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an innovative set of new designs to feature on the reverse of 7 of United Kingdom’s money coins. chosen through a public competition that attracted more than 4,000 entries, the coins feature different details of the Shield of the Royal Arms & when placed together, will reveal the complete shield of arms.

[link: royalmint.com]




These coins are quite gorgeous, really better than previously. But indeed, won't they finally come to the Euro ? This design may take place only for a few years, thus it surely will become valuable coins.

And thanks for this blog, your infographics links are often useful to visualize problems by an other point of view.

Thu 10 Apr 2008 at 2:59 AM

It seems a bit sad indeed, how obsolete these designs seem at this point in time.

Thu 10 Apr 2008 at 6:11 AM

Well, aside from the idea of moving on to the euro at some point in time, I have to say that I find this design unpractical.

All the coins together form the puzzle. Fine. Dandy too!
But shouldn't the 'task' at hand be to deliver information in a quick (at a glance) and unambiguous manner (we're talking about money, after all) ?

Yes, each coin includes the denomination written out in English (and if you don't know English, we won't print the value in numerical form because you should learn English before doing business with us, I guess), but that's hardly 'prominent' on the coin.

I can only hope that the other side of each coin is much more 'direct' in its delivery.

(not that I mind heraldic symbols, nor puzzles - but I don't want to play with my money !)

Thu 10 Apr 2008 at 10:45 AM

I agree with f.o.r. The absence of numerical info on the coins is very strange, saying that, neither the current 1 pound nor 2 pound coins have numbers so it is not without precident. The designer says "I found the idea that members of the public could interact with the coins the most exciting aspect of this concept." I suspect that being unable to determine the value of the coin is not the interaction he expected. The only thing on the other side of the coins is the Queen's head, so no help there. btw it is not just non english speakers who will have problems, pre-litterate children will not be able to check there change when they buy things, nor check their pocket money, how about dislexics...

Sun 13 Apr 2008 at 7:32 AM

The designer says "I found the idea that members of the public could interact with the coins the most exciting aspect of this concept." I find such an attitude amazing and it's the sort of expression beloved by the pretentious, arty-farty brigade. Joe Public hasn't the slightest interest in "interacting" with our coins. They are for spending and need to be clearly marked with their value. The lack of numerical identification is just ridiculous.

Tue 22 Apr 2008 at 10:58 AM

Good points about the Euro. Don't know how I found this site, but was interested to see the new coins, having travelled to England numerous times. Very nice looking. Reading the remarks about the lack of numerical values, I realized I didn't even know if the American coinage I use daily has values on it. I actually had to dig coins out of my pocket to look at them. They too lack numbers. The point is, who cares? Using coins daily, you reach a point where you know the coins by color, size, shape, etc., and numbers become obsolete. By the age of three children will have mastered the values of these coins. And I suspect non-English speaking people will pick it up quickly.

Wed 22 Oct 2008 at 12:02 PM

The UK is certainly not gettng the Euro, at least anytime soon. Even if there was public support for it (there isn't really) I still don't think the governement would want to adopt it. It woud take 5 years minumum to implement it too, so these coins will get a good run at the very least. You don't need numerical markings, but I would find it annoying as a foreigner. Our current coins do have numerical markings on them so I wouldn't be surprised if there were simply transferred to the 'heads' side of the coin instead.

Mon 10 Nov 2008 at 8:22 AM

I agree that the whole issue of "interacting with coins" is the sort of thing that an artist would say. It is art-speak and best left to the artistic community. Numeric value written on the coins is a point worth debating, but I also think that shape, size and colour do the job very well for those familiar with British coins (i.e. the British).
My main gripe with the design is that it falls between two stools in that it is neither traditional nor modern.
If we had a design based on modern design themes then that would be one thing, if we had a design based on ancient heraldry that would be another. The current fragmented heraldry is not modernistic and it is not paying due respect to the heraldic traditions.
In the words of Andy Pipkin, "Don't like it!"

Mon 10 Nov 2008 at 11:53 PM

1p is copper and small
2p is copper and large
5p is small and silver
10p is large and silver
20p is silver and small and heptagonal
50p is silver and large and heptagonal
£1 is fat and gold

This is the same with all UK coins, whether they display the images or not. Plus, the chances of a non-english speaking individual being in posession of one of these coins, and having nothing to match it to, is very, very slim in my opinion.

Tue 18 Nov 2008 at 6:50 AM
Another Colin

Not having the numerical amount on a coin has been a feature of the US dime since 1796 (with a brief outbreak of numeracy from 1809 to 1837). So it's nothing new. And I have no idea what a dime is worth.

Fri 21 Nov 2008 at 4:24 AM

i likes shiny coins they are fun

Thu 11 Dec 2008 at 12:56 AM

I like these coins, so what if they don't have the numerical amount on them, if u have to look at the value on then to know what your spending then maybe you shouldn't be handling money.

& Yes i do like art & puzzles.

Fri 19 Dec 2008 at 3:23 AM

beautiful coins...i have just finished the collection...got at least 1 of each now and the picture is brilliant work

Sat 14 Mar 2009 at 10:11 PM

i also agree with "Another Colin"...the likleyhood of having english money and it being purely the new design coins is very slim as there is a much higher percentage i of 'old design' coins than new...therefore even if a non-english person came into contact..they would almost deffinatley have other coins to match to

Sat 14 Mar 2009 at 10:57 PM
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