What do you think is the best-designed coin, and why?

The Royal Mint has unveiled a 12-sided £1 coin design. What do you think is the best-designed coin, and why?

Dominic Wilcox

‘I’m not sure about best-designed coins but the most unusual recent design may well be coins from the Pacific Island of Palau. These “Scent of Paradise” coins include a coconut image that can be rubbed to give off the smell of coconut. There are also coins with the scent of incense and “Sea Breeze”. I’m not sure what coin aromas we would have in the UK, perhaps each region could have their own scented coins such as Yorkshire pudding pound coins and Haggis pennies.’

Dominic Wilcox, artist and designer

Rob Self-Pierson

‘Nigeria, Switzerland, Australia, the States, Czech Republic. I’ve been to a few countries in my time and spent my fair share of coins. Funny, it’s the notes that stick in my memory. The floppy bills of the US, the clean and colourful Monopoly money from Down Under, those beautifully artistic huge denominations you find in Lagos. But coins. Coins? Good design solves a problem. The 2p piece is great for scratching scratch-cards. It’s bloody brilliant as a substitute for a flat-head screwdriver. It’s also a pretty funny monocle when you’re trying to entertain your nieces. So, on that basis, our very own understated 2p piece is my winner.’ 

Rob Self-Pierson, writer and consultant

Jenny Theolin

‘The value of a coin reaches far beyond its worth. I might be approaching this as a trick-question, but my favourite coin design is actually a necklace. It’s an Elizabeth II St George And The Dragon Gold Bullion Full Sovereign coin, which my mother picked up in an antique shop in 1982. It is cased in a golden frame and encrusted with rubies. She saved it and gave it to me on my 30th birthday. If I were to pick a coin design from a unbiased design perspective, it’ll be the €50 World Design Capital Helsinki coin – it’s got depth. And is far more memorable than most.’

Jenny Theolin, creative director, Soapbox & Sons

Alan Dye

‘A net bag of chocolate coins – not only are they bigger than the real thing – they’re shiny, they’re gold and they remind me of Christmas and being a child. You’d get your nails filled with chocolate when you opened them, you could trade them with your brothers, and best of all, you could eat them. They tasted horrible but I loved them – worth their weight in gold.’

Alan Dye, creative director, NB Studio

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  • Karina Monger November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I have to agree with Rob about Swiss bank notes. I’ve been to Fribourg a couple of times now and am always reluctant to spend them as they are so beautiful and vivid.

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