and a trickle of commemoratives. That is what a serious currency looks like. Compare that to the most non-serious "currencies" of the period, China, Cuba, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, North Korea, Marshall Islands etc. etc. etc. and you see the same proliferation of "commemoratives" for non-events, serial sugary issues of foreign commercial interest only (Chinese horoscope, anyone?) and "themes". Look at the way the USD is going and how that coincides with a plethora of designs, even for the despised cent! So which way does the euro want to go? Shall it be a worthy competitor of the USD, or just another Marshall Island type funny money? [/rant]

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

chrisild

Quote from: Figleaf on March 20, 2010, 12:19:48 PM
So which way does the euro want to go? Shall it be a worthy competitor of the USD, or just another Marshall Island type funny money? [/rant]

Competitor of the USD? I don't think so. Or is there a "which currency will fall apart sooner" competition that I have not heard of so far? ;) Now the US economy may still be in bad shape, but I have not heard of any suggestions such as, it would be best for California to leave the dollar area.

As for the limitations Andrew mentioned, well, there are 19 countries that issue euro coins. That makes things a little more complicated than in a country where one body decides what coins and how many should be issued this or next year.

Christian

andyg

Quote from: chrisild on March 20, 2010, 01:22:29 PM
As for the limitations Andrew mentioned, well, there are 19 countries that issue euro coins. That makes things a little more complicated than in a country where one body decides what coins and how many should be issued this or next year.

Also true, but why so many restrictions? 
If we must have a common side why can't the individual nations decide what they want to put on the other side?

To use the US$ as an example (it seems to be fashionable in this thread to do so) they have some 60 different quarter designs all in circulation......

chrisild

#7
Quote from: AJG on March 20, 2010, 05:22:46 PM
If we must have a common side why can't the individual nations decide what they want to put on the other side?

Huh? Each euro area member state can put on the country-specific side what the government wants to see there.

Sure, there are some elements that have to be on the obverse:
* the twelve stars (which originally could be placed in various ways; on newly issued coins they need to be where they are on the flag);
* a country name or country identifier - that requirement is relatively new too; existing designs may (but do not have to) be modified accordingly;
* and the year (production year, fiscal year, or year of order, etc.).

Also, once a member state has decided what it wants to put on the national side, it is supposed to not change that later. Of course that does not apply to monarchies (including VA), so the national sides can be changed if there is a new king, duke, etc. And since heads of state tend to get older too, the portrait can (every 15 years or so) be updated accordingly. Why all that? Because we already have dozens of different designs:

If we take all denominations into account, there are 13 common reverse designs alone. Obverses? 19 x 8 = 152. On top of that we have numerous modifications of the obverses - Belgium and Vatican have had three obverse designs so far, Finland and Spain two. Granted, most of these differences are minor. And on the very top there are about 50 "individual" commemorative €2 coins plus 30 or so "common" €2 commems (Treaty of Rome, 10 Years Euro). All these pieces circulate in the entire euro area. Well, some of them circulate to a very limited extent only ;) but that is a different story.

And that's circulation and commemorative coins only. What member states issue in terms of collector coins is entirely up to them. Those collector coins are legal tender in the issuing country only, and can hardly be found in circulation. The only restriction that applies to these is that they have to be different from "real" euro coins as far as the denominations and specifications are concerned. Some of the euro countries, such as Ireland and the Netherlands, never make any €2 commems (except for the common issues) but issue collector coins only. Those pieces often have face values of €5 or more, are usually made from silver or gold, and may be issued at face or not. Up to the country's government ...

Christian

andyg

Quote from: chrisild on March 20, 2010, 06:29:07 PM
Huh? Each euro area member state can put on the country-specific side what the government wants to see there.

Sure, there are some elements that have to be on the obverse:
* the twelve stars (which originally could be placed in various ways; on newly issued coins they need to be where they are on the flag);
* a country name or country identifier - that requirement is relatively new too; existing designs may (but do not have to) be modified accordingly;
* and the year (production year, fiscal year, or year of order, etc.).

Yes they can have whatever they want, providing they don't ;)
Whilst there are 152 reverses, how many are actually different? (look at Ireland to see what I mean)

chrisild

Quote from: AJG on March 20, 2010, 06:44:25 PM
Whilst there are 152 reverses, how many are actually different? (look at Ireland to see what I mean)

Unfortunately I do not have any influence on the decisions of the Irish government. Yes, what Ireland put there is pretty dull, in terms of variety, in my opinion. Can the Irish be forced to have eight different designs for the eight denominations? Of course not; it is up to them. (Same thing with Belgium for example.) Some euro countries use three different designs; not great but somewhat better than one. Austria, Greece, Italy, San Marino and Slovenia decided to have eight designs, and of course I welcome that. :)

Christian

andyg

Now they have the harp reverse - are they stuck with it? (even if they wanted to change it?)

a3v1

Quote from: AJG on March 20, 2010, 07:42:51 PM
Now they have the harp reverse - are they stuck with it? (even if they wanted to change it?)
Quote from: ChrisildAlso, once a member state has decided what it wants to put on the national side, it is supposed to not change that later.
Need I say more?
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
-------------
Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

chrisild

Quote from: a3v1 on March 20, 2010, 10:43:14 PM
Need I say more?

Errm, yes. ;) Note that these rules are actually Council conclusions regarding Commission recommendations. If you look at this document http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/105990.pdf for example, you see the word "should" fairly often. This is one of those areas where the EU (be it the Parliament, the Commission or the Council) does not have the competence to make a binding regulation. Nevertheless, all member state governments agreed upon these "rules" in the Council meeting. In other words - the harp is there to stay. Unless the Irish government has serious plans to modify the designs, that is.

The original idea behind that recommendation was that people might, at least initially, be confused by the many different designs. Another motivation, I think, was to prevent member states and other euro countries (think San Marino) from changing their coin designs every year ...

Christian

Tom0000

In my opinion, the view of national side of 2E commemorative should be in local government hands only. No stars , year and country if they do not want it. The minimum, the stars should be omitted.
The second thing is common issuing 2E CC . The common theme but not the common view. If the theme will be the automotive , each government should has rights to select the car view , which will be used on the coin.

chrisild

I sure like the idea of having the Stars of Europe on our coins. But since they represent the "community aspect", they should be on the common side. Well, they already are there. Not in a circle (like on the flag)? Well, that could have been amended with the last modification of the maps. Maybe next time that side is modified ... Some country indicator would be nice to have on the coins. Whether that is the full country name, a short version or a code, I don't care. And yes, the year is not actually necessary, but as a collector, I want it to stay. :)

Now as for the designs of the common issues, I am somewhat "torn". On one hand your suggestion would of course result a greater variety of minted designs. On the other hand it would be difficult to view the single pieces as part of one common issue, especially if it were also up to every single member state what the accompanying legend should be. We might end up with a loosely connected series such as the euro/star issues - and I would not want that either.

Besides, I like the idea of the public design vote which we had for the Ten Years Euro/EMU coin. Everybody in the euro area can vote, and the result will be on a coin. Granted, the way that was done was far from being perfect. But that means there is room for improvement ...

Christian