Archive for January, 2011

Jamaica, 1 dollar, 1995

January 26, 2011

I can feel that today’s coin is not round.

Jamaica, 1 dollar, 1995 (KM #164)


Think our dollar coin is weird? The Jamaican dollar is smaller than our penny, looks silvery like our dime, and has seven sides. It’s only worth 1.2 cents USD, too.

Alexander Bustamante (1884-1977) was the son of an Irish Catholic planter who led workers in the independence movement for Jamaica starting in the 1930s.

Metal Nickel-plated Steel
Weight 2.9 g
Diameter 18.5 mm
Thickness 1.2 mm
Shape Heptagonal (7-sided)
Orientation Medal alignment
Minted 1994-2008

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Trinidad & Tobago, 1 cent, 1984

January 26, 2011

Same country, different value.

Trinidad & Tobago, 1 cent, 1984 (KM #29)


It’s small, trim, and good for gaming money, just like its big brother featured yesterday. And it’s got a hummingbird on it. How cool is that?

Metal Bronze
Weight 1.95 g
Diameter 17.8 mm
Thickness 1.12 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

Trinidad & Tobago, 25 cents, 1998

January 25, 2011

And here’s today’s coin:

Trinidad & Tobago, 25 cents, 1998 (KM #32)


I have found coins from Trinidad & Tobago to be nearly perfect as currency for boardgames. They are small, which means I can fit quite a bit of them in a small space in my Wednesday Night Game Bag. Unlike poker chips, they have different sizes and a face value, so there’s no color scheme to memorize. They use numerals for the denominations (“5” instead of “five”, for example). And they are cheap. This coin may be worth one quarter of a Trinidad & Tobagan dollar, but that’s only 3.9 cents USD. Today’s coin specimen will certainly find a new life in my gaming supplies.

Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 3.51 g
Diameter 19.90 mm
Thickness 1.48 mm
Shape Round

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 2004

January 23, 2011

Here’s today’s coin.

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 2004 (KM #986)


This coin is nearly the same as the one featured on December 28th, just four years younger. Mintage is 739,764,000, and worth 1.6 cents USD.

2004 was the year I graduated from college. Gee, has it really been seven years already?

Metal Copper plated steel
Weight 3.59 g
Diameter 20.34 mm
Thickness 1.65 mm
Engravers I. Rank-Broadley (obverse)
C. Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

France, 20 centimes, 1963

January 23, 2011

Here’s another golden oldie.

France, 20 centimes, 1963 (KM #930)


France minted this coin from 1962 to 2001, starting with the ten-to-one revalued “noveau franc” in 1960 and ending with its replacement by the euro in 2002. Two motifs on this coin, lady liberty on the obverse and the phrase “liberte, egalite, fraternite” on the reverse, hearken back to the French Revolution in the 1790s. Of course, being pre-euro, this coin is no longer legal tender, and not really rare enough to command numismatic value.

One thing I’ve recently learned about French coins is privy marks. This coin, like all French coins of its era, bears two symbols, one on either side of the date. The one on the left is a cornucopia, which I think is the mintmark of the Paris Mint. The symbol on the right is the privy mark, representing a head official in French financial affairs (though I’ll admit I’m not sure which one). All coins minted during that individual’s tenure bear this personal mark, and it rotates as successors take office. This coin bears the owl mark Raymond Joly used from 1958 to 1974. American coins have never used an equivalent of a privy mark.

Metal Copper-Aluminium-Nickel
Weight 4 g
Diameter 23.5 mm
Thickness 1.4 mm
Engravers Lagriffoul (obverse)
A. Dieudonné (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-17-2002

United Kingdom, 1 shilling, 1956 (Scottish)

January 21, 2011

Let’s go way back….

United Kingdom, 1 shilling, 1956 (Scottish arms) (KM #905)


This coin is very similar to the one featured on January 3rd, except that it bears the Arms of Scotland in place of the Arms of England. At 55 years old, it is the oldest coin I’ve pulled from the sack yet. It happens to be from my father’s birth year.

Metal Cupro-nickel
Weight 5.68 g
Diameter 23.53 mm
Thickness 1.74 mm
Engraver Mary Gillick (obverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized 02-15-1971

Egypt, 5 piastres, 1984

January 20, 2011

This coin is the first one I didn’t recognize immediately and had to look it up, though the pyramids depicted on it were a dead giveaway about the country of origin.

Egypt, 5 piastres, 1984 (KM #555.1)


All of the writing on this coin is in Arabic, but the Great Pyramids on it tell me its from Egypt. Over the years I’ve taught myself how to read Arab numerals, and this coin gives both the Christian year of 1984 AD as well as the Muslim date of 1404 AH. (The Muslim calendar lags our own by approximately 580 years, starting at the time of Muhammad’s travel between Mecca and Medina in the 6th Century.) This coin is worth 5 piastres, or 0.05 Egyptian pounds. That’s about 0.86 cents USD, not even one penny, and is probably more valuable for being made of brass.

Metal Aluminium-bronze
Weight 4.9 g
Diameter 21 mm
Thickness 1.6 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

In other coin news, I found my first 2010 Yosemite quarter last night, only the second 2010 quarter I’ve found in the wild.

Ecuador, 10 centavos, 2000

January 19, 2011

It’s a small one today….

Ecuador, 10 centavos, 2000 (KM #106)


This is a companion coin to the 50 centavos coin featured on January 2nd. It is sized like a US dime, and is worth a US dime, but it’s made of steel. I don’t know what the mintage is, but I have a whole bunch of these already.

The man depicted on the obverse, Eugenio Espejo, was an 18th century scientist, writer, and lawyer who sparked the movement toward Ecuadorian independence from Spain, the Thomas Paine of his land. But like Ben Franklin, he also made strides in many other endeavors, including economics and microbiology.

Metal Steel
Weight 2.24 g
Diameter 17.9 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment

Finland, 50 pennia, 1991

January 18, 2011

Here’s something different for a change of pace.

Finland, 50 pennia, 1991 (KM #66)


This coin was made between 1990 and 2001, with this 1991 year having the peak of production at 90.48 million. it, along with the entire 140-year-old Finnish markka, was replaced by the euro in 2002. In Finnish, “Suomi” means Finland and “pennia” is the subunit of the markka. “Penni” is the same subunit’s name in Swedish, making this coin oddly bilingual for a nation that officially isn’t. I think this coin is handsome, with an elegant and clean. Another plus for this coin is that it’s made of nickel, a metal that offers excellent strength and corrosion resistance (but makes the coin magnetic, too). Incidentally, it’s also about the same size and weight of an American penny.

Metal Nickel
Weight 3.3 g
Diameter 19.7 mm
Thickness 1.8 mm
Shape Round

Colombia, 100 pesos, 2006

January 16, 2011

Following a familiar 1971 UK penny, I pull today’s coin….

Colombia, 100 pesos, 2006 (KM #285.2)


The first Coin of the Day was a Colombian 200 pesos, and today’s coin is half that. It’s edge alternates sections of reeding and the text “CIEN PESOS”. This type of coin has been in production since 1992. 59 million of these were minted in 2006, and it’s worth about 5.3 cents USD.

Metal Brass
Diameter 23 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment