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The Daily Fail just has to say this. OK, it’s bimetallic but that is it. It doesn’t really look like the Euro. More to the point if we are introducing a new coin design does that not imply a commitment to Sterling? I don’t want the Euro. Guess why? Euro notes are OK. Euro Coins are very difficult to distinguish and God alone knows what they make ‘em from but after a couple of years they look tatty as Hell. Look, I can get myself around say US coinage, or Czech or Polish or British but Euros don’t float my boat. OK, so like the Euro coin it’s bimetallic but so is the GBP2 coin which I rather like. “Standing on the shoulders of giants” and all that caper. But dear me! The Euro cents I handled in Amsterdam recently just looked rough – like they came from one of those toy tills. They looked like they had been through a Belgian. Or an Alsation. Something of that kidney. They all look the bloody same yet different. Having different national images is a pain because whereas we have instantly identifiable symbols whereas having a variety of national symbols on the reverse you don’t bloody know – I mean you know if it is German* or French but it isn’t obvious if it is 10c or 20c. It identifies where the coin came from but not what it is worth. Having them all the same colour is a hyper-pain too. The notes work. The coinage doesn’t. And it looks shonky. It doesn’t look like the Euro my dear Fail. It looks nothing like it. I think it looks quite nice. Although by 2017 I bet it won’t buy a Coke but that is another matter. And there is also too many. I like the US system (I know they have other coins) but largely it’s 1,5,10,25 and that is your small onion. Works. OK, the fact that the nickel is bigger than the dime always annoyed me but nothing to the Euro. I also liked the dollar bill. I, being a Brit, am just not used to holding a wad of foldable. I felt like a movie star though in truth I had about enough to go to Wendy’s for a burger. The smallest paper you get here is a fiver which is worth roughly USD8.30**.

But, let’s get back to the score. The pound coin is not being scrapped. The Fail is mongering the scares. It is being replaced. Fair enough. It still has her Britannic Majesty’s head on it. It looks fuck all like a Euro. I quite like it.

*The German one has Norman Foster’s “Friendly Eagle” on it. You know the one that doesn’t invade Poland. And let us all be grateful for that. Because the last time that happened…

**So I say to my wife. “That’s good – can we go to the USA”. Problemo. Myt wife is a translator and is often paid in USD so that isn’t good. Swings and bloody roundabouts. You simply can’t win. You can run but if you do so you’ll only die tired.


  1. XX I mean you know if it is German* or French but it isn’t obvious if it is 10c or 20c. It identifies where the coin came from but not what it is worth. Having them all the same colour is a hyper-pain too. XX

    1) They are NOT the same coulour. 1/2/5 cent coins are brass, 10 Cent “gold.” And as to the Eagle…. Only the one and two Euro coins. The others are the Oak branch.

    I can not see your problem. Who NEEDS to know where they came from? They are all the same value wherever you go, and that was the whole bloody POINT behind the Euro.

    (Though I still think we should scrap it and go back to real money, the DEUTSCHMARK!

  2. The manufacturers of shopping trolleys will be celebrating today…

  3. If it is not gold or silver I am not really interested.

    “Paul you reactionary”.

    Yes indeed.

    Although I would settle for a transparent plastic coin – with a bit of gold or silver inside.

    Or even the electronic transfer of the ownership of physical gold and sliver (meaning the that material never had to physically move).

    But that is a rather different thing from fiat money (or electronic money).

  4. Andy says:

    When I first heard this I was ready to start grinding my teeth in fury since I like the Pound coin and don’t like having my money messed with, but since its modelled on the old thruppenny bit I`m mollified least its not some bland euro coin.

  5. RAB says:

    It’s modelled on the old thruppenny bit because after all the QE that’s been going on, that’s about what it’s worth.

    I found a bottle full of old Silver thruppenny bits in a cupboard at my mum’s house over the weekend. I wonder what they are worth in scrap value alone?

  6. NickM says:


    Not long since we took the penny jar to the Coinstar in Sainsburys. 38 quid!

  7. Julie near Chicago says:

    Quoth Nick:

    “They looked like they had been through a Belgian. Or an Alsation. Something of that kidney.”

    I detect the presence of the double-entendre, a.k.a. that “lowest form of wit” [NOT!], the pun.

    More subtle than we usually see, and thus highly enjoyable to the underexercised intellect.

    Well done, sir! *applause :) ;) *

    . . .

    PS. Word “LIKE” is a preposition, not a conjunction. “It doesn’t really look like the Euro”: Good! — “They looked like they had been through a Belgian”: Bad, very bad. The fact that 90% of Anglophones no longer speak the language does not imply that one must follow them off the Brooklyn Bridge. :>)!

  8. Tim Newman says:

    I judge currencies and their host countries’ pricing systems on how many kilograms of useless shrapnel you have to cart about with you after a week. Australia was terrible, I ended up with pockets full of 5c and 10c pieces you couldn’t spend anywhere. I filled a cereal bowl with $13 worth in 5 months. France was bad initially, and the shrapnel was racking up, until I started buying coffee from the vending machine at work and the pile diminished (you can have twelve coffee breaks an hour in France, and nobody will bat an eyelid). The UK is bad in the sense that you end up with 10kgs of metal in your pocket, but at least you can spend it (consisting mostly of £1 and £2 coins). Russia was good, not much shrapnel there…and Thailand is excellent: not much shrapnel, and you can spend what metal you have. Nigeria was the best of all because even the notes were worth fuck all: the highest denomination note, 1,000 Naira, was worth £4. If you wanted to buy a new TV for £400, you had to bring a sack of money with you (or use a credit card if you are utterly insane).

  9. Mr Ed says:

    Tim, I beg to differ on shrapnel. I regard a lack of shrapnel as a sign of the inflationist (i.e. nascent or full-blown Third World economy). Going to Europe from the UK makes an awkward transition as a lack of change makes transactions awkward, there seems to be a dearth of Euro coins, and historically in 1980s France, giving sweets for change was not uncommon in rural areas. I know of one tea shop in Cornwall that does not both with copper coins, the pound should become base 20 to admit the inflation of Sterling.

    My fine Mexican Piece of Eight – Ocho Reales – is a good solid silver coin from 1757, it feels like it was real money, from this stable.

  10. Mr Ed. “there seems to be a dearth of Euro coins,”

    They DO appear less often than they used to in your change. But I had never really noticed until you pointed it out.

  11. I reckon the reason is that nothing is priced in full Euros. Always €X,25, or 95, or whatever.

    I can not remember ever seeing anything for €7, or €9, for example.

  12. NickM says:

    Well, I dunno… On my recent return from Amsterdam I had a pile of Euro cents. And in this context a pack of Marlboro is exactly EUR6 everywhere although bizarrely the standard pack is 19 and not 20.

    Tim, I once worked with a Nigerian, he lived in Sunderland. He told me he had just got sick of having to bribe people all the time. Reminds me of the old Georgian (Tblisi, not Atlanta) curse, “May you have to live on your salary!”.

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