World Coins

World Coins

Ever since the Chinese invented the first coinage around 900 B.C., world governments have created many types of legal tender meant for general circulation and meant to celebrate a person, place, or event. While most of these have been circular pieces of bronze, silver, gold or copper, other governments have used different materials. If you are starting a collection of world coins, then these frequently asked questions and answers may help guide you to the pieces you're looking for.

What are the parts of a coin?

Regardless of where it comes from around the world, collectors use some common language to describe them, including:

  • Obverse: The front. Often called the head.
  • Reverse: The back. Often called the tail.
  • Edge: The part between the obverse and the reverse.
  • Rim: The raised part running clear around its outside edge on the obverse or the reverse.
  • Flat: Any part that is not designed.
  • Legend: Any inscription telling where it was made and its worth.
  • Portrait or Design: The picture.
  • Motto: Any words used to inspire people, usually with patriotic feelings.
What shapes are coins made in around the world?

Different governments have made money in a variety of shapes, including:

  • Square: In an effort to help people with vision problems, each piece of money in Poland has a distinct shape with the PLD 10 being square. Aruba, the Bahamas, India, and Iraq are just a few of the countries which have square money.
  • Scalloped edges: Hold different pieces of scalloped coinage straight up and down, and you will see there are two different varieties. If it has a point in the middle, then it is called a peak-scalloped coin. Otherwise, it is called a tough-scalloped coin. Countries with scalloped money include Bangladesh, Belize, Egypt, and Hong Kong.
  • Triangles: Trading on the Bermuda Triangle, the country of Bermuda has issued triangular commemorative coinage. Cooks Island and Australia also have triangular money. Somalia manufactures pyramid-shaped coins designed to pay tribute to geometry.
  • Oval coins: In order to commemorate the 2000 expedition exploring the sinking of the Titanic, Liberia issued oval money with a picture of the vessel. Embedded in the money is a tiny piece of coal found near the wreckage. Turkey has oval silver money showing wildflowers, while Fiji offers a coin showing a 1920s airship.
  • Polygon: Great Britain, Ireland, Uganda, Gibraltar, and Barbados all have made money with seven sides. Chile and Hong Kong have each made units with 10 sides.
How do you start a world coin collection?

The process of starting a collection of world coins from around the globe is simple if you follow these guidelines:

  • Select a focus: You can choose to focus on money made with a certain composition such as silver, gold, or bronze. Another option is to focus on money from a particular region or in a particular shape.
  • Select goals: Working toward a particular goal, for example, collecting world coins from every country on the globe will encourage you to know what you need to obtain.
  • Select individual items: Choose items fitting your collection.