The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 35, August 27, 2006, Article 8


In my comments last week on the Canadian Victory Nickel I asked
whether there are coins that display three languages.

Serge Pelletier writes: "I must make a couple of remarks on the
Victory nickel story.  First, the description of the reverse is
inaccurate as the word "five" is not present.  To use that word
would make a piece English rather than bilingual, thus the use
of Roman numeral "V" rather than the usual "5".  Second, there
are four languages on this piece: the normal bilingual (English/
French) inscription, the Morse one... and Latin used on the obverse!"

[The story quoted stated "... the letter V with a flaming torch
in the middle. And below it, the words Five Cents."  -Editor]

Ken Berger writes: "If I'm not mistaken, the Alabama Quarter has
English, Latin & Braille.  Palestine coins have "Palestine" in three
languages: English, Arabic, and Hebrew.  Sri Lankan coins use Sinhala,
Tamil & English.

The half mohur coin of British East India Company Occupation (1811-16),
Java, Indonesia has script in Javanese, English and Arabic.  This is
getting too easy. Singapore coins have the name "Singapore" in four
languages English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Shall we try
for 5?"

Dave Lange writes: "The coins of Palestine just prior to the
establishment of Israel include the name "Palestine" in English,
Arabic and Hebrew. These are illustrated in Howard Berlin's entertaining
book, "The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate,
1927-1947." I picked it up at a show about a year or two ago, and it's
an excellent addition to my growing library on world coins."

David Gladfelter writes: "All of the coins of the Palestine Mandate
issued 1927-1946 by the British military administration had inscriptions
in English, Arabic and Hebrew. Reference: F. Pridmore, Coins of the
British Commonwealth of Nations, Part 2 (Asian Territories), pages 14-22.
I can think of many examples of coins with bilingual inscriptions, but
these are the only trilinguals that come to mind right now."

Robert Zavos, Bob Leonard, Bill Rosenblum and others also mentioned the
Palestine coins.  Bill Rosenblum writes: "In addition, most Israel
banknotes have inscriptions in those three languages as well. And the
1958-1960 series of Israel banknotes, which feature various workers
plying their trades, some of the notes have a Morse Code security strip.
The 1 Lira note featuring a fisherman has "Bank of Israel" on the brown
serial number variety (Pick 30c), the 10 Lirot notes with red, blue or
brown serial numbers (Pick 30b, c and d) which show a scientist has
"Zion Jerusalem" in Morse Code on its security strip and the 50 Lirot
note with blue, green or brown serial numbers featuring a boy and girl
says "The People of Israel Live" in Morse Code."

Bob Leonard writes: "The record for the most languages on a single coin
was set by the South Africa 2 Rand series of 1995 (Rugby World Cup, KM
153; 50th Anniversary FAO, KM 154; and 50th Anniversary, United Nations,
KM 155), continued in later years.  These coins have inscriptions in
ELEVEN languages:  Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, South Sotho, North
Sotho, Tswana, Swazi, Ndebele, Venda, and Tsangaan.  Because the words
for "South Africa" are the same in Zulu, Swazi, and Ndebele, and in
South and North Sotho, only eight versions are required.  They are
arranged two at the top and three to each side of the South African coat
of arms.  (These are proof-only, non-circulating legal tender coins,
so perhaps it could be argued that they are not true coins.)"

Yossi Dotan writes: "Here is one with 14 languages: The 100-euro gold
coin issued by Belgium in 2004 to mark the enlargement of the European
Union gives the country's name in its three official languages  Dutch,
 French and German; it has a reverse inscription in Latin, AMPLIATA
VNIO EVROPAEA (Enlargement of the European Union); and the map of the
25 countries that make up the enlarged European Union denotes the names
of the ten new member states (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) in their local

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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