Archive for February, 2011

United Kingdom, 2 pence, 1988

February 27, 2011

Here’s a familiar coin.

United Kingdom, 2 pence, 1988 (KM #936)


This coin is similar to the one featured on January 19th, with a few differences. The Queen’s portrait was updated to this one in 1985, and the words “NEW PENCE” were replaced with “TWO PENCE” in 1982. Exact mintage of this coin is 419,889,000, and it’s worth 3.2 cents USD.

But I know what you’re asking… what’s up with those ostrich feathers? Ostriches don’t live in England. Well, that’s the Badge of the Prince of Wales. The words “Ich Dien” on the ribbon are German for “I serve”. Recall that King George I (and George II) were native German speakers, monarchs of the House of Hanover.

Metal Bronze
Weight 7.12 g
Diameter 25.9 mm
Thickness 1.85 mm
Engravers R. Maklouf (obverse)
C. Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

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Costa Rica, 500 colones, 2006

February 26, 2011

This coin is huge!

Costa Rica, 500 colones, 2006 (KM #239.2)


The Costa Rican colon, named for Christopher Columbus, has been in use since 1896. Like the Colombian peso, Costa Rica has had steep inflation over the years, and the base unit of currency has been obsolete for decades. Costa Rica is due for a revaluation of their currency any day now.

Costa Rican coins tend to be some of the largest coins being made today. Their high face value, large diameters, and relatively low value compared to the US dollar would make them great for poker chips. I would, if I could get enough of them. 500 colones is worth $1.005 USD, making this coin the highest valued coin I’ve yet pulled from the bag. Exact mintage is unreported.

Metal Brass
Weight 11 g
Diameter 33 mm
Shape Round

Trinidad & Tobago, 5 cents, 2001

February 25, 2011

This is the same coin as the one that was featured on February 17th, just four years earlier.

Trinidad & Tobago, 5 cents, 2001 (KM #30)


Exact mintage is unreported. Value is 0.79 cents USD.

Metal Bronze
Weight 3.31 g
Diameter 21 mm
Shape Round

Peru, 1 sol, 1968

February 25, 2011

Look out! There are llamas!

Peru, 1 sol de oro, 1968 (KM #248)


It’s a large brass coin from a dead currency; the Peruvian Sol has been replaced, twice. The design has very high relief for a modern coin, giving it a nice tactile feel, and it has some nice heft to it, but the off-center text is crammed in next to the llama on the reverse in a very amateur and unprofessional way. C+ for effort, guys.

Exact mintage is 12,260,000
Metal Brass
Diameter 27 mm
Engraver Pareja (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized yes

Australia, 5 cents, 2004

February 23, 2011

One from Down Under.

Australia, 5 cents, 2004 (KM #401)


This is the fourth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which is updated from time to time as she ages. It is the current portrait of her on Australia coins, and it has been in use since 1999. The reverse displays the echidna, one of the unique marsupials native to Australia. This coin’s mintage is 147,658,000, and it is worth 5 cents USD as the US and Australian dollars are nearly at par today. There is talk in abolishing the 5cent coin in Australia, just as they did to the 1 and 2 cent coins in 1991. (Bronze from the old 1 and 2 cent coins were used in the bronze medals for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.) New Zealand ended their 5 cent coin in 2006.

Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 2.8300 g
Diameter 19.4 mm
Thickness 1.3 mm
Engraver S. Devlin (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

Haiti, 50 centimes, 1995

February 22, 2011

This one is new to me…

Haiti, 50 centimes, 1995 (KM #153a)


The fellow depicted on the obverse of this coin is Charlemagne Peralte, a guerrilla leader who opposed the US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Interestingly enough, Peralte’s image was used on the series of coins released in 1995 after Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return to power backed by US support. How odd that a leader would choose as a symbol on a nation’s currency a man who opposed the foreign support that put said leader into power in the first place.

Exact mintage of this coin is unreported, but it was reissued in 1999. This coin has a value of 1.2 cents USD, despite being larger than our quarter.

Metal Nickel clad Steel
Weight 8.4 g
Diameter 29 mm
Shape Round

China, 1 jiao, 1999

February 22, 2011

The first coin out of the bag was a repeat, a 2002 Itay 2 eurocent coin that was featured on January 12th. The next one is familiar, though.

China, 1 jiao, 1999 (KM #335)


This coin is a sibling to the very first Coin of the Day on the Ryanarium, the 1 jiao coin featured on December 27th, 2010. The exact mintage is unreported, and it is worth 1.5 cents USD.

Metal Aluminum
Weight 2.20 g
Diameter 22.5 mm
Thickness 2.46 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

Trinidad & Tobago, 1 dollar, 1995 (FAO)

February 20, 2011

I’ve not seen one of these before.

Trinidad & Tobago, 1 dollar, 1995 (KM #61)


This is the largest Trinidad & Tobago coin I have, both in size and in value, yet it is only worth 15.8 cents USD. The exact mintage is unreported.

This coin is one of many FAO coins out there. The FAO is a food aid agency organized by the UN in 1945 with the goal of supporting food supply development in nations around the world. Most nations of the world are members of this agency. Many nations have issued FAO themed coins over the last few decades, from places as diverse as Brazil, Italy, Turkey, and Fiji. It would make an interesting collection… just FAO coins.

Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 8.4 g
Diameter 28 mm
Shape Round
Edge reeded

Austria, 1 eurocent, 2005

February 19, 2011

It’s small…

Austria, 1 eurocent, 2005 (KM #3082)


The smaller Austrian eurocoins feature Alpine flowers like this gentian. The mintage of this type of coin is 123,000,000 in 2005, and it is worth 1.4 cents USD.

Metal Copper plated Steel
Weight 2.30 g
Diameter 16.25 mm
Thickness 1.67 mm
Engraver L. Luycx (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment

Philippines, 1 piso, 2001

February 18, 2011

Bigger than the last few…

Philippines, 1 piso, 2001 (KM #269)


Although the Philippine peso and the centimo subunit were named by Spaniards, the words have been adapted to the Filipino-friendly piso and sentimo. This piso dates back to a founding in the 1850s, making it one of the older surviving currencies in the world. The man on this coin is Jose Rizal, a Filipino scholar who advocated peaceful reform of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines and whose trial and execution by Spanish authorities triggered the Philippine war for independence.

Many collectors are confused by the design of post-1995 Philippine coins. One face of the coin bears the seal of the Central Bank of the Philippines (including the founding year of 1993), while the other side bears the coin’s actual date of minting. It is easy to confuse the seal date of 1993 with the mintage year on what appears to be a dual-dated coin.

Despite being the size of a US quarter, one piso is only worth 2.3 cents USD. Exact mintage of this coin is unreported.

Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 6.0700 g
Diameter 24 mm
Thickness 1.75 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment