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Cigarette Quarters


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Did you know that, in Belgium in the early 1960s, the price of a cigarette pack influenced the production of coins?

 

Well, it was news to me ... I just got the latest issue of "Monnaie Info" (the Belgian Mint's magazine) today, and it has an interesting article about the Belgian 20 and 25 centimes coins. In the 1950s, new 20c coins had been issued which were supposed to replace the older 25c pieces. That small copper coin, however, turned out to not be very popular.

 

So in 1962 there were plans to replace it - some suggested to make it smaller others said that a different alloy would be the way to go, some said the denomination should be replaced by a 25c again or done away with altogether.

 

In August 1962, however, the prices of most cigarette packs went up, and most packs now had prices like 12.25, 13.25 or 13.75 francs. After a while, the cigarette manufacturers and others asked the National Bank to supply new 25c coins. At that time, the central bank still had about 6.5 million "old" 25c coins (the zinc pieces with a central hole) ... and apparently the easiest thing to do was to make new "quarters" with the old design. Not only that - the new pieces would simply show the year 1946. :ninja:

 

About 18 million of these "new old" coins were made in 1962, 1963 and 1964. Finally, in mid-'64, a new and smaller 25c type was issued. That one stayed in circulation until 1981 ...

 

Christian

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Quite possibly so ... :ninja: According to the article, by the way, one of the reason to discontinue the production of those "1946" coins was that the cost exceeded the face value. Seems that, mostly due to the hole in the center, it cost 26 centimes in the early/mid 60s to make one 25 centime coin. The newer type (smaller, CuNi) was less expensive to make - until it became fairly worthless in the early 80s.

 

Christian

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a related thing happened in the netherlands. I can't exactly remember when, but it was some 15 years ago I think.

 

Cigarettes were increased in price to X.95 gulden. (X is a nuber; I don't smoke so I don't know if that was 4 or 5 or so, therefor an X).

 

We've got quite some machines in the Netherlands from which you can get smokes. To avoid that they have to give back a lot of change, they came up with a trick: add a 5 cent coin in the cellophane and ask for a nice round figure in guldens.

 

Now that took an awfull lot of 5 cent coins and it was feared that we would notice that in our change, hardly any 5 cent coins circulating. In pratice, it wasn't that bad...

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< To avoid that they have to give back a lot of change, they came up with a trick: add a 5 cent coin in the cellophane and ask for a nice round figure in guldens. >

 

They did the same thing in the US back in 1955. Cigarettes were 23 cents so they put two one cent pieces under the cellephane. That was how many of the 1955 doubled dies were distributed.

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