Saturday, January 22, 2005

Coins of the Realm

I’m not an expert on the symbols used on British money (but you can easily find it if you Google), but they do have some nice coins. (I was going to put in a link to some information and pictures, but I'm having a dreadful time finding a decent site.)

The 1p (that’s one pence) coin is similar in size to an American penny. It appears to be made of copper.

The 2p coin is also copper-coloured and is close to the size of an American quarter.

The 5p coin is silver-coloured but very small – smaller than an American dime, just not as thin.

The 10p coin is also silver-coloured and just a touch smaller than the 2p coin. Also, it has ridges along the edge, similar to those on an American quarter.

The 20p coin is slightly larger than the 1p coin. It is silver-coloured and is rounded but has seven distinct edges.

The 50p coin is also seven-sided and silver-coloured. It is just a bit larger than the 2p coin.

The £1 coin is a yellow-golden colour and is just larger than a 20p coin. Like the 10p coin, it has ridges along the edge. Unlike the smaller-denomination coins, however, there is also an inscription along the edge. There are several different obverse images (somewhat like the new designs on the American quarter or nickel). The edge inscription varies depending on the obverse image.

The £2 coin is the largest of the eight coins and is made of two different metals – one golden-coloured and the other silver-coloured. The edges are ridged and include the inscription, “Standing on the shoulders of giants.” There are several different obverse designs.

My favourite coin is the £1 coin. Small and gold-ish, using these coins makes me think of how it might have been to pay for things using gold coins. Though they aren’t wide in diameter, they are thicker than an American nickel. They make an impressive-looking pile when you have a lot of them.


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