Saturday, 1 October 2011

Unique shapes in Coins

Coins generally come in round shapes, but then there are coins which come in all geometrical shapes. Square coins with rounded corners have a unique feel to them. Coins with serrated edges have a very strong tactile feel, coins in the shape of hexagons, octagons are distinct from the rounded cousins! One will also come across coins which have a missing centre! There are various justifications for having coins which have different shapes. One important reason is that the designers wanted the coins to have a unique feel so that a person could easily identify the coin and its denomination. Differently abled people would also be able to identify the coin easily. Aesthetics also plays an important role in the designing of a coin. During times of shortage, the centre  of the coin was removed. Perhaps this would explain why some coins belonging to  the early forties had a hole in the centre! Perhaps this drastic step was taken due to a shortage of copper during the second world war! I have pasted below some photographs of coins with unique shapes:

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This Ethiopian 25 cents coin has a unique serrated edge which makes it easier to identify through touch, even in the dark! Moreover it has a unique aesthetic appearance!

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This Indian coin coming at the end of the Second World War doesn’t have a centre! This could have been the result of shortage of Copper. It has a unique beauty to it and lots of tactile feel, but then who would like to have coin without a centre, I guess a doughnut would be o.k.!

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This Indian coin has eight corners. This was  a design that was to be the accepted pattern of the ten paisa coin for years to come! It has a great tactile feel, and aesthetic beauty!
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This Five cents Canadian coin has no less than twelve corners…or did I count them wrong? The corners are so many, the coin so small that the coin feels round. Could it be a design flaw? The badger on the coin covers up for everything I guess!

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This three paisa coin is in the shape of a hexagon! It has a unique feel to it, and aesthetic beauty.
It is clear that there is however more to the shape of the coin than just aesthetics. Coins are made unique so that they have a tactile feel to them so that you don’t end up giving more than you wanted. The shape of the coin also points out to the economic condition of the country at the time of minting!

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