Archive for August, 2011

France, 1 franc, 1960

August 26, 2011

It’s France again.

France, 1 franc, 1960 (KM #925.1)


In 1959, France revalued the franc 100 to one, with new coins released in 1960. This coin is an all-nickel version of the silver franc minted from 1898 to 1916, and this type would be struck for the remainder of the century. It’s worth quite a bit for its nickel content alone now, which makes up for its legal tender value of zero.

Mintage is a whopping 406,375,000!
Metal Nickel
Weight 6 g
Diameter 24 mm
Thickness 1.79 mm
Engraver Louis-Oscar Roty
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-17-2002

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France, 10 centimes, 1941

August 26, 2011

This one is going to get oddly specific.

France, 10 centimes, 1941 (KM #897)


The French made three different varieties of the 10 centime coin in 1941. This is the type with the underlined “MES” and with dots on both sides of the date. This is a zinc version of the copper-nickel 10 centime coin that had been in production since 1920, and the Vichy state would stamp their own national design on this coin starting in 1942.

Mintage is unreported.
Metal Zinc
Weight 2.5 g
Diameter 21 mm
Engraver Edmond-Emile Lindauer
Shape Round with a hole
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 07-31-1947

Denmark, 10 ore, 1955

August 26, 2011

Another bonus coin tonight.

Denmark, 10 ore, 1955 (KM #841.1)


This type of 10 ore was minted from 1948-1960, during the reign of King Frederick IX. If it hadn’t been demonetized in 1989, this one would be worth 1.9 cents USD. Note the tiny letters underneath the word “ORE”. Those serve like privy marks, denoting the chief official for the Danish Mint at the time, or something like that. I’m not entirely sure who they represent.

Mintage is 17,623,000
Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 2.95 g
Diameter 17.91 mm
Thickness 1.55 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized 03-30-1989

Spain, 25 pesetas, 1968

August 26, 2011

Finally, I coin I can ID, with the help of a magnifying lens.

Spain, 25 pesetas, 1968 (KM #787)


If you think that 1957 is the mintage year for this coin, you are WRONG! The real mintage year is a two digit year stamped inside the six-pointed star to the left of the eagle on the reverse. The date that appears under Franco is the design date, which was fixed to a certain year until the design changed. This was a very unusual and very annoying thing the Spanish Mint did from 1947 through 1982. I used to think the design date was the mintage date, but now I know better, and so do you. This coin also has the unusual trait of raised edge lettering (instead of the more common inscribed edge designs). To my knowledge, only Spanish coins of this era did that. By the way, the euro killed this coin.

Mintage is 30,000,000
Metal Copper-Nickel
Weight 8.6 g
Diameter 26.6 mm
Thickness 2.15 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized yes

France, 10 centimes, 1850s

August 26, 2011

The first coin I pulled today is one of these:

France, 10 centimes (KM #771)


This half dollar sized copper coin was made somewhere between 1853 and 1857, and featured Louis Napoleon III as Emperor of France. Demonetized in 1935, it has been a long time since this coin was spendable anywhere, and is certainly more valuable as a disk of copper. I’ve seen several of these pass through my collection, almost always in poor condition.

Metal Bronze
Weight 10 g
Diameter 30.2 mm
Engraver Jean-Jacques Barre
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 01-01-1935

My coin is nearly worn smooth. The date reads “18 something something” and I cannot make out the mintmark on the reverse. Mintage could be as much as 19 million. Since I can’t conclusively identify this coin beyond type, it is not a coin of the day, and I’ll skip to another one.

Austria, 1 schilling, 1960

August 19, 2011

Bonus coin #3…

Austria, 1 schilling, 1960 (KM #2886)


The Austrians minted this coin continuously between 1959 and 2001. It is a simple design, with clean lines. It is not to be confused with the old British shilling (pre-decimal 1/20th of a pound). I do not know of any historical relationship between Britain and Austria that would have them pick the same name for their coin. As with almost all pre-euro coinage, this schilling is now worthless.

Mintage is 46,111,000
Metal Aluminium-bronze
Weight 4.2 g
Diameter 22.5 mm
Thickness 1.1 mm
Engravers Ferdinand Welz (obverse)
Edwin Grienauer (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized 02-28-2002

Yugoslavia, 20 dinara, 1955

August 19, 2011

This one is different!

Yugoslavia, 20 dinara, 1955 (KM #34)


The engineer in me is delighted by that really cool gear on this coin! It makes engineering and mechanics look so heroic.

This coin type was only minted twice, once in 1955, and once again in 1963 with a different national legend. Yugoslavia underwent the first of many revaluations of the dinar in 1965, so this coin is many times worthless.

Mintage is unreported.
Metal Aluminium-bronze
Weight 4.0 g
Diameter 23.2 mm
Thickness 1.4 mm
Engraver F.M.Dincic (obverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized yes

Portugal, 50 centavos, 1972

August 19, 2011

Bonus coin for today.

Portugal, 50 centavos, 1972 (KM #596)


This type of Portuguese coin was minted for just ten years, from 1969 to 1979, and was the last 50 centavo coin that Portugal would ever make. It’s about the size of a US quarter, but made of bronze. It has no legal tender value anymore, but the bronze is worth over 3 cents USD.

Mintage is 24,729,000
Metal Bronze
Weight 4.5 g
Diameter 22 mm
Thickness 1.5 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-28-2002

Italy, 100 lire, 1958

August 19, 2011

Time for tonight’s coin…

Italy, 100 lire, 1958 (KM #96.1)


Same coin as the one from May 24th, but several years younger. These stainless steel Italian coins are common in foreign coin lots, and they stand up well to age. But they are also magnetic. As I set this coin on my laptop, up where the screen hinge meets the keyboard, the coin got “stuck” by some unseen force. There must be a magnet inside my laptop, and I never would have known if it weren’t for this coin.

Mintage is 25,640,000
Metal Stainless Steel
Weight 8 g
Diameter 27.8 mm
Thickness 2.0 mm
Engraver Giuseppe Romagnoli
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-28-2002

United Kingdom, 10 pence, 1974

August 18, 2011

Fourth coin in a row. I’m on a roll today….

United Kingdom, 10 pence, 1974 (KM #912)


What an opportune time for a 10p coin to come up! In my first post today, I mentioned how the 2 shilling coin and the 10-pence coin were designed to be interchangeable in circulation. Well, here’s a 10p as an example. By holding the two coins together right now, I can easily confirm that they are indeed the same in diameter, weight, color, and edge reeding. Had the 10p not been reduced in size in 1992, and had not the larger old 10p coins been demonetized, this coin would have been worth 16.5 cents USD.

Mintage is 92,741,000
Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 11.31 g
Diameter 28.5 mm
Thickness 2.27 mm
Engravers Arnold Machin (obverse)
Christopher Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized 07-01-1993