Archive for December, 2010

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 1971

December 31, 2010

Today’s coin is just like yesterday’s, just a different year.

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 1971 (KM #915)


1971 was the year that the United Kingdom ended their centuries-old pre-decimal “L-S-D” system of coinage, where there were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound. The new system would do away with shillings, and divide the pound simply into 100 pence. Pre-decimal coinage was halted in 1967, and preparations were made for Decimal Day in 1971. Some of the larger decimal coins were struck in advance and are 1968-1970, but 1971 is the earliest date for decimal pennies. Since demand for the brand new denominations was very high, large numbers of the new decimal coins were minted at quantities not exceeded for decades afterward. Thus the 1968-1971 British coins are very common.

Another thing to note is the wording “New Pence” on the reverse. This was done from until 1982, to help differentiate the new pence from the old and invalid pence.

Before decimalization, it must have been fascinating to search for old coinage in circulation in British coins, considering that there were centuries of coins to find. Nowadays, it is impossible to find coins older than 1971 circulating in Britain.

Metal Bronze
Weight 3.56 g
Diameter 20.32 mm
Thickness 1.52 mm
Engravers Arnold Machin (obverse)
Cristopher Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Mintage 1,521,666,250

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United Kingdom, 1 penny, 1978

December 31, 2010

Better late than never…. here’s today’s coin.

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 1978 (KM #915)

This coin is the predecessor to the coin featured two days ago. This is the first incarnation of the decimal penny, in the style minted from 1971 through 1981. The Queen was younger then, and so is her portrait. Unlike in Y2K, the British penny was bronze in 1978; the switch from bronze to steel was made in 1992. Regardless, this coin will fetch 1.6 cents USD. With a mintage of 292.77 million, it is a common coin.

Metal Bronze
Weight 3.56 g
Diameter 20.32 mm
Thickness 1.52 mm
Engravers Arnold Machin (obverse)
Cristopher Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

Colombia, 200 pesos, 2007

December 29, 2010

Today’s coin is:

Colombia, 200 pesos, 2007 (KM #287)

This coin has been minted by Colombia since 1994. The reverse of the coin depicts the Quimbaya spindlewheel. This coin bears edge lettering that reads “MOTIVO QUIMBAYA – 200 PESOS”. Edge lettering is far more common on high-value foreign coins than on American coins.

Colombia’s peso dates back to the 1830s, making it one of the oldest currencies still in use today, but with the high inflation experienced by the nation since the 1980s, the Colombian peso is considered an endangered currency likely to be revalued in the coming decades. This coin is a good example of Colombia’s inflationary toll; 200 pesos are worth 9.8 cents USD. This coin is worth less than a US dime.

Metal Copper-nickel-zinc
Weight 7.08 g
Diameter 24.4 mm
Thickness 1.7 mm
Mintage 85 million in 2007

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 2000

December 28, 2010

Time to grab another random coin from my Sack O’ Foreigns:

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 2000 (KM #986)

This coin was minted by the United Kingdom between 1998 and 2008. The

obverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II using the 4th portrait, introduced in 1998, and the reverse shows the badge of the Palace of Westminster. It’s value is one penny, one hundredth of a pound (the British equivalent of the US cent). The coin is made of 3.59 grams of copper-plated steel, with a diameter of 20.34mm and

thickness of 1.65mm. It is round with a smooth edge and has medal alignment. The coin is

worth about $0.016 USD today. The exact mintage is 1,060,364,000, making it one of the most heavily minted individual British coins in history.

New blog series >> Coin of the Day

December 28, 2010

Two weeks ago, I bought a sack of assorted foreign coins at the Annandale Coin Show. I’ve been through a few bags of coins like this before, but this time I thought I’d blog my finds as I find them.

For each installment of this running series, I will pull a coin out of the bag at random. If that type of coin has not already been featured as a past Coin Of The Day, then I will post it as COTD. If it has already been featured, then I will set it aside and keep pulling until I find a new COTD candidate.

So without further ado, I’ll reach for the inaugural Coin:

China, 1 jiao, 1996 (KM #335)

This coin was minted by the People’s Republic of China between 1991 and 1999. The obverse depicts the national emblem of the Communist Party of China, and the reverse shows a peony blossom. It’s value is one jiao, one tenth of a yuan (the Chinese equivalent of the US dime). The coin is made of 2.2 grams of aluminum, with a diameter of 22.5mm and thickness of 2.46mm. It is round with a smooth edge and has medal alignment. The coin is worth about $0.02 USD today. The exact mintage is unknown.