A unique Occasion | Silver Coins

A unique Occasion

Art for art’s sake

THIS MONTH the Royal Mint has released their most current styles for 2013 (you will find particulars of the £1 coins on the Royal Mint’s Bulletin Page, web page 28) and it appears they have gone back to simplistic suggestions with the new “floral” reverses of the £1 coins being unadorned by something other than the most standard rendition of national symbols (the oak and the rose for England, the daffodil and leek for Wales—arguments as to regardless of whether the oak and the leek count as “floral” will, undoubtedly come later). The new £2 coin is equally simplistic with a simple London Underground sign rendered artfully to celebrate the “Tube’s” 150th anniversary. The new £5 crown (information of these two coins will seem next month but can be noticed at www.tokenpublishing.com now) is set to be just that: a simple depiction of King Edward’s crown to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. These styles are not an accident—it is clear that the Mint has taken a conscious decision to tone down the far more elaborate designs that have come out of their studios in the previous and make numismatic items that are far more basic, though I use this term with no hint of derision I assure you— sometimes the most simplistic issues operate nicely and the overdesigned gets messy, as a appear at some of our much more “artful” coinage in current years will attest to.

The new Royal Mint designs do not only differ from some of their own function from years gone by, but they also contrast sharply with some offerings from other nations. Phil, our Marketing and advertising Director, has the privilege of becoming a single of the judges on Krause Publications’ “Coin of the Year” panel and some of the designs that appeared on the category short-lists this year can only be described as “brave”. Rather than give away how he voted I will just say that particular designs had been so elaborate that it wasn’t simple to see that they have been even coins, and others had been so over-developed that it produced him believe that particular Mint’s designers might have too a lot time on their hands. . . . That isn’t to say the styles had been poor, they weren’t, they just weren’t to his taste, even though other people had apparently located them attractive, hence their inclusion on the quick-list. That, of course is the way with coin design and style: it won’t constantly be to everyone’s taste. There will be these that hate the final “Coin of the Year”, just as there will be these who enjoy it those who deride the Royal Mint’s new styles just as significantly as these who applaud them. Like any art, coin design divides us and rarely do we discover one particular coinage, ancient or modern, that is universally liked. Perhaps the Athenian Owls and other Greek masterpieces are the closest we will get to coinage style that is liked by the majority, but even these gems discover their critics. Put ten numismatists in a space with coins from across the ages and I am pretty certain you will get at least nine various opinions on what is the finest design—ten when the two who chose the very same coin realise that they had in fact agreed on anything!

Coin style is portion of what tends to make this hobby so diverse. The fact that we gather miniature operates of art as effectively as date runs and rarities just makes the complete point that tiny bit more exciting. But does coin design and style truly matter outdoors of our hobby? Does it actually make any difference whether or not we have a stunning arty piece or a utilitarian “token” that basically states what it is and what it is worth? Does it matter that Mints of the globe spend thousands of pounds/dollars/ whatever and thousands of hours coming up with these functions of art? Definitely, with the commemorative coins, far more akin to medallions than the circulating coinage in our purses and pockets, I can see the value of spending the time and money—these are pieces that are bought as art in numerous situations. Folks get them due to the fact they like the style. But the coins we have in use each and every day? Is there any real need to have for anything other than the most fundamental of info on them? There is the issue of counterfeiting of course, but as we have observed, even far more elaborate styles fall foul of the criminals, so how a coin looks is hardly a deterrent. Early coins were homage pieces: paying tribute to a god or emperor and their design reflected that deity/ person’s significance, but in the 21st century do we require to do that any a lot more? A coin is a token representing a monetary worth (there is no intrinsic worth in our coinage now), so shouldn’t it just appear as fundamental as the toy funds we played with as young children? A denomination, a nation of concern and small much more? There’s one thing to be mentioned for that, yes, but I for one particular am extremely glad it isn’t the case. In every stroll of life aesthetics add worth and no matter whether you like or loathe the designs coming out of the World’s Mints this year, I believe we can all agree that it is far far better that there ARE styles than not. A globe exactly where every little thing is fundamental and utilitarian would be a extremely dull planet indeed.
Token Publishing

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