Coin without any number/figure?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by ErolGarip, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. ErolGarip

    ErolGarip Active Member

    Hello everybody,

    This is Erol, from Turkey, a newbie here, and also a newbie to collecting coins, however, not a newbie to coins, am a very experienced one about coins since my childhood:). Ok, this introduction is enough (?).

    At this moment, I am not thinking to collect another thing, but, who knows, we say so, then, we find ourselves in collecting. Am a beginner in learning this field.

    So, then, why am I here?

    I read some threads here since yesterday, but, please, be thoughtful, i can not read all these tousands of posts here and many book. So, i joined here "cointalk" as it seems there are a lot of coin experts here, joined, to ask this:

    Has anyone seen any (including ancient) coin without any number/figure even in words (not counting medals, memorials, etc)?

    I mean, as an example, take current 5cent circulating coin with some pictures texts etc on it, but, WITHOUT 5 and WITHOUT five.
    Question is clear? What collector experts say about this?

    lordmarcovan likes this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. SchwaVB57

    SchwaVB57 Well-Known Member

    Welcome ErolGarip to CoinTalk! If I understand your question correctly, the US original 1883 Nickle (Liberty or V) did not have a Five or 5 on the coin. It caused some issues because it was gold plated to deceive and be confused with a $5.00 gold coin. It had a Roman Numeral V on the back originally. Cents were added late in 1883, so there are two versions of the Liberty 1883 Nickle; with and Without cents. I am not aware of any others myself.
  4. sakata

    sakata Devil's Advocate

    The first example which comes to mind is the British Sovereign. it doesn't even have the name of the country on it! It does, of course, have a date, but I don't think that is what you mean.
  5. ErolGarip

    ErolGarip Active Member

    Thanks for quick answers. SchwaVB57, so, it had a numeral/figure, V in Roman which corresponds to 5. So, it is not a coin which answers my question. Let me make my question more clear.

    I am not asking about the texts or pictures such as cent/penny/kurus/etc or nation/country/flag/etc. Asking about ONLY number/numeral/figure also as word of these. It doesn't matter whether it is V or X (Roman 5 and 10) or in any number coding system or in any words of them as Five, Ten, (Bes, On in Turkish) or in any other language. What I am asking about is a numeralless coin without any numeral figure like 5 and without any word of numbers like FIVE. (ps. i've studied and still studying some mathematics after newly retirement. So, this is a little about history of mathematics, following coins.)
  6. u812?

    u812? Better-Known Member

    Welcome to Coin Talk.
  7. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    The sovereign that sakata mentioned is a good starting point. And if we "stay" in the UK, have a look at some of their crown coins. The pre-decimal pieces had a face value of 5 shillings; later coins had a (theoretical) face value of 25 new pence. Some of those coins do indicate the face value. Others do not, see this Churchill Crown for example (5s), or this Coronation Jubilee Crown (25p) ...

  8. ErolGarip

    ErolGarip Active Member

    I checked the British sovereign coin that Sakata mentioned. But, it is a commemorative coin rather than being intended to circulate. Same for other examples you gave, all commemorative coins.. However, on the website you gave (Churcill Crown), there is a sentence saying "..... Britain issued a circulation coin like none other in its history..." which implies "Churcill coin was not a commerative" coin. Am I misunderstanding? (as a novice, to my knowledge, commemorative coins are not circulation coins, or just temporarily circulate just for a short period and this short period does not make it circulated coin. Therefore, commemorative coins are not counted as real coin which I am talking about.)
  9. sakata

    sakata Devil's Advocate

    The sovereign is far from being a commemorative coin. It circulated very widely during the days of the empire. I have some which are in VF condition and probably saw daily commerce for many years.
  10. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class User

  11. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Also keep in mind that many older gold and silver coins did not have any indication of their face value, as the value was determined by the silver/gold content. The Maria Theresia Thaler for example was a silver coin with a value of 9, later 10, thalers per Vienna Mark (that VM was a weight unit, roughly 280 grams) ...

  12. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Supporter! Supporter

    Krugerrand. It is a legal tender bullion coin not denominated in South African Rand.
  13. ErolGarip

    ErolGarip Active Member

    Thanks for answers, I am learning, learning also terms used in this collecting coin field. What is really meant by commemorative, circulated, uncirculated, etc is a little mind confusing for me as a novice at this stage. For ex, when a coin is circulated widely in space,i.e. geographically, but, circulated in a short period of time, and not in micro scale, i.e. very locally, it is still called circulated coin? As a similarity, it is like saying "cars are everywhere in the world now, so, it is circulated.. actually, not true, cars are not circulated as not everybody has a car, while everybody has a "real" circulating coin.. Anyway, such things (commemorative, circulation, etc) are probably debated things in this collecting field too, that we can discuss later. So, a pause here and let me turn the talk to questioning example coins (sovereign coin, etc) that you gave here.

    I just looked at their pictures of Sovereign coin, German pfenning and Maria Theresa coin, etc on the net. They all have dates (such as 1817, 1925, 1741, 1752, etc), so, they had known to write the numerals/figures in those dates. But, my questioning will not be about their that contradiction as questioning the dates doesn't fit my purpose of being here. Instead, I'm questioning now this:

    For ex, during the era GeorgeIII, 1817, there was Sovereign and it is said (by sakata) that it was widely circulated.. But, at the same time, in 1817, I see that there was penny with written face value, "one penny" and also pence as "six pence" written on it, etc. Since these penny, pence, shilling, are coins "mathematically related" to each others as well as to one pound which is "invisible value" of Sovereign coin, then, any person with a logic must ask that, WHY "one pound" or "1 pound" was not written on the Sovereign while the other coins had face values on them? To confuse their minds of ordinary folks? No, it can't be. Then, I can think of another reason why they didn't write the face value on those coins and it is that, those kings/queens/etc had seen themselves above the money...

    Anyway. I need to add another criteria here to my original question. Lets exclude last 1000 years, perhaps, more as this is near past period in that in circulated coins, there have always been numeral figures/words indicating face value on "real" circulating coins. So, my original question goes to ancient coin collectors rather than near past coin collectors. So, I am rewriting my original question:

    Has anyone seen any "ancient" coin with NO numerals/figures/words indicating their face values?

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  14. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Supporter! Supporter

    Circulation in coins has nothing to do with any of that. Circulated simply means the specific coin was used, vs. mint state (unused).

    Yes, certainly, you buy a mint roll, break it open and pay at the corner store, the cashier likes the coin and keeps it... technically it's circulated (it was pulled from circulation), practically it has no marks of circulation (wear) and will be graded as mint state.

    A commemorative coin was intended to commemorate an event.

    In the US, the classical series were actually sold to sponsors and then resold by them at a premium to raise money. Today - the modern series - the coins are authorized by special act of congress and a surcharge is collected for the organization.

    World wide, TYPICALLY commemoratives are minted in smaller quantities, perhaps with special handling and not generally placed into circulation. But it's more intent than actuality... And in the Euro zone, lots of countries do commemorative circulating coins. Canada just issued one for their 150th, minting just one per Canadian.

    Couple more examples...

    The US Washington quarter was intended in 1932 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth. So in 1932, it was a commemorative. No quarters were minted in 1933. When it came time to start minting in 1934, people had liked the Washington quarter, so the mint kept that instead of returning to the Standing Liberty design. Fast forward to 2017, Ole' George is still on the face and nobody but a hard core numismatist would think of it as a commemorative.

    In 2009, for the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the mint created four special reverses for the cent instead of using the standard one. They were created to commemorate the event but released for ordinary circulation. So it's not considered a commemorative.

    In 1892, there was a half dollar created to commemorate the World's Columbian Exposition. They were sold as commemoratives, but sold poorly and many were returned by the sponsor. The mint, not wanting the expense of melting them, just released them at face value. That's why you might see lots of beautifully preserved mint state coins and also well circulated ones of the same "commemorative".
  15. harley bissell

    harley bissell Well-Known Member

    look into the Austria minor coins of the 1890s.
  16. Hommer

    Hommer Curator of Semi Precious Coinage Supporter

    There are a number of coins minted today that have no numerical value placed on them. Many bullion coins are minted for circulation, and are bought, traded and sold by their market value of the metal content. Some do place numerical values on them but most are valued way above those.
  17. lehmansterms

    lehmansterms Many view intelligence as a hideous deformity

    Ancient coins, even the token denominations which had no relationship to the values of precious metals, almost NEVER had marks of denomination. A few of the 1st century Roman issues of dupondius (= two asses) might carry an exergual mark "II" to mark them out as dupondii as opposed to those without, of similar size and design, which were asses. This practice was the exception, however - very seldom used and never the rule. Generally the as was copper and the dupondius was brass and the difference in metal color was what was used to tell them apart, being the same approximate size and weight, until the adoption of a radiate crown on the portrait of a man or a crescent moon behind the shoulders of a female to mark them out as double-denominations. There were a few other times that equivalents in other denominations were marked out, like the exergual "XXI" on antoniniani. It wasn't until the late 490's A.D. and the reforms of Anastasius that base metal coins bore, as a matter of course, a mark of denomination in Greek numerals. This practice died out after a few centuries and the world was back to unmarked denomination coins. Size, weight, apparent metal of alloy and general knowledge of which coin was of which value were the only factors necessary to discriminate between various denominations over the millennia - and until relatively modern times.
    Curtisimo likes this.
  18. ErolGarip

    ErolGarip Active Member

    Burton, thanks for explanation of "circulation" and "commemorate", for how the community understand them. It seems that they too are flue definitions. For ex, since we here know well, lets take Turkish coins with Ataturk portrait. Althout they have been circulated almost for a century, these coins here can also be considered as "commemorative", however, if we look at only "government authority" criteria in the (webster) definition of "coin" which says :

    "commonly held numismatic definition of what a coin is, which is spelled out well in Webster, Second Edition: "A piece of metal (or, rarely, of some other material) certified by a mark or marks upon it to be of a definite exchange value and issued by governmental authority to be used as money." Key here are "mark or marks" and "certified ... by government authority." " (taken from , an article about old ancient coins including world's oldest coin, Lydian's Lion coin, circa 700BC.) (This definition does not fit my logic either. anyway.)

    So, I now learnt/saw the known first coin in the world. (With my science, engineering as well as some art, for ex, collecting rug, in my background, I do not agree with that, it was not money or can't be the oldest coin because of "floral/animal", not abstract geometric figures on it. Oldest arts have geometric figures unlike floral/animal. Anyway, this is another issue.) However, if we still take this Lydian coin as a reference to my question in this thread, on this oldest coin, I don't see any figure/word related to "number", i.e. counting which is main function in the money. So, I arrived at a conclusion that ancient coins were "unique", that is, there was only one coin type, minted one type only, number on it wasn't needed to seperate from other coins of the day. So, such coins like Lydia coin (if they were money) were used as number of pieces when exchanging things. But, then, exchanges in those old days were not like today, were not like in daily life of today, were probably limited to certain cases, for ex, those coins were probably given as "valuable" item as payments to warriors (as a kind of "marked" gold which has been done for a long time, even today.)

    So, my conclusion to this thread with my question is: with the knowledge we have today, I can say, the coin started to exist before mathematics... (Or, "government authorities" of the day did not know mathematics. Still same...)

    Ok, thanks.

    Edited to say: I just saw the post of lehmansterms above (after posting my this post). I'll read it slowly as it is closely related to my question in this thread.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  19. ErolGarip

    ErolGarip Active Member

    Ok, I read the post of lehmansterms and learnt that there was no numeral on ancient coins as well as on the coins for centuries after very ancient coins. I singled out his this paragraph as it brings a new view to me abot the "value", without numerals.

    So, size, metal, color differences were used to apart/discriminate two coin with two different value. I understand this. However, before going into the debate of what the "value" is, or, to do this, my question is that was there days that there was only one coin? For ex, in Lydian era, it seems that there was only that single coin with a lion figure, therefore, there was no need to apart/discriminate coins as there were not at least two coins. But, then, still there was (must be) "value", that requires discrimination or comparision for it "value" to have a meaning. With one coin only, or, with no numeral on coins, value comparsions can not be done. So, in the case of ancient coins, with one coin only and with no numeral on them, I can think of that those coins were limited to certain limited exchanges only and this does not fit the definition of money.
  20. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    @ErolGarip I think mathematics first came about when a primitive man saw two antelope and someone asked him if there were one or two and he responded by holding up two fingers.

    CoinCorgi and chrisild like this.
  21. beef1020

    beef1020 Junior Member

    There's a reason we use base 10...
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page