Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, seals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse reverse means the back face; the obverse of a coin is called heads, because it depicts the head of a prominent person, the reverse tails. In fields of scholarship outside numismatics, the term front is more used than obverse, while usage of reverse is widespread; the equivalent terms used in codicology, manuscript studies, print studies and publishing are "recto" and "verso". The side of a coin with the larger-scale image will be called the obverse and, if that does not serve to distinguish them, the side, more typical of a wide range of coins from that location will be called the obverse. Following this principle, in the most famous of ancient Greek coins, the tetradrachm of Athens, the obverse is the head of Athena and the reverse is her owl. Similar versions of these two images, both symbols of the state, were used on the Athenian coins for more than two centuries.
In the many republics of ancient Greece, such as Athens or Corinth, one side of their coins would have a symbol of the state their patron goddess or her symbol, which remained constant through all of the coins minted by that state, regarded as the obverse of those coins. The opposite side may have varied from time to time. In ancient Greek monarchical coinage, the situation continued whereby a larger image of a deity, is called the obverse, but a smaller image of a monarch appears on the other side, called the reverse. In a Western monarchy, it has been customary, following the tradition of the Hellenistic monarchs and the Roman emperors, for the currency to bear the head of the monarch on one side, always regarded as the obverse; this change happened in the coinage of Alexander the Great, which continued to be minted long after his death. After his conquest of ancient Egypt, he allowed himself to be depicted on the obverse of coins as a god-king, at least because he thought this would help secure the allegiance of the Egyptians, who had regarded their previous monarchs, the pharaohs, as divine.
The various Hellenistic rulers who were his successors followed his tradition and kept their images on the obverse of coins. A movement back to the earlier tradition of a deity being placed on the obverse occurred in Byzantine coinage, where a head of Christ became the obverse and a head or portrait of the emperor became considered the reverse; the introduction of this style in the gold coins of Justinian II from the year 695 provoked the Islamic Caliph, Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine designs, replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with just lettering on both sides of their coins. This script alone style was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. Without images, therefore, it is not always easy to tell which side will be regarded as the obverse without some knowledge. After 695 Islamic coins avoided all images of persons and contained script alone.
The side expressing the Six Kalimas is defined as the obverse. A convention exists to display the obverse to the left and the reverse to the right in photographs and museum displays, but this is not invariably observed; the form of currency follows its function, to serve as a accepted medium of exchange of value. This function rests on a state as guarantor of the value: either as trustworthy guarantor of the kind and amount of metal in a coin, or as powerful guarantor of the continuing acceptance of token coins. Traditionally, most states have been monarchies where the person of the monarch and the state were equivalent for most purposes. For this reason, the obverse side of a modern piece of currency is the one that evokes that reaction by invoking the strength of the state, that side always depicts a symbol of the state, whether it be the monarch or otherwise. If not provided for on the obverse, the reverse side contains information relating to a coin's role as medium of exchange. Additional space reflects the issuing country's culture or government, or evokes some aspect of the state's territory.
Regarding the euro, some confusion regarding the obverse and reverse of the euro coins exists. As agreed by the informal Economic and Finance Ministers Council of Verona in April 1996, despite the fact that a number of countries have a different design for each coin, the distinctive national side for the circulation coins is the obverse and the common European side is the reverse; this rule does not apply to the collector coins. A number of the designs used for obverse national sides of euro coins were taken from the reverse of the nations' former pre-euro coins. Several countries continue to use portraits of the reigning monarch. In Japan, from 1897 to the end of World War II, the following informal conventions existed: the Chrysanthemum Throne, representing the imperial family, appeared on all coins, this side was regarded as the obverse; the Chrys
Gold as an investment
Of all the precious metals, gold is the most popular as an investment. Investors buy gold as a way of diversifying risk through the use of futures contracts and derivatives; the gold market is subject to volatility as are other markets. Compared to other precious metals used for investment, gold has the most effective safe haven and hedging properties across a number of countries. Gold has been used throughout history as money and has been a relative standard for currency equivalents specific to economic regions or countries, until recent times. Many European countries implemented gold standards in the latter part of the 19th century until these were temporarily suspended in the financial crises involving World War I. After World War II, the Bretton Woods system pegged the United States dollar to gold at a rate of US$35 per troy ounce; the system existed until the 1971 Nixon Shock, when the US unilaterally suspended the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold and made the transition to a fiat currency system.
The last major currency to be divorced from gold was the Swiss Franc in 2000. Since 1919 the most common benchmark for the price of gold has been the London gold fixing, a twice-daily telephone meeting of representatives from five bullion-trading firms of the London bullion market. Furthermore, gold is traded continuously throughout the world based on the intra-day spot price, derived from over-the-counter gold-trading markets around the world; the following table sets out the gold price versus various assets and key statistics at five-year intervals. Like most commodities, the price of gold is driven by supply and demand, including speculative demand. However, unlike most other commodities and disposal play larger roles in affecting its price than its consumption. Most of the gold mined still exists in accessible form, such as bullion and mass-produced jewelry, with little value over its fine weight — so it is nearly as liquid as bullion, can come back onto the gold market. At the end of 2006, it was estimated that all the gold mined totalled 158,000 tonnes.
The investor Warren Buffett has said that the total amount of gold in the world, above ground could fit into a cube with sides of just 20 metres. However, estimates for the amount of gold that exists today vary and some have suggested the cube could be a lot smaller or larger. Given the huge quantity of gold stored above ground compared to the annual production, the price of gold is affected by changes in sentiment, which affects market supply and demand rather than on changes in annual production. According to the World Gold Council, annual mine production of gold over the last few years has been close to 2,500 tonnes. About 2,000 tonnes goes into jewelry and dental production, around 500 tonnes goes to retail investors and exchange-traded gold funds. Central banks and the International Monetary Fund play an important role in the gold price. At the end of 2004, central banks and official organizations held 19% of all above-ground gold as official gold reserves; the ten-year Washington Agreement on Gold, which dates from September 1999, limited gold sales by its members to less than 500 tonnes a year.
In 2009, this agreement was extended for a further five years, but with a smaller annual sales limit of 400 tonnes. European central banks, such as the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank, have been key sellers of gold over this period. Although central banks do not announce gold purchases in advance, such as Russia, have expressed interest in growing their gold reserves again as of late 2005. In early 2006, which only holds 1.3% of its reserves in gold, announced that it was looking for ways to improve the returns on its official reserves. Some bulls hope that this signals that China might reposition more of its holdings into gold, in line with other central banks. Chinese investors began pursuing investment in gold as an alternative to investment in the Euro after the beginning of the Eurozone crisis in 2011. China has since become the world's top gold consumer as of 2013, it is accepted that the price of gold is related to interest rates. As interest rates rise, the general tendency is for the gold price, which earns no interest, to fall, vice versa.
As a result, the gold price can be correlated to central banks via their monetary policy decisions on interest rates. For example, if market signals indicate the possibility of prolonged inflation, central banks may decide to raise interest rates, which could reduce the price of gold, but this does not always happen: after the European Central Bank raised its interest rate on April 7, 2011, for the first time since 2008, the price of gold drove higher, hit a new high one day later. In August 2011 when interest rates in India were at their highest in two years, the gold prices peaked as well; the price of gold can be influenced by a number of macroeconomic variables. Such variables include the price of oil, the use of quantitative easing, currency exchange rate movements and returns on equity markets. Gold, like all precious metals, may be used as a hedge against inflation, deflation or currency devaluation, though its efficacy as such has been questioned. A unique feature of gold is; as Joe Foster, portfolio manager of the New York-based Van Eck International Gold Fund, explained in September 2010: The curren
Third guinea (British coin)
A seven shilling piece was introduced in Great Britain by a proclamation of 29 November 1797. It has been called a guinea being worth 21 shillings; the gold coin was minted only in the reign of George III. When it was introduced in 1797, during the French Revolutionary wars, the financial situation at the Bank of England was precarious: gold was in short supply and banknotes were given legal tender status in any amount. In order to pay the Bank's dividends it was decided to produce what at the time was known as seven-shilling pieces, with odd amounts of the dividend being paid in silver coins. A total of £315,000 worth of coins was authorised in October 1797; the denomination was struck each year until 1813, with the exception of 1805, 1807, 1812. Between 1800 and 1812 third and half guineas were the only gold coins issued; the coin was 17 millimetres in diameter with a milled edge. The design of the reverse changed in 1801 following the union of the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland, when the king relinquished his claim to the French throne.
There were two obverses used, with different portraits of the king, with the legend GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA. The design of the reverse was a crown, with the legend MAG BRI FR ET HIB REX date or FIDEI DEFENSOR BRITANNIARUM REX date. British Coins forum
Penny (British pre-decimal coin)
The pre-decimal penny was a coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling. Its symbol was d, from the Roman denarius, it was a continuation of the earlier English penny, in Scotland it had the same monetary value as one pre-1707 Scottish shilling. The penny was minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper, after 1860 in bronze; the plural of "penny" is "pence" when referring to a quantity of money and "pennies" when referring to a number of coins. Thus 8d is eight pence, but "eight pennies" means eight individual penny coins. Before Decimal Day in 1971 twelve pence made a shilling, twenty shillings made a pound, hence 240 pence in one pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. 42 pence would be three shillings and sixpence, pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d. This version of the penny was made obsolete in 1971 by decimalisation, was replaced by the decimal penny, worth 2.4 old pence.
The kingdoms of England and Scotland were merged by the 1707 Act of Union to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. The exchange rate between the pound scots and the English pound sterling had been fixed at 12:1 since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, in 1707 the pound Scots ceased to be legal tender, with the pound sterling to be used throughout Great Britain; the penny replaced the shilling of the pound scots. The design and specifications of the English penny were unchanged by the Union, it continued to be minted in silver after 1707. Queen Anne's reign saw pennies minted in 1708, 1709, 1710, 1713; these issues, were not for general circulation, instead being minted as Maundy money. The prohibitive cost of minting silver coins had meant the size of pennies had been reduced over the years, with the minting of silver pennies for general circulation being halted in 1660; the practice of minting pennies only for Maundy money continued through the reigns of George I and George II, into that of George III.
However, by George III's reign there was a shortage of pennies: things had got so bad that a great many merchants and mining companies issued their own copper tokens e.g. the Parys Mining Company on Anglesey issued huge numbers of tokens. In 1797, the government authorised Matthew Boulton to strike copper pennies and twopences at his Soho Mint in Birmingham. At the time it was believed that the face value of a coin should correspond to the value of the material it was made from, so they had to contain one or two pence worth of copper; this requirement meant that the coins would be larger than the silver pennies minted previously. The large size of the coins, combined with the thick rim where the inscription was incuse i.e. punched into the metal rather than standing proud of it, led to the coins being nicknamed "cartwheels". These pennies were minted over the course of several years, but all are marked with the date 1797. By 1802, the production of issued provincial tokens had ceased. However, in the next ten years the intrinsic value of copper rose.
The return of minted token coinage was evident by 1811 and endemic by 1812, as more and more of the Government-issued copper coinage was melted down. The Royal Mint undertook a massive recoinage programme in 1816, with large quantities of gold and silver coin being minted. To thwart the further issuance of private token coinage, in 1817 an Act of Parliament was passed which forbade the manufacture of private token coinage under severe penalties. Copper coins continued to be minted after 1797, through the reigns of George III, George IV and William IV, the early reign of Queen Victoria; these coins were smaller than the cartwheel pennies of 1797, contained a smaller amount of copper. In 1857 a survey by the Royal Mint found that around one third of all copper coinage was worn or mutilated by advertisements. Two years Thomas Graham, the Master of the Mint, convinced William Ewart Gladstone Chancellor of the Exchequer, that so large a part of the copper coinage must be taken out of circulation that it was worth introducing a whole new coinage which would be "much more convenient and agreeable in use".
These new coins were minted in bronze, their specifications were no longer constrained by the onerous requirement that their face value should match the value of the base metal used to make the coin. These new coins were introduced in 1860 and a year the withdrawal of the old copper coinage began; the specifications of the bronze version of the penny were a mass of 9.45 g and a diameter of 30.86 mm, remained as such for over a hundred years. Pennies were minted every year of Queen Victoria's reign, every year of Edward VII's reign. George V pennies were produced every year to the same standard until 1922, but after a three-year gap in production the alloy composition was changed to 95.5% copper, 3% tin, 1.5% zinc, although the weight and size remained unchanged. Thereafter, pennies were minted every year for the remainder of George V's reign, although only six or seven 1933 coins were minted for the king to lay under the foundation stones of new buildings. A few pennies of Edward VIII exist, dated 1937, but technically they are pattern coins i.e. coins produced for official approval, which it would have been due to receive about the time that the K
Crown (British coin)
The British crown, the successor to the English crown and the Scottish dollar, came into being with the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707. As with the English coin, its value was five shillings. Always a heavy silver coin weighing around one ounce, during the 19th and 20th centuries the crown declined from being a real means of exchange to being a coin spent and minted for commemorative purposes only. In that format it has continued to be minted following decimalisation of the British currency in 1971. However, as the result of inflation the value of the coin was revised upwards in 1990 to five pounds; the coin's origins lay in the English silver crown, one of many silver coins that appeared in various countries from the 16th century onwards, the most famous example being the famous Spanish pieces of eight, all of which were of a similar size and weight and thus interchangeable in international trade. The kingdom of England minted gold Crowns in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The dies for all gold and silver coins of Queen Anne and King George I were engraved by John Croker, a migrant from Dresden in the Duchy of Saxony. The British crown was always a large coin, from the 19th century it did not circulate well. However, crowns were struck in a new monarch's coronation year, true of each monarch since King George IV up until the present monarch in 1953, with the single exception of King George V; the Queen Victoria "Gothic" crown of 1847 is considered by many to be the most beautiful British coin minted. The King George V "wreath" crowns struck from 1927 through 1936 depict a wreath on the reverse of the coin and were struck in low numbers. Struck late in the year and intended to be purchased as Christmas gifts, they did not circulate well, with the rarest of all dates, 1934, now fetching several thousand pounds each; the 1927 "wreath" crowns were struck as proofs only. With its large size, many of the coins were commemoratives; the 1951 issue was for the Festival of Britain, was only struck in proof condition.
The 1953 crown was issued to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, while the 1960 issue commemorated the British Exhibition in New York. The 1965 issue carried the image of Winston Churchill on the reverse, the first time a non-monarch or commoner was placed on a British coin, marked his death. According to the Standard Catalogue of coins, 19,640,000 of this coin were minted, a high number at the time, making them of little value today except as a mark of respect for the national war leader. Production of the Churchill Crown began on 11 October 1965, stopped in the summer of 1966; the crown was worth five shillings until decimalisation in February 1971. The last five shilling piece was minted in 1965; the crown coin was nicknamed the dollar, but is not to be confused with the British trade dollar that circulated in the Orient. In 2014, a new world record price was achieved for a milled silver crown; the coin was issued as a pattern by engraver Thomas Simon in 1663 and nicknamed the "Reddite Crown".
This was presented to Charles II as the new crown piece but was rejected in favour of the Roettiers Brothers' design. Auctioneers Spink & Son of London sold the coin on 27 March 2014 for £396,000 including commission. After decimalisation on 15 February 1971, a new coin known as a 25p piece was introduced. Whilst being legal tender, having the same decimal value as a crown, the 25p pieces were issued to commemorate events, such as: the 1972 piece was for the Silver Wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. All of these issues were struck in large mintages, in plastic cases, in cupro-nickel, an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel. However, in addition to this, limited numbers of collectors' coins of these modern issues were struck to proof quality separately by the Royal Mint in sterling silver and presented with certificates of authenticity in boxes; the mintages for the silver proof 25p coins issued are as follows: 1972: 100,000 1977: 377,000 1980: 83,672 1981: 218,142Further issues continue to be minted to the present day with a value of twenty-five pence, from 1990, with a value of five pounds.
The legal tender value of the crown remained as five shillings from 1544 to 1965. However, for most of this period there was no denominational designation or "face value" mark of value displayed on the coin. From 1927 to 1939, the word "CROWN" appears, from 1951 to 1960 this was changed to "FIVE SHILLINGS". After decimalisation in 1971, the face value kept its five shillings equivalent at 25 new pence simply 25 pence, although the face value is not shown on any of these issues. From 1990, the crown was re-tariffed at five pounds in view of its large size compared with its face value, taking into consideration its production costs, the Royal Mint's profits on sales of commemorative coins. While this change was understandable, it has brought with it a slight confusion, the popular misbelief that all crowns have a five-pound face value, i
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency
The gram is a metric system unit of mass. Defined as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, at the temperature of melting ice". However, in a reversal of reference and defined units, a gram is now defined as one thousandth of the SI base unit, the kilogram, or 1×10−3 kg, which itself is now defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, not in terms of grams, but by "the amount of electricity needed to counteract its force" The only unit symbol for gram, recognised by the International System of Units is "g" following the numeric value with a space, as in "640 g" to stand for "640 grams" in the English language; the SI does not support the use of abbreviations such as "gr", "gm" or "Gm". The word gramme was adopted by the French National Convention in its 1795 decree revising the metric system as replacing the gravet introduced in 1793, its definition remained that of the weight of a cubic centimetre of water. French gramme was taken from the Late Latin term gramma.
This word—ultimately from Greek γράμμα, "letter"—had adopted a specialised meaning in Late Antiquity of "one twenty-fourth part of an ounce", corresponding to about 1.14 modern grams. This use of the term is found in the carmen de ponderibus et mensuris composed around 400 AD. There is evidence that the Greek γράμμα was used in the same sense at around the same time, in the 4th century, survived in this sense into Medieval Greek, while the Latin term did not remain current in Medieval Latin and was recovered in Renaissance scholarship; the gram was the fundamental unit of mass in the 19th-century centimetre–gram–second system of units. The CGS system co-existed with the MKS system of units, first proposed in 1901, during much of the 20th century, but the gram has been displaced by the kilogram as the fundamental unit for mass when the MKS system was chosen for the SI base units in 1960; the gram is today the most used unit of measurement for non-liquid ingredients in cooking and grocery shopping worldwide.
Most standards and legal requirements for nutrition labels on food products require relative contents to be stated per 100 g of the product, such that the resulting figure can be read as a percentage by weight. 1 gram = 15.4323583529 grains 1 grain = 0.06479891 grams 1 avoirdupois ounce = 28.349523125 grams 1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams 100 grams = 3.527396195 ounces 1 gram = 5 carats 1 gram = 8.98755179×1013 joules 1 undecimogramme = 1 "eleventh-gram" = 10−11 grams in the historic quadrant–eleventh-gram–second system a.k.a. hebdometre–undecimogramme–second system 500 grams = 1 Jin in the Chinese units of measurement. 1 gram is equal to 1 small paper clip or pen cap. The Japanese 1 yen coin has a mass of one gram, lighter than the British penny, the United States cent, the Euro cent, the 5 cent Australian coins. Conversion of units Duella Gold gram Orders of magnitude Gram at Encyclopædia Britannica