Braille on Coins

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I have just written a short article which will be going in next month's edition of my monthly news letter Coin Compendium. I thought I would post it here first to see what other people have to say about the subject.

Braille on Coins

I was adding some Italian bi-metal coins onto my list of stock on my store web site, and was impressed to see the use of Braille in their design. I have been aware since early childhood that the blind can distinguish different coins by their size shape and weight, but they are still excluded from being able to enjoy the artistic qualities of a coin's design, and it is not possible for them to read the inscriptions like the rest of us who can see. This got me thinking how many other coins out there have Braille on them, and why is Braille not universally used on coins.

Braille was invented in January 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind man himself. Louis wanted to help other blind people like himself overcome their affliction and gain an education. There has clearly been enough time for Braille to have become incorporated into the normal design of coins, but this does not seem to have happened. Perhaps there is no need, as the coins as they are can still perform their practical function, but I still think would be a nice thing to have on the larger coins and on circulating commemorative coins. It would be interesting to hear the opinions of others on this matter, and if there are any other coins with Braille on them or currencies which have Braille on the coins as standard.


this is the only one i know
it is from India
world square coin book 1900-2000
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces625.html
This is another one.
I don't send via registered mail with very few exceptions.
Belgium - 2 Euro 2009 KM# 288
Costa Rica - 1 Colón 1998 KM# 233
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1983-1989 KM# 214
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1993 KM# 214.3
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1995 KM# 227
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1997-2001 KM# 227a
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 2005-2008 KM# 227b
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 1983-1992 KM# 215
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 1995 KM# 228
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 1997-1999 KM# 228a
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 2002 KM# 228.2
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 2005-2008 KM# 228b
Costa Rica - 20 Colones 1983-1996 KM# 216
Costa Rica - 25 Colones 1995 KM# 229
Costa Rica - 25 Colones 2001-2007 KM# 229a
Costa Rica - 50 Colones 1997-2003 KM# 231
Costa Rica - 50 Colones 2002 KM# 231.1a
Costa Rica - 50 Colones 2006-2008 KM# 231.1b
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 1995 KM# 230
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 1997-1999 KM# 230a
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 2000 KM# 240
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 2006-2007 KM# 240a
Costa Rica - 500 Colones 2003-2005 KM# 239
Costa Rica - 500 Colones 2006-2007 KM# 239.1a
India Republic - 2 Rupees 2009 KM# 368 (shown above)
Isle of Man - 1 Crown 1981 KM# 77
Italy - 500 Lire 1982-2001 KM# 111
Italy - 2 Euro 2009 KM# 310
Mexico - 10 Pesos 1985-1990 KM# 512
Mexico - 20 Pesos 1985-1990 KM# 508
Mexico - 50 Pesos 1984-1988 KM# 495
Mexico - 50 Pesos 1988-1992 KM# 495a
Mexico - 100 Pesos 1984-1992 KM# 493
Peru - 1 Céntimo 1991-2006 KM# 303
Peru - 5 Céntimos 1991-2007 KM# 304
Peru - 10 Céntimos 1991-2012 KM# 305
Peru - 20 Céntimos 1991-2012 KM# 306
Peru - 50 Céntimos 1991-2012 KM# 307
Peru - 1 Nuevo Sol 1991-2011 KM# 308
Slovenia - 10 Tolarjev 2000-2006 KM# 41
United States - 1/4 Dollar 2003 KM# 344a (shown above)
United States - 1 Dollar 2009 KM# 455

That is 42 Braille coins - either commemorating Louis or with symbols on.   :wiz:   :)
Strange enough, in Peru, they stopped around 2000 with Braille on the coins.
Probably weight and size is easier to recognize?
I imagine the braille gets worn off in regular circulation
It depends what the coin is made of if stainless steel is used it will take a long time to wear down.
Quote: ZacUKCosta Rica - 1 Colón 1998 KM# 233
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1983-1989 KM# 214
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1993 KM# 214.3
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1995 KM# 227
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 1997-2001 KM# 227a
Costa Rica - 5 Colones 2005-2008 KM# 227b
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 1983-1992 KM# 215
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 1995 KM# 228
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 1997-1999 KM# 228a
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 2002 KM# 228.2
Costa Rica - 10 Colones 2005-2008 KM# 228b
Costa Rica - 20 Colones 1983-1996 KM# 216
Costa Rica - 25 Colones 1995 KM# 229
Costa Rica - 25 Colones 2001-2007 KM# 229a
Costa Rica - 50 Colones 1997-2003 KM# 231
Costa Rica - 50 Colones 2002 KM# 231.1a
Costa Rica - 50 Colones 2006-2008 KM# 231.1b
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 1995 KM# 230
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 1997-1999 KM# 230a
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 2000 KM# 240
Costa Rica - 100 Colones 2006-2007 KM# 240a
Costa Rica - 500 Colones 2003-2005 KM# 239
Costa Rica - 500 Colones 2006-2007 KM# 239.1a
Yeah. I am from Costa Rica and, although I don't know the exact reason of our braille coins, we have had important reforms concerning accessibility to people with disabilities. At least, it is a common theme of discussion in the Costarican parliament, where there's even one political party called PASE, which is in Spanish to Accessibility Without Exclusion Party... I don't know if there's an specific law that forces coins to be also in braille though...
Hi,
I started researching a similar topic and posted about it on WorldOfCoins. That discussion maybe relevant to this topic. Actually they pointed me to this post from there.
You can find the other discussion at:
http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,22963.0.html

Also, did you publish the article? If you did, where would I find it?

Tom
https://BlindCoinCollector.com
Member of WINS, CCC, NBS
Quote: ZacUKItaly - 500 Lire 1982-2001 KM# 111
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces302.html

I think it was the first bi-metallic and also the first coin with Braille, also with a very artistic and nice design. The most innovative coin in centuries.
Referee for Spain, Iberia (ancient), Suebi Kingdom and Visigothic Kingdom
Quote: tbabinszkiHi,
I started researching a similar topic and posted about it on WorldOfCoins. That discussion maybe relevant to this topic. Actually they pointed me to this post from there.
You can find the other discussion at:
http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,22963.0.html

Also, did you publish the article? If you did, where would I find it?

Tom
It was something or nothing really. I never got anywhere with it and it got deleted. Back then I was attempting to do too much at once and as a result little got done well.
Today I received this coin:
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces6667.html
And I noticed the braille on it (at least I think it is), and made me curious about the history of braille on coins. Not want to start a new topic I add it to this one. I noticed in the catalog that this part of the text is not mentioned in the description (reverse). Now I will always wonder what it says. Maybe if somebody can tell me I can ask on the catalog forum to add this information.
Quote: antonpieterNow I will always wonder what it says. Maybe if somebody can tell me I can ask on the catalog forum to add this information.
There is no need to wonder much longer: In braille it says "rok 2000", which is Czech for 'year 2000', which is the event commemorated with this coin.
'2000' is actually written as '#bjjj' where the # stands for a sign that indicates that the following characters are to be interpreted as figures (a to j = 1 to 0).

Nice discovery!
I read somewhere a while ago that Canada switched to the twelve- sided cent to make recognition of that coin easier for the blind. https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces427.html
They switched back to round in 1997, and I am not sure why.
Quote: ZacUKItaly - 500 Lire 1982-2001 KM# 111
I have 3 of these coins and never realised that was braille on them before.  You live and learn  :D

Quote: ZacUKMexico - 100 Pesos 1984-1992 KM# 493
Oh, and 1 of these  :)
ArnoV thank you for your little college on braille. This week I also got a Peru coin 50 centimos with braille. But they stopped using it on the coin after a few years. Coins with or without braille have the same category KM number. Why?? Because British coins with or without Ind, for example, on it have different KM numbers.
Is there any logic behind this?
To be complete I mean the coins:


https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces2444.html
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces884.html
https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces883.html

And to add more to my confusion in the Ukraine we have coins with dots, berries and mintmarks and there is the usage of KM numbers with a or b

My opinion: the Peru coin with braille is another coin then the coin without and deserves its own page!

Anyone with reflections on this?

Regards,
Anton Pieter
Quote: antonpieterIs there any logic behind this?
I really don't know. Only Krause knows, I think. I posted a similar question on the forum why different mintmarks on Danish coins (and French) get different KM subnumbers, while this is not the case for German or US coins. But nobody seems to know.

As for the lesson on braille: I'm no specialist. I thought it would be nice to just repeat what I had learned myself five minutes earlier. Google is a friend of mine  :O
Just following up on this old conversation.
In the meantime I have done some research about braille on coins. So far I found over 100 coins. As I am completely blind, I will have to have some this info verified from pictures, but my hope is to update the Numista database with this info.
What's interesting is what is really braile? For example on the 1988 Brazilian commemorative Curzados you can see stars. Only if you know braille will it make sense that these are in the shape of the braille number 100 without the numbersign. But the number 1 without the numbersign is one dot. So, when you see that, is this a dot or a number 1? Most likely if the 5 has two dots in a diagonal direction, the one dot was braille, too. See Costa Rican 1 and 5 Colones.
Interesting stuff, just stratching the surface here.
https://BlindCoinCollector.com
Member of WINS, CCC, NBS
Hi,

it so happens, that I have a friend, who's completely blind, but he still collects coins

https://blindcoincollector.com

have a look and ask ALL your questions, he'll be happy to answer them.

Take care

Ole
Globetrotter
Coin varieties in French:
https://monnaiesetvarietes.numista.com

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