Coins Without Denominations

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by ja59, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    In an excellent post by @johnmilton titled
    An Introduction to the Early Half Dimes, 1792 - 1805
    John mentioned "There was no indication of value on the coin, which was in keeping with the practices of the period"

    I find that very interesting. Does this mean that there were other circulating coins at the same time without denimoninations on them?, If so, how did people know their value?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I’ve always wondered. Most ancient coins had no indication whatsoever on the coin itself as to the denomination.

    I guess Antoninianus coins had a radiate crown which indicated “double” the value of a Denarius coin, but other than that I can’t think of any ancient coin advertising it’s value anywhere on the coin itself.

    I think that’s why it’s tough for modern scholars to figure out the buying power of the various “AE-#” late Roman bronzes - it’s haed to tell what they were even called to begin with
     
  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Off the top of my head, a modern example is the 1965 Winston Churchill Crown coin from Britain.

    It doesn’t say “crown” on it, but I suppose due to the size people understood it’s valie
     
  5. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    Think of the 18th and early 19th century British coinage. You didn't really see denominations until King William IIII showed up.
     
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  6. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class Poster

    British gold sovereigns are still being minted without denominations.

    :)
     
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  7. fiddlehead

    fiddlehead Well-Known Member

    No denomination on this one - certainly not ancient, but I guess just knew?

    1799 $1 NGC VF35 CAC composite a.jpg
     
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  8. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    That 1799 should have a denomination on it, it's on the edge "Hundred cents cents one dollar or unit"

    Until 1804 the only US coins that had denominations on them were the half cent, cent, half dollar, and dollar. Following in the common tradition of Great Britain and much of Europe one was expected to know the denomination of the coins by metal and size.
     
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  9. CaptHenway

    CaptHenway Survivor

    Try the early Half Dimes, Dimes and the 1796 Quarter. Plus the gold before 1807.
     
  10. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    So why did they not put the denominations on these coins? Was there a practical reason? Or a design reason? Was it just not required so they didn't do it?

    And why did they then start to put the denomination on there? There are very, very few modern coins with no denomination!
     
  11. bradgator2

    bradgator2 Supporter! Supporter

    1883 no cents nickel?

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    It doesn't have cents, but the giant V is at least some indication of its value.
     
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  13. whopper64

    whopper64 Active Member

     
  14. whopper64

    whopper64 Active Member

    I have an 1883 "racketeer" nickel, and the "racketeers" had a field day palming them off as gold coins, not the plain "V" nickel. That is why the U.S. Mint decided to put the "cents" on the nickel coins. Just another example of U.S. Mint/Politicians combining to "flub" another one!
     
  15. Ana Silverbell

    Ana Silverbell Well-Known Member

    IMG_2756 A1.jpg IMG_2757 A2.jpg IMG_2758 A3.jpg

    Here is a 1797 2 pence. It looks the same as the penny. You have to measure the diameter to know the difference: a coin that measures 36 mm is a penny; a coin that measures 42 mm is 2 pence. The two pence is more valuable as a collectible.

    This example is beat up and has been around the block a few times but I like it.
     
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  16. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, no British gold has ever contained a denomination.

    Edit: And as soon as I clicked "Post reply" I thought of the commonwealth gold coins (crown, double crown, unite), which all have a denomination in the form of a Roman numeral denoting shillings.
     
  17. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    Wow, that surly would have seemed like an invitation to try and fool someone into thinking a coin has more value than intended.
     
  18. CaptHenway

    CaptHenway Survivor

    The only people who had money also had educations.
     
  19. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    This was also in a time when the weight of the coin determined the value. If a coin was light from excessive wear, it might be rejected or accepted at a lower value.
     
  20. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    Ahhh...
     
  21. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    I seem to recall reading about a particular coin here on Cointalk, gold maybe, that people were either changing the denomination or adding a different denomination to it. The U.S. mint then made changes so that could no longer happen. Anybody remember / know about this?
     
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