Pseudo-Sets with themes not related to issuing country

Started by SquareEarth, August 08, 2013, 08:32:52 PM

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Circulated commemorative coins are ideal for commemorations and public education, of course, but people tend to keep them other than use them, which defeats the purpose of circulation.

Therefore, I think we can tolerate pseudo-coins with themes related to the issuing countries, although I do hope they are issued on more meaningful dates(decennary, centenary, bi-centenary etc) and for better excuses.

However, one type of coin is far fetched: countries which is not related to the theme they depict on the coins, and the coins aim at collectors only.

You can name the countries: Gibraltar, Liberia, North Korea, Palau, etc.

China used to do that as well, this is a "Renown Cultural Figures of the World" set, made by China 1990-1994.

Shakespeare, Homer, Edison, Beethoven,
Mark Twain, Columbus, Einstein, Mozart,
Nobel, Goethe, Da Vinci, Tschaikovsky(sic),
Confucius, Rembrandt, Verdi, Socrates.
Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao


The Chinese set above might not be an attempt to squeeze money from foreigners, since all of them are known in China, their portraits hung in Chinese schools (my primary school had a picture of Einstein, for instance), and this set is still being bought in China.

On the other hand, this North Korean set aims at amatuer foreign collectors, solely.
Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao


Liberia's Folly.
Actually I don't think Liberia is deeply involved in these stuff at all. Some private western mint decide to make it, they send an e-mail to Liberia, and return probable 1% of the profits to that country. (Similarly for other countries whose names are used in this sort of coins.)

Tong Bao_Tsuho_Tong Bo_Thong Bao


Liberia issuing a "1 Dollar" commemorative to celebrate 50 yrs of Indian Independence depicting Mahatma Gandhi and Taj Mahal in the background.
A guide on Republic India Coins & Currencies


If you broaden the scope of the thread to individual countries, there's no end. I quickly analysed Vanuatu's issues from the previous millennium just as an example:

KM 10, 14, 18, 24, 28, 30 Olympics. Not sure if Vanuatu participated. One list says they did in 1988. The NOC website does not list a National Olympic Committee in Vanuatu.
KM 11 Voyager 25th jubilee. Connection between Vanuatu and US spacecraft not obvious ::)
KM 13, 17, 33 Wildlife. Connection with Vanuatu unclear or apparently absent.
KM 15 Q Elizabeth II 40th jubilee of reign. Vanuatu was independent. Before, it was ruled jointly with France.
KM 16 Zelee. Dumont d'Urville was not in Vanuatu.
KM 18 World soccer cup. Vanuatu did not participate.
KM 22, 25, 27, 29 end of the Victorian era 1901-1995. Right. A 94 year jubilee. Vanuatu was using French money in 1901
KM 26 Birth of Prince William. Vanuatu was independent. Before, it was ruled jointly with France.
KM 35 Birth of Prince Andrew. Vanuatu was independent. Before, it was ruled jointly with France.
KM 31 Spanish gold coin. Did not circulate in Vanuatu. Spanish silver did.

Obviously, designs made in the name of Vanuatu were made for the anglo market, not for Vanuatu. "If people buy stuff with royal events on them, we'll put royal events on them." Those independence pieces must have sold badly. :P

It would have been easier to list the pieces that do have a connection with Vanuatu: one set of types for circulation, a few circulating FAO coins and a series for independence.

Fernandes de Queirós (KM 12) was in Vanuatu, thinking he was in Australia. Cook (KM 19) was there also in Resolution (KM 34) and Bougainville visited in La Boudeuse (KM 21.) The Vanuatu kingfisher (KM 20) occurs only on Vanuatu. There's also a piece with what KM describes as a boar tusk necklace (KM 32.) Boar tusks might possibly have been used as money in Vanuatu.

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


I blame Pobjoy mint and SCWC for popularizing these pseudo coins, no wonder now (Chinese?) sets with no connection to their nominal countries are flooding the market.

A close example are the issues of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have actually nothing to do with that country, although approved by a loose contract with vice-governer of the National bank Mustafa Imširović that he legally couldn't conclude. Some royalties of the issues were supposed to be sent as a help for B&H in the wartime, but it left unknown where that money gone and how much was it sent after all. National bank wanted to cancel the non-valid contract, but it never happened, as, of course, whole country had bigger problems then some coin minting that Bosnia won't see anyway. The contract most likely was signed for 5 years, which exactly coincide with new currency and actual official coins of B&H.

No matter, after all 118 (by some sources up to 124) types of coins were made for that country, enriching their dull modern numismatic heritage.


How nice of Mr. Imširović to sign that contract. Speaking of disappearing "royalties", who was the other party of the contract?

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


I said actually it's not disclosed until now were they paid, whole, partly or not at all. It did not go to that vice-governer although surely there was some kind of bribe involved. The other part is Pobjoy mint of course, which is a private mint I think. 10% of the sales are supposed to go to Bosnia.