Archive for June, 2011

Turkey, 25 kurus, 1956

June 15, 2011

This one is new to me…

Turkey, 25 kurus, 1956 (KM #886)


This type of coin was the highest valued coin circulating in Turkey at the time. It was minted between 1948 and 1956, making this a final year specimen. It might be the thinnest coin I’ve seen with edge lettering, which reads “TURKIYE CUMHURIYETI” (Turkish for “Republic of Turkey”). Any monetary value this coin had was destroyed when the Turkish Lira was revalued in 2005, after decades of chronic inflation. Mintage of this coin in 1956 was 14,376,000.

Metal Brass
Weight 4.5 g
Diameter 23 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized yes

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Vichy France, 1 franc, 1944

June 14, 2011

Another coin from ’44…

France, 1 franc, 1944 (KM #902)


The same coins as the one from March 27th (which has been a popular Coin of the Day post), just one year younger.

Mintage = 50,605,000
Metal Aluminum
Weight 1.3 g
Diameter 23 mm
Thickness 1.45 mm
Engraver L. Bazor
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized yes

Canada, 5 cents, 1944

June 9, 2011

My first coin pulled today was a repeat, the exact same 1943 threepence last featured here. The second pull is new.

Canada, 5 cents, 1944 (KM #40a)


The Canadian nickel has the most honest name in numismatics. It was made of solid pure nickel. But during World War II, when nickel was needed for the war effort, the Canadians changed the content to brass in 1942, and chrome-plated steel in 1944. Nickel nickels resumed in 1946. This coin shares some similarities with its pull-mate. Both are thick, both have twelve sides, and both feature the bust of King George VI.

The V on the reverse of this nickel has two meanings. It gives the coin’s face value as a Roman numeral, and it is am emblem of Canada’s desire for Victory in the war. The neatest thing about this coin, however, as also the most overlooked. Take a look at the denticles along the inside of the rim on the reverse. It’s really Morse Code for “we win when we work willingly”. Kudos to the artist for their attention to detail!

You can still spend this coin in Canada for five cents, something I don’t get to say often for many of these foreign coins. Nickel mintage in 1944 was 11,532,784.

Metal Chrome-plated steel
Weight 4.54 g
Diameter 21.234 mm
Thickness 1.7 mm
Engravers Thomas Humphrey Paget (obverse)
Thomas Shingles (reverse)
Shape Dodecagonal
Orientation Medal alignment

United Kingdom, 3 pence, 1943

June 6, 2011

And now… today’s coin!

United Kingdom, 3 pence, 1943 (KM #849)


Prior to 1937, the British threepence was a tiny silver coin half the size of our dime. With the enthronement of George VI, the Royal Mint also debuted the new brass threepence, which was used up until the retirement of pre-decimal currency in 1971. Mintage of this coin type peaked during WWII. Despite the thickness and heft of the coin, it was only worth 1/80th of a pound (USD $0.020 today).

Mintage: 101,702,000
Metal Nickel-brass
Weight 6.72 g
Diameter 21.65 mm
Thickness 2.55 mm
Engravers Thomas Hugh Paget (obverse)
Francis Madge Kitchener (reverse)
Shape Dodecagonal (12-sided)
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized yes

Austria, 20 heller, 1916

June 4, 2011

First, I must confess a weakness, a lapse of my discipline. The bag that I had been pulling all of the other Coins of the Day from is empty. I succumbed to temptation and sorted the entire remainder of the bag, integrating it into my collection. Today’s coin comes from a NEW bag of foreign coins that I purchased at the Vienna (Virginia) Coin Show in late April. There’s the debut coin from that purchase.

Austria, 20 heller, 1916 (KM #2826)


Now here's a coin with some history! In 1892, the kingdoms of Austria and Hungary merged to form the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a formidable political entity in central and eastern Europe at the turn of the century. Each half of the empire kept a separate currency, but mutually managed them to be at par and interchangeable. The multi-national nature of the empire is symbolized on this coin by a complete lack of text. Even the denomination is only marked with numerals. This helped the coin circulate among the polyglot peoples of the far-flung empire. However, the stress of World War I drove the currencies into debasement. Today's coin was minted two years into the war, and is made from iron, a poor corrosion-prone metal for coinage that is used only in times of severe necessity. By the end of the war in 1918, this coin's buying power had been eradicated by inflation. Austria eventually replaced the imperial krone with the Austrian schilling in 1925, quite a few years after the union with Hungary was dissolved.

Mintage is 130,770,000
Metal Iron
Weight 3.5 g
Diameter 21 mm
Thickness 1.25 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized yes
yes