April 25, 2010


Filed under: Design,History by Branko Collin @ 11:48 am

The coin to the left was issued in 1681 by the states of Holland and Friesland, of the Dutch Republic. It was a silver guilder design sporting the lion from the coat of arms of Holland. The coin to the right was issued by the Netherlands in 1973, and was I believe the penultimate design.

The last design had a 1980-ish look with grids and layers. It was replaced in 2002 by the euro.

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March 3, 2010

Netherlands and Finland trade euro coins

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:23 am

Again this year the Netherlands and Finland are going to trade euro coins. In 2009 both countries were the first countries in Europe to do so, saving costs and probably giving the environment a break, too. Instead of running out of 5 euro cent coins and making more, trading is a much better option.

The Finnish need 2 euro cent (French one shown here) and the Dutch need 5 euro cent coins (Dutch one show here). The 1 euro cent is here is Belgian. Of all the euro cents I have had, the Finnish ones are quite rare and I was told that they made less of them, as compared to other countries.

What I do find odd is that I was told that big stores in Finland round off prices to the nearest 0.05 cent, which would mean that like the Netherlands, they would need more 5 euro cents. If they need 2 euro cents, this means they don’t round off prices nearly as much as we do here or enjoy giving out lots of 2 euro cents to their customers.

Prices in big stores are rounded off to the nearest 0.05 as they were when we still had the guilder and did not have 2 euro cent and 1 euro cent coins. And rounding off saves time, money and space in cash registers. Paying with 2 and 1 cent coins is frowned upon in the Netherlands (never mind paying with anything more than a 50 euro bill – tourists often get the third degree with their 100 and 200 euro bills), while doing so in neighbouring Germany or Belgium is common. Both Germany and Belgium had equivalent coins back in the day.

Apparently 2 euro coins are also rare in Finland, while the Netherland has truckloads of them. It’s interesting to see how different countries deal with the same currency. The Dutch plan to swap 3 million 2 euro coins for 30 million 5 euro cents.

I’ve just realised that I had a big coffee can full of 5, 2 and 1 cent coins lying around.

(Link: blikopnieuws.nl)

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June 8, 2009

Three treasures discovered in same month in same city

Filed under: General,Science by Branko Collin @ 9:36 am

Last month, three coin treasures were found in Groningen during archaeological digs. Don’t get all excited though, as a coin treasure is defined as anything over five coins, or as Blackadder character Baldrick would have it, some coins. The biggest find was a collection of half-stuivers, stuivers and double stuivers (a stuiver is the Dutch equivalent of a shilling or a nickel) in a jar, estimated to be worth three monthly salaries at the time they were minted, reports Blik op Nieuws (Dutch).

So who gets the loot? After a find of celtic silver and gold coins near Maastricht two years ago, archaeologist Wim Dijkman of the city of Maastricht told Z24 (Dutch): “According to the law, half of the estimated value goes to the owner of the land, the other half to the finder. Since this find has become an official one, the finder is the city of Maastricht.” That find was estimated to be worth several hundred thousand euro, and since Maastricht wanted to keep the coins for its own collection, it had to pay the land-owners from its own purse.

(By the way, the coins in the picture were found in my own wallet and are not an official treasure.)

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November 1, 2008

Geeked out coin wins design comp

Filed under: Architecture,Design,Dutch first by Branko Collin @ 4:18 pm

Stani Michiels, artist by day and Python hacker by night, created a five euro coin using only free software for a design competion issued by the Dutch mint, and won. The coin, commemorating a rich Dutch architectural tradition, should be available nowish.

The coin’s obverse consists of a portrait of the queen made up out of the names of famous architects, and the reverse displays an outline of the country that doubles as a skyline made by positioning architecture books in a circle.

Michiels — a Belgian responsible for SPE-IDE, a Python IDE, and Phatch, a photo editor — outlines all the little design details in a long blog post, including the software he used (Python, of course) and the calculations and Google search results that went into this design. Unfortunately the mint would not allow Michiels to release the designs under the GPL license.

The Netherlands has a long tradition of meaningful and elaborately designed money, as we touched upon earlier.

Via LWN.net.

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September 24, 2008

The police and the artwork

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 8:32 am

When guerrilla art becomes official, we need to look to officials for guerrilla art.

Some 250,000 coloured euro cents, weighing 670 kilos, and worth 2,500 euro formed the minted graffiti of Stefan Sagmeister as part of Experimenta Design 2008 in Amsterdam. According to the artist:

After the piece is completely set up we will leave it alone, on the street. We expect the piece to slowly dissolve as people take coins, play with them, alter the design.

This happened sooner than expected. Not everybody was in on the artist’s idea of slow disintegration, and when a neighbour saw somebody with a large bag sampling the artwork, they called the police. The police tried and failed to contact the owner, and then decided to help out further by, er, interacting with the artwork themselves, cleaning the entire square. Somehow the artist, who got his coins back in what can only be described as body bags for art works, hadn’t seen that one coming.

Volunteers had worked for 8 days to spell out the text “Obsessions make my life worse and my work better” in painted cents.

“Vandalism or street art?” asks Bright about the piece. “Police destroys art work,” headlines Francisco van Jole. “Money the police sure can use,” muses Trendbeheer. Anyway, still plenty photos and even videos exist. Amongst them this rather artful one by Anjens, some rights reserved and titled CSI Amsterdam.

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