Author Topic: Unusual Denomination Systems  (Read 13566 times)

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Offline <k>

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Unusual Denomination Systems
« on: August 01, 2010, 12:16:30 AM »
Throughout the world, you will find two systems of denominations generally in use:

1] The denominations progress as follows: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50.  The USA is a good example of this system.

2] The denominations progress as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50. The UK follows this system.


So, if you have a 2 unit, you will have a 20 unit but not a 25. If you have no 2 unit, you will find a 25 unit instead of a 20.

The currency union of the Central African States uses a hybrid of these two systems, however:

1] 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50.  See the image below of their 2006-dated coins.


Do you know of any other coinages with unusual systems of denominations? I can think of the Bahamas, with their 15c coin, and the Soviet Union, which used denominations including 1, 2, 3 and 15 kopecks. I think some countries in the Soviet or Russian sphere of influence also used, or use, a similar system.


« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 12:40:55 AM by E.M.U. »
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Offline andyg

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2010, 12:42:20 AM »
My favourite decimal system has to be that of Imperial Russia, a coin for every occasion,
¼, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5 (two types, silver and bronze), 10, 20, 25, 50 Kopeks
1, 3, 5, 7½, 10, 15 and 25 Roubles
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Ukrainii Pyat

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 12:43:45 AM »
When USSR broke apart in 1991 the successor states came out with their own coinages, or proposals for coinages.  Ukraine cartridge factory in Luhans'k minted several patterns of coins, one of which was a 15 kopeikii coin.  But when the coinage system was selected they went with 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 Kopek, and 1 Hryvnia coin.  Now the 1, 2, and 5 kopeiks are pretty worthless and only used in large grocery stores for change.  Lots of people throw them away, to the street, in parks etc.  My youngest daughter and I have competitions to find out how many of these coins we can find in walks, because you always find some.

Last year I did find one of the 1992 pattern 25 kopeiks in change - the ones close to selected design somehow leaked into circulation and still can be found if a coin collector is aware of them.

During the USSR time the 3 kopek coin was used in trade, but not quite as popular as the 2 kopek coin which was price of a phone call in the post office or at payphone.  Nothing could be bought just for kopek.  The price of trolley ticket then was 5 kopeks, and usually you saved pyatachakii for using trolley.

There was 3 ruble banknote, and it was largest state treasury bill and used a lot in trade.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2010, 12:48:39 AM »
My favourite decimal system has to be that of Imperial Russia, a coin for every occasion,
¼, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5 (two types, silver and bronze), 10, 20, 25, 50 Kopeks
1, 3, 5, 7½, 10, 15 and 25 Roubles

That's quite a weird system. When we used pound shillings and pence in the UK (pre-1971), the half crown, or two shillings and sixpence, always struck me as a strange denomination, but it was in common enough use.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2010, 01:48:54 AM »
I thought at first that you were talking about decimal coin systems only. The optimum series is 1-2-5 (repeated with more zeroes), as e.g. the euro: 1-2-5 cent, 10-20-50 cent, 1-2-5 euro, 10-20-50 euro, 100-200-500 euro.  A 1-2-3-5 series, as in Russia/USSR, is pretty efficient from the user's POV, but not from the POV of the producer. Countries with high inflation often use the 1-5 series (Israel, until recently), to limit the number of coins that have to be produced.

The Netherlands long had a 1-2.5-5 series. It was workable enough, but less efficient than the 1-2-5 series. One problem is that the lowest denomination has an influence on the higher ones: if you withdraw the half cent, you must also withdraw the 2.5 cent. Many of the 25 denominations (including the US 25 cents) come from the Spanish doubling series, as in 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8 reales. If you take the 8 reales as a decimal dollar, the 2 reales (2 bits) becomes 25 cents. This is why some South American countries issued coins with the denomination 12-1/2.

In non-decimal series, anything is possible, from denominations 2/3 to 7. If you take gold/silver tariffs as values, denominations are even weirder, as in 1 guinea = 21 shillings or 1 gold rider = 14 gulden.

Peter
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Offline Luis

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 10:02:09 PM »
Portugal is a similar example to the Dutch. However, as I was growing up, the 50 centavos coins were gone but the 2.5$ coin remained in circulation for several years.

So we had 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25, later replaced by 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200. We then finally dropped the 2.5$, but we never had a 2$ coin.

Offline Abhay

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 09:44:47 AM »
In 1970s and 1980s, India had 1,2,3,5,10,20,25,50,100 (1 Rupee) coin system. These were all circulating coins. In Proofs, we had 10 Rupee, 20 Rupee and 50 Rupee coins as well. In most of the proof sets, 20 Paisa coin was not included. Later, in 80s, a new aluminium 20 paisa coin came in circulation.

Presently, although legal tender as per Reserve Bank Of India, you don't find smaller paisa coins in circulation. Only rupee coins are in circulation. (1,2,5 and 10 Rupees).

Abhay
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Offline <k>

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 01:44:55 PM »
In 1970s and 1980s, India had 1,2,3,5,10,20,25,50,100 (1 Rupee) coin system.

A "3" unit is unusual in any decimal system. We Brits did have a 3d in our pre-decimal system, of course, because that was a quarter of a shilling.

As I wrote above, a 2 usually goes with a 20 - not a 25. So that is another unusual part of your system.

The third curiosity of your system is that you have both a 20 and a 25 unit coin together.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 01:50:28 PM »
Portugal is a similar example to the Dutch. However, as I was growing up, the 50 centavos coins were gone but the 2.5$ coin remained in circulation for several years.

So we had 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25, later replaced by 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200. We then finally dropped the 2.5$, but we never had a 2$ coin.

1] 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25.  This looks logical. You can multiply each denomination by 5 or 10 to find another denomination.

2] 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200.  This is less logical. It would make more sense to have a 25 unit, rather than a 20, and a 250 rather than a 200.

3] 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200.   Again, this does not fit modern decimal patterns. If you have a 20, you should really have a 2. If you have no 2, you should have a 25 instead of a 20.

However, as a collector, I prefer the system that has more coins, however illogical, as more coins mean more designs and more to collect. So, from that point of view, I prefer the 1,2,5,10,20,50 system to the 1,5,10,25,50 system.
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Offline ciscoins

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2010, 01:31:01 PM »
My favourite decimal system has to be that of Imperial Russia, a coin for every occasion,
¼, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5 (two types, silver and bronze), 10, 20, 25, 50 Kopeks
1, 3, 5, 7½, 10, 15 and 25 Roubles

Decimal system was invented in Russian Empire in 1704 and then spread all around the World. And it included all the denominations that could be imagined:
1/8, ¼, ½, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75 kopeks
1, 1½, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7½, 10, 12, 15, 25, 37½ roubles

And the other countries which adopted the decimal system were trying to simplify it, so they excluded some denominations like 4 and 15 kopeks.
Ivan
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Offline andyg

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2010, 01:33:56 PM »
1/8, ¼, ½, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75 kopeks
1, 1½, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7½, 10, 12, 15, 25, 37½ roubles

Did these circulate all at the same time?
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline ciscoins

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2010, 01:40:44 PM »
Did these circulate all at the same time?

No, in different years from 1704 to 1917. And at different territories. For example, 75 kopeks (3/4 roubles) coins were minted only for Poland.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2010, 02:16:43 PM »
I checked up on those 4 kopeks and bumped into a 1/3 tymf 1707 (KM 126). Further on, I found a tynf 1707-1708 (KM 127), where it is explained that a tynf is 12 kopeks, so you can add that to your list. Which is the right spelling, tymf or tynf?

Peter
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Offline ciscoins

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2010, 03:12:53 PM »
Which is the right spelling, tymf or tynf?

In V.V. Uzdennikov catalog (one of the best catalogs of Russian Empire coins) the Russian variant is "tinf", but the translation into English is "tymph". So I don't know the correct variant. These coins were for Poland, so it's better to ask someone from that country.

Also I've found some other denominations there. And the complete list will look like this:
1/8, ¼, ½, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 75, 96 kopeks
1, 1½, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7½, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 37½ roubles

I've counted only the coins that were nominated in Roubles and Kopeks. And there were lots of other denominations in Russian Empire. And each of these coins had its own alloy and weight, so sometimes it's hard to compare them.

efimok, rus, chervonets, grosz - for all the empire;
zloty, tymph, szostak - for Poland;
penny, markka - for Finland;
abaz, bisti, puli - for Georgia;
thaler, groschen, solidus - for Prussia (occupational coinage);
para - for Moldova and Wallachia.
Ivan
Moscow, Russia

Offline <k>

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Re: Unusual Denomination Systems
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 12:34:28 AM »
It's worth including here what members have posted about unusual denominations in other topics.

The "15" unit as a denomination in a decimal series.

1] Paraguay has a circulation 15 centimos coin, dated 1953 only.

2] Our member Fosseway mentions that the Soviets and their satellites were fond of the "15" denomination, and he notes that Cuba issued a 15 pesos in gold for three years (1988-90, KM212). He adds that the Russian 15 kopeek coin ended with the Soviet Union.

3] The Romanian 15 bani lasted from 1960 until 1975.

4] The Bahamas are hardly communist, of course, but their central bank includes a 15c coin among its circulation coins:

http://www.centralbankbahamas.com/bank_coins.php

5] Of non-circulating coins, our member chrisild mentions that both Australia and Canada issue $15 coins.


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