Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Scottish Currency

The Scottish independence debate has escalated a bit recently. As a Scot, I am undecided on the best response to the referendum question but as a numismatist, I am intregued by the issue of Scotland's coinage should we become independent (I doubt we will but for the sake of arguement lets continue). It appears that today the chancellor of the exchequer has implied that Scotland would not be able to continue using the pound sterling as we know it - this raises many questions for the numismatist up here. Mainly, what will the new currency be if not the pound? Lets look at the other choices as I see them.

  1.  The Euro - as a coin collector, I hope this is not the case and in the current economic climate, my gut feeling is we would not go down this route. We already have plentiful access to euro coins through holidays and from our Irish friends who bring them over - so much so that this would be nothing interesting to us. The Euro coins are spectacularly boring to collect too!
  2. The Pound Scots - this is a serious option. It is beyond me to examine the complex issues involving the resurrection of a 300+ year old currency and setting an exchange rate, deciding on debt apportionment etc but it does intregue me. For example, will we have the romantic old names like Bawbee, Hardheads and Pistoles? Will Her Majesty grace the obverse of the coins? What new designs should we have? Would it even be decimal?
  3. Dollars - would we even develop a brand new currency and coinage such as a Scottish Dollar and cent structure? In many ways this is the most exciting (and probably least likely!) option. Imagine the scope and potential in this concept!
And on that note, I shall leave you for tonight!

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