Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Obsolete Money

I just got a nice stash of coins in the mail from a friend, all traveler's pocket change left marooned by the Euro:

One schilling, Republic of Osterrieich (Austria), 1973.
Ten pfennig, 2 each, 1950 and 1971, Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).
5 Deutschmark, 1975
One Deutschmark, 3 each, 1973, 1985, 1989
One Franc, France, 2 each, 1964 and 1977
Two Franc, France, 2 each, 1979 and 1980
2P, Eire, 1971
20P, Eire, 1986
5p, Eire, 3 each, 1992
10P, Eire, 1993
100 Lire, Italy, 2 each 1978
100 Lire, Italy, 1, 1994 (much in size than the one above)
200 Lire, Italy, Exposizione Mondiale di Filatelia Tematica, no date

These'll get added to my stash of coins to use in things.  I consider them too heavy for earrings, but bracelets and necklaces with a tribal theme, or an ornamental purse, yes.   The coins seems to have a national personality:  the German coinage features oak leaves and eagles, the Austrian, edelweiss, the Italian, human profiles as the tradition of Roman coinage lives on; and of them all, the most beautiful are the Irish coins with lovely animals, a horse, a salmon, a bull.  And their names are interesting, too:  mark, franc, lire, krone, pence, pound, and pfennig.  It must have been difficult, and disturbing, for people to give up their native coinage, so close to national identity, for the Euro, and to relearn the association to marketplace values.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, these coins are not really obsolete - they are still legal tender. Although mostly out of use, there are still places that accept the older currency.
    BTW, pence, pfennig and penny are very closely related words...