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Thematic sets from the 1920s to date

Started by <k>, June 19, 2012, 10:13:28 PM

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<k>

Before the First World War, when monarchies and empires were the rule, heraldry, coats of arms and royal emblems were far more likely to be seen on coins than anything else. However, since the 1920s the use of themes (flora, fauna, ships, architecture, etc.) on coins has increased enormously. See my Terms of Reference for more detail about sets that qualify for inclusion here.




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<k>

#1
1925.

Lithuania released a set depicting various plants and leaves. One or two are in the old-fashioned form of a tied wreath, but overall I regard it as a thematic set.

See also: Lithuanian coins of the 1920s.






1 centas.  Flax.
5 centai.   Flax.
10 centu.  Rye.
20 centu.  Rye.
50 centu.  Rye.
1 litas.      Oak leaves.
2 litu.        Rue.
5 litai.       Tulips.

Designer: Juozas Zikaras.
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<k>

#2
1925.

The Union of South Africa introduced its first coinage in 1923. It is not until 1925, when the 3d and 6d adopted a protea design, that its set meets my terms of reference. Before that they depicted a simple old-fashioned wreath with a bow.

See also: Coinage of the Union of South Africa.






¼d.  Sparrows.             
½d.  Sailing vessel.       
1d.   Sailing vessel.         
3d.   Protea cynaroides.     
6d.   Protea cynaroides.       
1s.   Allegory of Hope.       
2s.   Coat of arms.           
2/6.  Crowned coat of arms.   

Designer: George Kruger-Gray.
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<k>

#3
1926.

Greenland (a Danish colony at that time) issued three coins, in denominations of 25 øre, 50 øre, and 1 krone. The reverse of each coin showed the same design of a polar bear on a plinth. The design was by Gunnar Jensen.

See also: Greenland.











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<k>

#4
1927.

Albania rounded out its design series with the issue of a 1 franga ar coin, equal to 5 lek. The themes and designs look similar to those the Italian coins of the day, and they were indeed designed and minted in Italy.

See also: Albania: Coins of the 1920s.






5  qindar leku.  Lion's head.
10 qindar leku. Eagle's head.
¼ leku.            Lion.
½ lek.              Hercules wrestling the Nemean lion.
1 lek.               Alexander the Great / Armed horseman.
1 franga ar.      Mercury / Prow of ancient galley.
2 franga ar.      Peasant sowing seed / Eagle with outstretched wings.
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<k>

#5
1928.

The Irish Free State produced a set that had a thematic design on the reverse of every coin. This ground-breaking set became known as the Barnyard Series. Some of the designs were carried over onto the decimal coinage of the 1970s. They disappeared (apart from the harp) when Ireland joined the euro.

See also: The coinage of the Irish Free State.






¼d.  Woodcock.
½d.  Pig and piglets.
1d.   Hen and chicks.
3d.   Hare.
6d.   Irish wolfhound.
1s.   Bull.
2s.   Salmon.
2/6.  Irish hunter (horse).

Designer: Percy Metcalfe.
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<k>

#6
1932.

Brazil released a design series commemorating the 400th anniversary of its colonisation.

See also: Brazil: circulation commemoratives of the 1930s and 1940s.







100   reis.  Cazique Tibirica.
200   reis.  Admiral da Sousa's caravel sailing to Brazil.
400   reis.  Map of South America.
500   reis.  Joao Ramalho, colonist.
1000 reis.  Martim Afonso do Sousa, colonist.
2000 reis.  King John III of Portugal.
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<k>

#7
1932.

Southern Rhodesia released its first national coinage. It was a mixed thematic set, including depictions of native weapons and the Zimbabwe soapstone bird.

See also: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia.







3d.   Three spear tips.           
6d.   Crossed axes.               
1s.   Zimbabwe soapstone bird.     
2s.   Sable antelope.             
2/6.  Coat of arms.         

Designer: George Kruger-Gray.

The penny and halfpenny, each showing a crowned rose and designed by Derwent Wood, were not released until 1934.
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<k>

#8
1933.

New Zealand issued its first national circulation set. A penny and halfpenny were not released until 1939 (though dated 1940).

See: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand.






3d.   Maori war clubs.   
6d.   Huia bird.         
1s.   Maori warrior.     
2s.   Kiwi.                 
2/6.  Coat of arms.         

Designer: George Kruger-Gray.

The halfpenny (Tiki head) and penny (Tui, or parson bird) issued in 1939 were designed by L. C. Mitchell.
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<k>

#9
1936

Brazil released another circulation set in commemoration of its national heroes.

See also: Brazil: circulation commemoratives of the 1930s and 1940s.






























100 reis.   Admiral Marques Tamandare, founder of Brazilian Navy.
200 reis.   Viscount de Maua, railway builder.
300 reis.   Antonio Carlos Gomes, composer.
400 reis.   Oswaldo Cruz, microbiologist.
500 reis.   Diogo Antônio Feijó, politician and priest.
1000 reis. Jose de Anchieta, Spanish Jesuit missionary.
2000 reis. Duke of Caxias, military hero and statesman.
5000 reis. Alberto Santos Dumont, aviation pioneer.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#10
1937.

Canada released a new coin series, with thematic designs. Some of the designs are still used to this day.

See also:

1] Canadian coinage since 1937.

2] Prototype Sketches for Canada's Coins of the 1930s.






1c.    Maple leaves.       
5c.    Beaver.                 
10c.  Bluenose.               
25c.  Caribou.
50c.  Coat of arms.
$1.   Le Voyageur (canoe).
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<k>

#11
1939.

Australia released a new series of designs in 1938. The new penny and halfpenny design were dated 1938 but were not issued until 1939.

See also:

1] Australia: Rejected pre-decimal designs of 1937/8.

2] Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia.






½d. Kangaroo.  Facing right.
1d.  Kangaroo.  Facing left.
3d.  Wheat stalks.
6d.  Coat of arms.
1s.  Merino ram.
2s.  Coat of arms.

Designer: George Kruger-Gray.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#12
1940.

The new state of Slovakia issued a circulation set. It had gained its limited independence as a result of Hitler's dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. However, it was doomed to remain a puppet state of Nazi Germany. After the Second World War, Slovakia was reabsorbed into Czechoslovakia, becoming independent again in 1993.

The scenic designs of the 10 and 20 halierov are unusual in that they extend over the full field of the coin.

NOTE: The coins in the image are not to scale.

See also:

Slovakia: Two states, three coinages.

The History and Coinage of the First Slovak Republic.






5   halierov.  Denomination.
10 halierov.  Bratislava Castle.
20 halierov.  Nitra Castle. 
50 halierov.  Plough.           
1   koruna.    Stylised ears of wheat.

Designer: Andrej Peter.
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<k>

#13
1946.

Italy became a republic in 1946. Its first post-war, post-Fascist, coinage was an attractive set (albeit in aluminium), showing the fruit of the land.






1   lira.   Head of Goddess Ceres.          Orange.
2   lire.   Man ploughing field.               Ear of wheat.
5   lire.   Head of Liberty, with torch.    Bunch of grapes.
10 lire.   Pegasus.                                  Olive branch.
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<k>

#14
1947.

The Belgian Congo completed its set of elephant coins in 1947. It had issued a hexagonal 2 francs coin in 1943, the first of its coins to depict an elephant. However, the word "BELGISCH" was unfortunately misspelt as "BELGISH". In 1944 a 1 franc and 50 francs coin were added. A circular 2 francs coin followed in 1946, and a 5 francs coin in 1947. All the coins carried the same elephant design on the reverse.

See also: Belgium's African possessions.







Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.