Welcome to Money & Geography, a blog blending numismatic and geographic information together! M&G features high-quality images, news about recent coin-and-banknote issues, and general facts about countries. Unless otherwise credited, images were taken by me via camera and modified for this blog. Thank you for visiting!
  • Odd-Shaped Coins page updated (March 31st, 2017)
  • My Collection page updated (Dec. 20th, 2016)
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  • January 3, 2018

    Coins with Fish

    Ten coins from the Bahamas, East Timor, Guernsey, Iceland, Laos, Namibia, Seychelles, Saint Helena and Ascension, Sierra Leone, and Slovenia with aquatic life (crabs, fish, etc.) on them

    As evident in the Coins with Birds (↗) post and the relevant webpages on Daniel's Coin Zoo, it is easy to compile a low-cost coin collection regarding a particular animal. While mammals appear on about half of animal-featuring coins according to Daniel's Coin Zoo, coins with aquatic life are comparatively small in number but are certainly worthwhile to find. The Daniel's Coin Zoo (↗) website comprehensively lists virtually all coins with fish and other aquatic organisms. This post highlights several coins in my collection:

    THE BAHAMAS 1 Cent (1998) coin features a red cushion starfish (West Indian sea star).

    • The EAST TIMOR (Timor-Leste) 1 Centavo (2004) coin features a nautilus.

    • The GUERNSEY 1 Penny (1998) coin features a spider crab.

    • The ICELAND 1 Króna (1999) coin features an Atlantic cod.

    • The LAOS 50 Att (1980) coin features a carp fish. Details about this coin are found on its own Money & Geography post (↗).

    • The NAMIBIA 5 Cents (2000) coin features a horse mackerel. Details about this coin are found on its own Money & Geography post (↗).

    • The SEYCHELLES 1 Cent (1997) coin features a mud crab.

    • The ST. HELENA AND ASCENSION 1 Penny (1997) features a yellowfin tuna.

    • The SIERRA LEONE 10 Leones (1996) coin features bonga shad fish.

    • The SLOVENIA 1 Tolar (1995) coin features brown trout. Details about this coin are found on its own Money & Geography post (↗).

    December 14, 2017

    Cambodia 10 Sen Coin, 1959

    Cambodia 10 Sen coin, 1959
    Click the image to enlarge it in a pop-up lightbox window.

    Minted for the Royaume du Cambodge (Kingdom of CAMBODIA) and engraved by Lucien Georges Bazor at the Paris Mint, this ornate 10 Sen/Sén coin features a bird statue facing left. Coins featuring statues tend to depict a landmark statue located at a particular place. However, coin descriptions for the 1959-dated 10 Sen coin just note it as a "bird statue facing left." The armored bird does resemble Hong golden swan statues, which are even used for streetlights or lantern hangers in Cambodia's neighbor to the northwest: Thailand. Some traditional Khmer boats/canoes have bird heads at the bow. Were there once bird statues at Angkor Wat — a world-renown ancient Buddhist/Hindu temple near the city of Siem Reap — resembling this design? This could be possible as Angkor Wat and other Cambodian temples experienced far too many thefts. Fortunately, these coins remain in existence to display this stunningly stoic artwork.

    Here are the approximate coin values corresponding to condition, according to the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation's World Coin Price Guide (↗): a Very Fine (VF) 20 coin is worth 10 cents USD, an Extra Fine (XF) 40 coin is worth 20 cents, a Mint State (MS) 60 coin is worth $1.00 USD, and a Mint State (MS) 63 coin is worth $1.50. I am not much of an experienced coin grader, but I believe my coin (pictured above) is possibly Mint State 60 to 62 — or even higher? Made of aluminum and weighing 1.3 grams, 1 million (1,000,000) coins were minted. The 10 Sen coin has a diameter of 23 millimeters.

    100 Sen = 1 Riel (៛)
    Geographic Information about Cambodia
    ↗ (GeoFact of the Day)

    October 6, 2017

    Currency Symbols: Which are the Newest?

    These currency symbols are visible on my computer and most other people's electronic devices: ؋‏, ฿, ¢, ₡, ₵, $, ₫, €, ƒ, ₲, ₾, ₴, ₭, ₺, ₼, ₥, ₦, ₱, £, ރ ,៛ ,﷼, ₽, ₨, ௹, ₹, ৲, ৳, ૱, ₪, ₸, ₮, ₩, and ¥.* Four of these symbols are the newest additions to Unicode — the mechanism to display characters on digital devices — and in the world. Can you guess what they are? If not, they are conveniently listed multiple spaces down. Which currency symbols are your favorite ones? Let me know with a comment below!

    ... further down ...

    ... a little bit more ...

    ... here they are!

    Azerbaijani Manat currency symbol

    ₼ — Azerbaijani Manat
    Introduced in 2006, was not added to Unicode until 2013

    Georgian Lari currency symbol

    ₾ — Georgian Lari
    Introduced in 2014

    Russian Ruble currency code

    ₽ — Russian Ruble
    Introduced in 2013

    Turkish Lira currency code

    ₺ — Turkish Lira
    Introduced in 2012

    * For a complete list of currencies corresponding with each symbol, consult the Currency Symbols page on Wiktionary (↗).

    August 1, 2017

    Romania 100 Lei Coin, 2017

    Romania 100 Lei coin from 2017, celebrating bilateral relations of Romania and the United States

    FRANCE is known for donating the fascinating Statue of Liberty to the UNITED STATES — and therefore includes this landmark on commemorative coins in years past. This year, a country at the other side of Europe allows this monument to grace a Proof (mirror-like) gold coin. ROMANIA's 90%-gold 100 Lei coin features Lady Liberty with plenty of eye-pleasing space around her.

    The inscription around the rim reads Parteneriatui Strategic 🗽* Romania-Statele Unite ale Americii, which translates to the Romania-United States of America Strategic Partnership. In other words, this coin celebrates the beginning of more-cordial relations between Romania and the USA starting in 1997. 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton visited Romania and the Eastern European country became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

    Fittingly, these 250 coins (quite rare) were released on July 3rd, only one day before the USA's Independence Day. Opposite the Statue of Liberty on the 100 Lei coin is another architectural wonder, the doubled Cernavodă Bridge which hovers over the Danube river in southeastern Romania. "Floating" in the sky above the bridge is Romania's coat of arms. More information about this coin can be found in this Coin World post (↗), the credited source for the images and some info above.

    * This is a computer symbol ("emoji") representing the Statue of Liberty. It might show up as an outlined rectangle, depending on your browser.

    June 2, 2017

    Mauritania 100 Ouguiya Banknote

    Mauritania 100 Ouguiya banknote (2001)

    This 100 Ouguiya banknote was printed and distributed in 2001 by the Central Bank of MAURITANIA (French: Banque Centrale de Mauritanie). All 100 Ouguiya banknotes display the November 28th series date (28. 11. 2001). 1 Ouguiya equals 5 Khoums. In terms of legal tender, coins with the Khoums denomination — there were never any Khoums banknotes — are generally considered obsolete and rarely used for monetary transactions. Basic geographic facts about Mauritania can be found in the short-and-sweet GeoFact of the Day post (↗).

    What's on the Money?
    This banknote's obverse side is devoid of object illustrations but chock full of colorful, ornamental arabesque designs. Hassānīya Arabic text spells out Central Bank of Mauritania at the top, while Eastern Arabic numerals display the 100 denomination. The banknote's reverse depicts two West-African musical instruments, a grazing cow, and the Chinguetti Mosque in the background. The bottom-left instrument is known as the ardin, while the crossbow-looking instrument is called the kora ("African harp"). A component of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (↗), Chinguetti Mosque is located in the namesake town of Chinguetti (population: ~5,000) in north-central Mauritania. Above the mosque is a textbox with the following admonishment: Les auteurs ou complices de falsification ou de contrefaçon de billets de banque seront punis conformement aux lois et actes en vigueur. This is the English meaning of the counterfeit-thwarting statement: The perpetrators or accomplices of falsification or counterfeiting of banknotes will be punished in accordance with the laws and acts in force.

    April 27, 2017

    Niger Meteorite Coin

    Niger meteorite coin — 1000 Francs CFA, year 2016
    Click the image to enlarge it in a pop-up lightbox window.

    Pertaining to the second-to-latest post, BURKINA FASO is not the only country to issue a meteorite-themed silver coin in 2016 with the same 1000 Francs CFA denomination! While Burkina Faso's coin commemorates the meteorite of Château-Renard in FRANCE, neighboring NIGER's coin displays a pictorial scene closer to home. This coin shows the Mount Tazerzait meteorite zipping through the sky on Wednesday, August 21st, 1991 near Tahoua, Niger. With a population currently at about 125,000, Tahoua is a city located about 230 miles and 370 kilometers east of Niamey (Niger's capital) and at the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert. Mt. Tazerzait boasted a total weight of approximately 100 kilograms and 220.5 lbs before its discoverers hammered the humongous meteorite into smaller fragments.

    Original coin images (before editing) come from First Coin Company, Inc. (↗)

    March 31, 2017

    Bimetallic Coins Website

    You may have seen some of my posts pertaining to Bimetallic Coins (↗), but there is an entire website I recently discovered devoted to this type of coinage — and it is a wonderfully comprehensive resource. The World Bimetallic Coin News (↗) website includes PNG images, new coin releases, and extensive details of practically every legal-tender bimetallic coin in the world. Information on this website and its corresponding catalog publication includes the coins' denomination, year, metallic composition of the ring(s) and center disk, size and thickness, numismatic values, and Krause-Mishler (KM) catalog numbers.

    The webpage links below are particularly useful pages within the WBCN website. If you access the Bimetallic Coin Collection Manager webpage, there is a Download button allowing you to save a copy of an Excel file to your computer or device. This document allows you to track which coins you have and subsequently discover the value of your bimetallic coin collection. Even after only a day, I consider WBCN as one of my favorite numismatic websites — I hope you agree. By the way, this post is not a paid advertisement!

    Alphabetical country index (↗)

    Search for coins by continent (↗)

    Collection manager (↗)

    World Bimetallic Coin Catalog (↗) (includes a catalog preview)

    World Bimetallic Coin News is verified by Norton Safe Web as a safe website.

    March 29, 2017

    Burkina Faso Meteorite Coin

    Burkina Faso meteorite coin — 1000 Francs CFA, year 2016
    Click the image to enlarge it in a pop-up lightbox window.

    The afternoon of June 12th, 1841 in Château-Renard village — which, FYGI (for your geographic information), is located in present-day Loire department in FRANCE's Centre-Loire Valley region — was supposed to be like any other. However, a stony chondrite meteorite decided to drop near this community, and its 30-kilogram (66-pound) mass shattered into smaller fragments. Fortunately, no human injuries or deaths (but what about insects?) were reported with this incident, and multiple remnants of the meteorite were collected and studied.

    The Château-Renard meteorite is definitely not one of the largest meteorites to impact Earth — one from Namibia boasts a weight of 66 tons! Nevertheless, the meteoritic pieces are worthwhile enough to stick on 1000 Francs CFA coins issued by the MCI Mint on behalf of BURKINA FASO (West Africa, southeast of Mali). Comprised of silver in a patinaed antique finish, these 2016-dated coins actually have a meteorite fragment embedded on it! A 1-gram piece of the historic meteorite is valued at $300. The coins typically sell anywhere from $175 to $300 — a pretty great deal considering the history and value connected to them.

    Original coin images (before editing) come from First Coin Company, Inc. (↗)

    January 29, 2017

    Libya 1/4 Dinar Banknote

    Displaying a rather interesting denomination, the undated 1/4 Dinar banknote from LIBYA in North Africa was first issued in 2002. The banknote's obverse (front) side centrally shows the Arch of Tiberius, located in the Leptis Magna ancient Roman city. The arch and UNESCO-designated site (↗) are found near the Mediterranean Sea coast of Libya in Al Khums (Khoms) city. Palm trees and fortified walls grace the banknote's reverse (back) side, illustrating the Murzuq Fortress in southwestern Libya. One Libyan Dinar equals 1000 Dirhams, and the ISO 4217 currency code is LYD. Other countries using the Dinar currency are as follows: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Macedonia (Denar), Serbia, and Tunisia. Basic geographic facts about Libya can be found on GeoFact of the Day (↗).

    Rwanda 100 Francs Banknote (2003)

    Rwanda 100 Francs banknote from 2003

    This 100 Francs banknote from RWANDA in East Africa was first printed on January 5th, 2003. This banknote's obverse (front) side features the French name of the National Bank of Rwanda (Banque Nationale du Rwanda), while the reverse (back) side shows the Kinyarwanda (Rwandan) translation. Other versions on banknotes.com and worldbanknotegallery.com features both English and French names. Rwanda's largest lake — Lake Kivu (↗) — and surrounding rugged terrain are prominently featured on the reverse side. As of the last day in 2009, the 100 Francs banknote is no longer legal tender nor in circulation. Basic geographic facts about Rwanda can be found on GeoFact of the Day (↗).

    January 18, 2017

    Tanzania 20 Shilingi Banknote (1987)

    Like the Burundi banknote featured in Money & Geography's previous post, the neighboring Republic of TANZANIA's 20 Shilingi (Shilling) banknote features a blank outline map of the country. Geographic features shown on this banknote include Lake Malawi (Nyasa) (south), Lake Tanganyika (west), Lake Victoria (north), Pemba island (northeast), and Zanzibar island (south of Pemba). The 20 Shilingi banknote does not include a date on it. While the Burundi banknote is arguably bland, this one boasts some pops of color on the front side — with vibrant dark red and purplish hues encircling President Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1985-1995). By the way, Mwinyi is still living at 91 years old. Basic geographic facts about Tanzania can be found on the GeoFact of the Day Blog.

    Tanzania 20 Shilling or Shilingi banknote from 1987

    Burundi 10 Francs Banknote (1991)

    This 10 Francs banknote from the Republic of BURUNDI features a stylized map outline of Burundi, surrounding the relatively tiny country's coat of arms. Pictured below, my banknote is from the year 1991. I also have one from 1989, and both banknotes have the same designs on both sides. Unity, Work, and Progress are written in the French (Unite - Travail - Progres) and Kirundi (Ubumwe - Ibikorwa - Amajambere) languages, both of which are official languages in Burundi. Basic geographic facts about Burundi can be found on the GeoFact of the Day Blog.

    Burundi 10 Francs banknote from 1991

    December 18, 2016

    French Coin Celebrates 70th Anniversary of Peace after World War II

    France 2 Euro coin (year 2015) celebrating the 70th Anniversary of World War II's end — original image (without PNG modification) from Coin World

    On February 2nd, 2015, the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint) of FRANCE first released a circulating commemorative 2 Euro (€2) coin celebrating the 70th (seventieth) anniversary of World War II's peaceful aftermath. The obverse design clearly depicts a dove with an olive branch, but this branch contains stars rather than leaves. These stars — as well as the ones along this coin's cupronickel (copper-nickel) rim — represent the original twelve European Union member-countries. Above the dove is a funnel-shaped collection of each European Union country's abbreviations, which are two-lettered ISO country codes. Superimposed on the dove is the abbreviation RF, standing for République Français (French Republic). A comprehensive and convenient overview about France can be found in GeoFact of the Day's France post. The original coin illustration used for Money & Geography's image above was derived from Coin World (coinworld.com). What are your thoughts about this coin design? Feel free to sound off in the Comments section right below this sentence!

    Numismatic News from Around the World for November and December 2016

    Here are some Coin World headlines relating to coins and banknotes:

    AUSTRALIA: On November 24th, the Royal Australian Mint revealed a non-circulating commemorative 50-Cent coin honoring Australian cricketer Richie Benaud (1930-2015).

    BOLIVIA: According to a newly secured contract, the Mint of FINLAND (Suomen Rahapaja) will make 88 million bimetallic 5-Bolivianos circulation coins in 2017 and 2018. Finnish officials believe this deal is important for strengthening relationships between Finland and countries in South America.

    CANADA: The Royal Canadian Mint minted its first football-shaped coins. The silver $25 coin and gold $200 coin are both in Proof condition and have a convex and concave surface.

    LATVIA: On November 10th, the Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Bankas) released its first issue in a coin series that are inspired by historic gold brooches.

    NORWAY: The Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) will release new designs for the Scandinavian country's banknotes. The 100 Krone and 200 Krone banknotes will be issued to the public on May 30, 2017. Each banknote features a design relating to the country's seafaring history and economy. "The old notes will become invalid one year after their replacements are issued," according to Coin World.

    SAN MARINO: Completely surrounded by Italy, this tiny mountainous country released its first ringed-bimetallic 5 Euro coin. This coin commemorates the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a period of Catholic period held from December 8th, 2015 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) to November 20th, 2016 (Feast of Christ the King).

    UNITED KINGDOM: The 2017 British Sovereign gold coin celebrates the 200th anniversary of this iconic Saint Peter-slaying-Dragon coin design. This design on the modern sovereign coins (dating back to 1817) originated from coin-engraver Benedetto Pistrucci.

    UNITED STATES: (1) About 8,000 to 9,000 unsold Winged Liberty Head (2016) gold dimes were on sale starting December 15th for $200. (2) Three new mint products round out the year's brilliant offerings from the United States Mint. Numismatists can now buy the following coins: the 2016 American Eagle silver dollar (uncirculated; W mint mark), Silver Proof Set, and Fort Moultrie 5-ounce silver quarter (uncirculated; 99.9% fine silver; P mint mark) of the America the Beautiful series. (3) Through the Operation Sunset activity on November 15th, the Secret Service and Peruvian officials seized $30 million and €50,000 worth of counterfeit banknotes in Lima, PERU. Forty-eight (48) people were arrested. This was the Secret Service's largest seizure of counterfeit banknotes in history!

    Visit the GeoFact of the Day's Countries page for more information about these countries. This hyperlink conveniently opens the page in a new tab or window.

    November 7, 2016

    Star Trek Coins Shaped Like a Delta Shield!

    Star Trek Delta Shield coins (2016) from Canada and Tuvalu

    Mints around the world are continuously innovating to come up with revolutionary designs and shapes for commemorative coins. Two countries far, far away from each other — CANADA in North America and TUVALU in the Pacific Ocean — recently celebrate Star Trek's 50th Anniversary with the issuance of Delta Shield-shaped legal-tender coins! Both coins have a smooth edge and are minted in the mirror-like Proof condition.

    The Royal Canadian Mint minted a 99.99% gold proof coin with a 200 Dollars ($200) denomination and Susanna Blunt's effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. There is no public information about who designed the Star Trek-related Delta symbol and text. While receiving mostly positive reviews from coin purchasers, some reviewers noted that the coin's size (28.68 mm height, 17.50 mm width) was smaller than they expected once they received it. There were also some concerns relating to the striking quality below the "2016." This coin has been sold out from the mint's website since May. To buy this 16.2-gram coin with low 1,500-coin mintage, people had to pay up to $1,300 (Canadian dollars).

    The Perth Mint of Australia created a Tuvalu 1 Dollar ($1) proof coin with 1 troy ounce of 99.9% silver, a weight of 31.135 gram (minimum), and a thickness of 3.5 mm. Numismatists would be pleased that this coin is larger than Canada's, with a height of 60.5 millimeters and a width of 39 millimeters. They are also more likely to afford it since it sells for $80.23 US and $104.55 Australian on Perth Mint's website. Looks like there are still some available! No more than 5,000 coins were minted for sale. The coin's Star Trek side was designed by Jennifer McKenna. Ian Rank-Broadley's effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears surrounded by a circle of text showing her name and the coin's country, denomination, silver purity, and year.

    Money & Geography Blog's image features a background of NGC 281, a star-studded nebula nicknamed Pacman Nebula and located in the Cassiopeia constellation. Image background courtesy of NASA's Astronomy Photo of the Day, with original credit given to Ken Crawford and the Rancho del Sol Observatory.

    October 4, 2016

    This Gold African Coin Features Abraham Lincoln

    Equatorial Guinea 500 Pesetas (1976) coin featuring U.S. President Abraham Lincoln

    Original coin images from Modern Precious Coins

    U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (serving 1861-1865) appears on the obverses of multiple American coins and medals — not surprising given that the United States' 16th president is one of the most beloved leaders in the nation and throughout the world. Therefore, it arguably may not be surprising that Honest Abe shows up on coins from all around the world, too. One brilliant example is the EQUATORIAL GUINEA 500 Pesetas gold coin, issued in 1970 and appearing in the image above. On Equatorial Guinea's coin, Lincoln's name is translated as Abramo Lincoln because Spanish is the west-central African country's official language — which is not the case in every other African state. People used the Equatorial Guinean Peseta as legal tender in only six years, from 1969 to 1975. The country's present-day currency is the Central African Franc (ISO 4217 Code: XAF).

    September 11, 2016

    Cook Islands Coin Smells Like Chocolate!

    Native people of the COOK ISLANDS predominantly grow fruit (bananas, mangoes, papayas, passionfruit, pineapple, etc.), yams, taro, coconuts, and coffee beans — but do not cultivate the cocoa (cacao) beans and bean pods used for chocolate. While the Cook Islands of the South Pacific Ocean do not really produce ingredients necessary for chocolate, it commemorated the worldwide popularity of chocolate with its colorized and scented 5 Dollar coin in 2014. Only 2,500 of these coins were crafted; with a low mintage and relatively high demand, these coins were mouth-watering items that plenty of numismatists and chocoholics alike could not resist. I just hope no one accidentally bit into his or her coin!

    Blog Content

    Unless credits are given to another source, all banknote and coin images on the Money & Geography Blog have been taken by me. If you wanted to use an image for a website or another medium, not a problem...please write a comment (include the website, etc. that you plan to use it on) to ask for permission. Thanks for visiting!

    Disseminating information about money and geography since 2009

    Disseminating information about money and geography since 2009