Notorious Blunders

On more than one occasion, and in more than one country, a coin was minted in production quantity after passing all QC measures, only to be returned to the drawing board due to mistakes in the wording. Today, I will present three examples of this.

The first takes us back to 1949, when Jordan first issued coins. The Jordanian Dinar consisted of 1000 Fils and the coins included 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Fils. The interesting part is that the coin designer, W. M. Gardner, must have thought that the singular was “Fil” while the plural was “Fils”. In fact, that was not the case and the correct Arabic singular was “Fils”. The coin, nonetheless, was made as a “Fil” and fixed some time later.

The second is a Saudi 25 Halala coin dating back to sometime around 1972 (1392 on the Hijra calendar). In Arabic, the word for “twenty five” changes form depending on its placement in the sentence and the gender of what it describes. Mistakenly, the wrong form of the word was used by writing خمسة وعشرون instead of خمس وعشرون. This was later corrected, naturally.

The third is an Iraqi 500 Fils coin dating back to 1982. Again, the wrong form of the word “Fils” was used and had to be corrected later upon discovery. The initial, incorrect form was “فلسا” and it was changed to “فلس”.

6 comments on “Notorious Blunders

  1. Rima says:

    Call back for coins! Interesting.

  2. ahmad ghazi says:

    عزيزي مهدي المحترم
    تحية طيبة
    عندما طرح البنك المركزي العراقي فئة 500 فلساً ,, اعترض علماء اللغة العربية وعلى رأسهم المرحوم جلال الحنفي اي خطأ لغوي وقام هذا العالم الجليل بحملة في الصحف المحلية استجاب لها البنك المركزي العراقي وتم سحب فئة فلسا وطرح بدلها فئة فلس وحقيقة هو ليس خطأ بمعنى الخطأ او ما يطلق عليه Error يستوجب ان نعمل له ضجة وللعلم بقيت فئة فلسا بالتداول اليومي لفترة طويلة وانا ذاكر كل ذلك في كتابي تاريخ النقود العراقية .
    وتقبل تحياتي
    احمد السامرائي

  3. S.C. says:

    Were all these coin designs made by western engravers? That would make sense. I’ve been studying Arabic for a little while (very off and on) and I still mess up some of the gender and number endings of the nouns.

  4. arabiancoins says:

    Thank you for your comments.

    The additional information in Ahmad Ghazi’s book is indeed helpful. For non-Arabic speakers, it appears that Arab linguists objected to having a grammatical error in their coins, for good reason, and made a lot of noise in the media to the extend that the Central Bank of Iraq withdrew the original coin and issued the corrected version, though it continued to circulate for a long time. Like all of these coins, an error was made, but these are not really “error” coins as there was no mistake in the minting process.

    S.C., I believe all of these were done by western engravers, but it is not inconceivable that the wording was provided to them in this form at least for the Saudi and Iraqi piece. Incidentally, I happen to have in my collection the original Jordan 1949 proof set that belonged to W. M. Gardner, the designer of the reverse of the Jordanian first issue.

    I did forget to mention one more “blunder” in my original post, which in my opinion is the most interesting and difficult to obtain one of the lot. Specifically, I am referring to the Iraq 20 Fils 1933 with a Hijra date of 1252 instead of 1352 – a spectacular coin.

  5. pounds says:

    My brother recommended I might like this website.
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  6. Hasan H. Hamdan says:

    The 4th. was the 1982 500 فلساً Falsan of the Historical City of Babylon reconstruction, that has been corrected later to a 500 فلس Fils…

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