Author Topic: Obverse and reverse  (Read 41714 times)

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Offline Sir Sisu

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #90 on: March 29, 2010, 10:28:37 PM »
In the Finnish language there is no such ambiguous terminology as obverse/reverse regarding coins (at least regarding Finnish coins ;) ) The respective terms are tunnuspuoli/arvopuoli, which roughly translate as emblem side / value side. Of course such simple terms do not solve the dilemma of some of the examples posted here. Just thought to point out that not every nation necessarily thinks in terms of obverse/reverse, front/back, etc. when it comes to designing and/or making coins. So in certain cases the whole issue could be moot.

Offline UK Decimal +

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #91 on: May 26, 2010, 02:39:49 PM »
Just to keep this interesting topic alive, who would care to suggest which is the obverse/reverse of this coin?   There is an answer which I will give later, but in the meantime just try reading all the replies here and see where that gets you.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Austrokiwi

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #92 on: May 26, 2010, 03:07:19 PM »
Well you could go either way with that coin. But I would go with the lower picture with QEIIs bust  as being the obverse.

Offline <k>

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #93 on: May 26, 2010, 04:03:14 PM »
If you want to learn a little more about the design history of that coin, have a look at this topic by the late Galapagos (R.I.P.):

http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,3974.0.html
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Offline Prosit

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #94 on: May 26, 2010, 05:56:44 PM »
I would pick the date side  ;)
Dale

translateltd

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #95 on: May 26, 2010, 08:22:01 PM »
I would pick the side with the name of Her Majesty for reasons already discussed.

Offline andyg

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #96 on: May 26, 2010, 08:24:59 PM »
try this one.....
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Prosit

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #97 on: May 26, 2010, 10:22:02 PM »
In this case I would pick the side with the date and denomination.
Dale

translateltd

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #98 on: May 26, 2010, 11:09:34 PM »
In this case I would pick the side with the date and denomination.
Dale


That's both, depending on which language you are reading.  What appears to be the national emblem is on the "French" side, though ...

Offline <k>

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #99 on: May 26, 2010, 11:17:11 PM »
That's both, depending on which language you are reading. 

Dale knows that, of course. He didn't get to be Grand Wizard of the Texan Mafia for nothing, you know!
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Offline andyg

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #100 on: May 27, 2010, 12:57:53 AM »
here is the emblem,


but here is the flag,
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Prosit

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #101 on: May 27, 2010, 02:23:17 AM »
I didn't know that but I suspected that would turn out to be the case  ;)
However I was too lazy to look it up to be sure.
So I should have said the French side (the side I can nearly read)  ;D.

Dale



Dale knows that, of course. He didn't get to be Grand Wizard of the Texan Mafia for nothing, you know!

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #102 on: October 19, 2010, 03:11:55 PM »
I tend to take the view that it doesn't matter. Nevertheless, I have a convention for my own records as follows:

The side which gives generic information (i.e. which is not specific to that issue or denomination) is the obverse. This means royal effigies, the Irish harp, the Soviet arms. By extension I also call the obverse the side with a President's head on it on standard US coins. Although each denomination has a different President, the coins aren't specifically commemorating that President. So I treat the President's head in the same way as I treat the Queen's head on Commonwealth issues.

The side which gives specific information is the reverse. This may not necessarily be the face value, although it often is. On some UK £2 coins, for example, the value is under the Queen's head, but the other side contains very specific commemorative material and is therefore clearly the reverse.

Of course, there are always going to be grey areas, which is why ultimately I don't think it matters. For the 2002 £5 coin above, I take the profile image of the Queen to be the obverse and the equestrian view the reverse. Virtually all British coins have a profile of the Queen, and that profile appears on the obverse, so the obverse it is here.

On Andy's Mauretanian coin it's virtually impossible to decide on objective criteria, whether mine or anyone else's. In such a case I'd go for the side that's most important to me as being the reverse, and in this case the important side is the French side, because I can read French well but can do little more than transliterate numerals and placenames in Arabic.

There are also downright exceptions. Most Soviet coins have the value (with or without wreath) on what I call the reverse and the hammer and sickle and CCCP on the obverse. It seems perverse, therefore, to swap them round for the 1 rouble commemorating the centenary of Lenin's birth in 1970, so the value side is still the reverse in my records, even though by my criteria above Lenin should be on the reverse. Perhaps I'm reinforced in this by the fact that he's represented by a profile bust, which custom tells me is on the obverse from my own country's coins.

I also suspect I'm unorthodox in my use of the terms obverse and reverse. Before I was interested in coins, I'd never come across the term 'obverse' and the word 'reverse' was more often a verb describing something you do with a car than it was a noun (where 'back' would be a plainer English term in most instances). Therefore I did not allocate in my mind a status to each term, although subsequent reading makes it clear that, certainly where the Royal Mint is concerned, the 'obverse' is more important. Because the tails side of UK coins was called the reverse, I simply then called what I deemed to be the tails side of other countries' coins the reverse too. FWIW I always list the reverse description before the obverse in my spreadsheets.

Offline <k>

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #103 on: October 19, 2010, 11:22:40 PM »
See my own topic, with images, for an illustration of how complex the subject can get:

http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,4877.0.html

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Offline FosseWay

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Re: Obverse and reverse
« Reply #104 on: October 20, 2010, 09:53:11 AM »
Quote from: chrisild
and with collector coins (regional money) we have a Bildseite which shows the "theme" of an issue, and a Wertseite that shows the value ...

That's much plainer language than obverse/reverse and lets the user know (providing they speak German) what they can expect to find on each side. However, not all countries are consistent in which side they put the face value on relative to the other information in question. For example, British commemoratives can have the value on either side -- so it can be on the same side as the Bild???