News:

Register to attend our live meetings.

Main Menu

Polygonal coins have many sides and many facets

Started by <k>, May 21, 2011, 06:48:24 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

<k>

#15
Here is a nice octagonal coin from Malta.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#16
The only three nonagons I can think of.



Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#17
A decagon from British Hong Kong: 5 dollars, 1978.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#18
An eleven-sided coin from Madagascar. What's the technical word for eleven-sided?



Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#19
The twelve-sided "threepenny bit" (threepence coin) was my favourite coin when I was a child in 1960s Britain.



Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#20
Czech Republic: 13 sides. Malaysia: 14 sides. United Arab Emirates: 15 sides.

Can anybody continue? 16-sided coins, 17-sided coins?






Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Figleaf

Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 06:49:43 PM
My first question is, when was the first polygonal coin produced? I don't know, but I'm sure some of the members will have some clues. I imagine that we will be excluding hammered coins: they do not usually come in perfect classical geometric shapes. Or was there sometimes an intention to produce a polygonal hammered coin?

I think your question may be re-formulated as "when was the first time a coin was produced that was intended to be non-round?" My candidate would be siege coins. Siege coins are typically made in cities and towns that do not have an operating mint. They are usually made of silver objects by local silversmiths. The silversmiths would not have the equipment to make round coins, but they would be able to cut silver plate in polygons. Added advantages of not making the coins round are that they can be produced fast and that they are easily identifiable and canot be confused with official coins.

The engraving shows how the emergency issues of the city of Haarlem were supposed to look like. The picture gives you an idea of what they were like in reality. These coins are quite scarce. Wikipedia has a picture of a later coin, made in Leiden.

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

<k>

#22
Necessity is the mother of invention! I'd forgotten about that.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Figleaf

Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 06:52:18 PM
1] They were a challenge to man's ingenuity and creativity.

I don't think so, though it may be true for medals.

Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 06:52:18 PM
2] Human beings love novelty.

True for pseudo coins. My favourite examples: Bermudan triangular coins. Many just have a non-round shape for the sake of being a novelty item, though.

Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 06:52:18 PM
3] Different shapes, in addition to size and colour, help to distinguish the coins of a series.

Yes. Sometimes, a coin series would just be too long and the number of colours available too few and that would call for holed coins and different shapes.

Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 06:52:18 PM
Are there any other reasons?

How about distinguishing one series from another? Emergency coins and tokens are often polygonal to make sure that users understand that they are not official coins.

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

villa66

Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 07:07:44 PM
This Egyptian 2½ milliemes coin is one of my favourite hexagonal coins.

A really enjoyable thread, and if possible, I'd like to hear more about your personal experience with the British 3d you referenced.

Just a note on this particular Egyptian coin, though. The illustrated piece is the hexagonal 2-piastre of 1944. The 2 1/2-millieme piece of 1933 was an octagonal coin.

;) v.

<k>

Quote from: villa66 on May 21, 2011, 09:03:00 PM
I'd like to hear more about your personal experience with the British 3d you referenced.

My PERSONAL experience? Curious question.  :D  Well, when I was six, I was lying on the floor of the living room, sucking a threepenny bit. It was the chunky brass version, of course. The silver threepence had been demonetised long before I was born - in the 1930s, I believe. Why was I sucking it? Well, children do strange things. And then it slipped! Down it went - panic, panic! I tried to stop it, but to no avail. Ouch, ouch, ouch -  a thick chunky coin - that hurt! And it scared me too. Later, I asked my dad what would happen if you swallowed a threepenny bit. "Why, have YOU swallowed one?" he asked. "No", I lied, "I just wondered". He obviously believed me, and nothing more was said. And it evidently didn't cause me any problems.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

villa66

#26
Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 07:18:47 PM
Czech Republic: 13 sides. Malaysia: 14 sides. United Arab Emirates: 15 sides.

Can anybody continue? 16-sided coins, 17-sided coins?

Below is a round 1937 Brazil 2000-reis I photographed for something else. There is a 24-sided version of this coin.

:) v.

Figleaf

I just remembered that there are square coins of Arab rulers. I wonder why they made them square...

Here is an example: Anonymous silver Almohad dirham (1.52g), Mursiya (Murcía, Southern Spain), no date (around 1160 AD)

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

villa66

Quote from: coffeetime on May 21, 2011, 09:14:44 PM
My PERSONAL experience? Curious question.  :D 

I only asked because you had said it was your "favourite coin [as a] child."

That, however, was more of a story than I had bargained for! I hate to ask, but I have to: did you finally get to spend that particular 3d?

But more generally, if it isn't too much trouble--what made the 12-sided 3d your favorite coin as a child?

:) v.

<k>

I never did get to spend that coin! I LOOKED for it (yuck!) - over the next few days. But I'm sure that's enough information...

The threepence stood out for me because of its golden colour, and its shape. I've always liked polygonal coins - the 20p and 50p are my favourite current UK coins. But the combination of the golden colour, the shape, and the relatively uncluttered design made it really stand out. In those days I could buy a Milky Way for threepence (a small candy bar). You'd pay 50p or more for one nowadays. And I could buy a packet of chips (French fries) for twopence in the early 1960s (on my way home from the children's Saturday matinees at the cinema) and still have a penny change from my threepence.

In the late 1980s, a colleague heard I collected coins and asked me if I could find him one. Which one? A threepenny bit, he said. He hadn't seen one in years, he told me, and would love to hold one. I found one for him. He was thrilled. He held it between finger and thumb and turned it this way and that. "I LOVE that colour!" he said. So obviously it was a favourite with him too.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.