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  #1  
Old 07 June 2007, 01:10 PM
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Dactyl Dactyl is offline
 
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Default Guernsey/Jersey Pound

My work colleague, who has just got back from a holiday in Guernsey, says that because they are not legal tender in the UK, Guernsey (& Jersey) pound coins are weighted differently and will not work in UK vending machines.

I have plenty of pound coins that haven't worked in vending machines but I've never paid much attention to the picture on the back.

Can anyone debunk/verify this?
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  #2  
Old 07 June 2007, 01:18 PM
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I've not tried to use Jersey money here other than the odd 5p or 10p and they seemed to work.

I did once try and pay with a Northern Irish pound note and the shop wasn't have any of it.
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  #3  
Old 07 June 2007, 01:24 PM
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Wikipedia has something to say on the Guernsey Pound as well as on the question of different British coins and notes and whether they are legal tender.

Don Enrico
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Old 07 June 2007, 01:26 PM
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I've had the occasional Jersey 20p - they're different enough from the UK version to be noticeable if you look (they say "Bailiwick of Jersey"* on them as far as I remember - the only place I've seen the word "Bailiwick"), but similar enough that it's easy to pass them off in change without noticing. So you can "spend" them in that sense. I assume that if somebody noticed and refused to take it, you wouldn't be able to treat it as legal tender though.

I don't think I've ever seen a Jersey or Guernsey pound coin.

I don't know about Irish banknotes, but Scottish banknotes aren't legal tender in England, despite popular belief. In fact, they aren't legal tender anywhere in the UK - Scotland doesn't have a concept of legal tender. That doesn't mean that you can't spend them in England, but it does mean that a shopkeeper can refuse to take them as payment.

Legal tender doesn't mean what people think it means either. For a transaction to count as legal tender, it has to be in the exact change, too, for example. Basically it means an amount of money that you can dump on somebody's counter and walk away, and they won't be able to sue you for non-payment.

We've definitely had threads on this before...

* (eta) Based on Don Enrico's link, I think it was probably Guernsey not Jersey - there's no mention of Jersey having its own coinage.

(eta again) Oh hold on, yes Jersey does have its own coinage. So I have had a Jersey 20p.
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  #5  
Old 07 June 2007, 01:36 PM
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Agreed, they are easy enough to pass off as legal tender in shops. The old Irish coins, which were actually worth less, could also be palmed off on unsuspecting shop owners. It's the weight I'm most interested in. Can I bung a load of Guernsey pounds in my nearest stamp machine?
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  #6  
Old 07 June 2007, 01:39 PM
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According to the Wikipedia link, Scotland does have a concept of legal tender but it doesn't apply to notes, only coins. Sorry.
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  #7  
Old 07 June 2007, 01:46 PM
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Frying Pan

They are the same weight as mainland coinage (they are even made at the same place, the Royal Mint near Cardiff). Jersey and Guernsey actually introduced pound coins first and the original design was square with rounded corners.
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  #8  
Old 07 June 2007, 01:48 PM
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Annoyingly I got a euro in my change recently, and I'm not sure if it was fobbed off on me as a 1 or a 2. (Hopefully the former) Its still in my wallet, and a few times I have caught myself about to use it in payment, but am too honest to let it go through once I've noticed.
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  #9  
Old 07 June 2007, 06:53 PM
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Boy, was I off. As an Appalachian in the US, I thought this was going to be a thread about some sort of animal shelter for dairy cattle.
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  #10  
Old 07 June 2007, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James G View Post
Annoyingly I got a euro in my change recently, and I'm not sure if it was fobbed off on me as a 1 or a 2. (Hopefully the former) Its still in my wallet, and a few times I have caught myself about to use it in payment, but am too honest to let it go through once I've noticed.
Send it to me, I'll need it next week.
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  #11  
Old 07 June 2007, 10:38 PM
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I've definitely had Jersey pounds a few times - they have ships on the back. I've never even considered them not being usable in the UK, and never had problems spending them in person or in machines.

I do have issues spending Scottish banknotes sometimes. It's especially annoying when said banknotes come from the RBS cash machine in South Kensington.
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  #12  
Old 07 June 2007, 11:17 PM
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In a bizarre coincidence, I discovered an Isle of Man pound coin in my pocket this evening. Although that's a way away from the Channel Islands, it's still a bit unusual, and I'd not considered that they might have their own coins before now.

It's a fantastic coin, really - according to the obverse it was issued in 1991; it has the usual picture of the Queen, in her last-but-one incarnation with the square parts on the crown and before she got her saggy chin. The wording says "ELIZABETH II * 1991 * ISLE OF MAN". The design on the reverse is a chunky-looking mobile phone, a satellite dish and what seems to be the rotor of a wind-generator... almost advanced for its time. I assume they were being futuristic in the choice of picture, and went with the current symbols of the future. Yet the writing round the edge of the face is in that rounded Celtic script (I don't know a font name) and says "One Pound Ellan Vannin". Presumably "Ellan Vannin" is Manx for "One Pound"; Manx is an extinct language. A strange mixture of the past and present, and past ideas of the future...

The coin's rim has alternating smooth and ridged parts, but doesn't have any text as British pound coins do. Overall, it seems the same size, shape and colour but I think it's a bit lighter in weight than a UK pound coin. (Although that's almost certainly my imagination based on the fact that it's not a coin I recognise and therefore not "real money" - when I swapped hands a few times I couldn't really tell the difference in weight.)
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  #13  
Old 07 June 2007, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
They are the same weight as mainland coinage (they are even made at the same place, the Royal Mint near Cardiff).
Yep--Llantrisant, the hole with a mint.
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  #14  
Old 07 June 2007, 11:50 PM
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I think people should be educated to what 'legal tender' actually means.

I'm sick of trying to give Scottish notes to people who refuse them because they're not legal tender.

They're right, but they are quite happy with their cheque books and credit/debit cards which are also not legal tender.
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  #15  
Old 08 June 2007, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarpuff Sandwich View Post
They're right, but they are quite happy with their cheque books and credit/debit cards which are also not legal tender.
Indeed, and if you give them cash and they have to give you change, that's also not legal tender. There's no real reason why Scottish banknotes shouldn't be spent in English shops.

I've read various books about pre-industrial Europe, and always found it weird that different coins from different lands were still accepted currency; people in international trading cities and posts at least knew how pure each was and so had an idea of what they were all "worth" against each other. That seemed very alien to me. Yet this thread, and the discovery of the Manx 1 in my pocket, have helped me to understand it. As long as you both agree how much the coin is worth in terms of goods, it doesn't matter; in the UK at the moment, a slight difference isn't worth quibbling over.

I went on holiday to Donegal with friends about 10 years ago, before the Euro came in, so the Republic of Ireland was still on Irish Pounds / Punts. We stayed outside Derry in Northern Ireland for a night before crossing the border; at the time, shops on either side would accept the other side's currency but an Irish pound was worth 90p on the UK side, and a UK pound was worth 1.10 on the Irish side. (Yes, I'm sure you could work out how to make a profit of pennies a time by crossing the border, but basically it wasn't worth anybody's while to do so - this was all for convenience.) That's two completely separate currencies.

Now, some shops and pubs in the UK take Euros even though they don't need to. (Possibly in border areas in Ireland, there's a similar informal rule to the old Irish v. UK Pounds rule, too, although nowadays a till can probably ring up a price in Euros and tell you exactly how much it is in pounds, or vice versa.) Money doesn't have any inherent value - it is just a symbol of agreement.
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  #16  
Old 08 June 2007, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
...

Yet the writing round the edge of the face is in that rounded Celtic script (I don't know a font name) and says "One Pound Ellan Vannin". Presumably "Ellan Vannin" is Manx for "One Pound"; Manx is an extinct language. A strange mixture of the past and present, and past ideas of the future...
From the dusty parts of my mind (so not to be trusted), I think "Ellan Vannin" is Manx for "Isle of Man"
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  #17  
Old 08 June 2007, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcadragons View Post
From the dusty parts of my mind (so not to be trusted), I think "Ellan Vannin" is Manx for "Isle of Man"
Ellan Vannin is indeed Manx for Isle of Man. At least it was when I visited the island.
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  #18  
Old 08 June 2007, 09:35 AM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Indeed, and if you give them cash and they have to give you change, that's also not legal tender. There's no real reason why Scottish banknotes shouldn't be spent in English shops.
I think part of the reasoning is that people are unfamiliar with the notes, and therefore it would be easier to pass off a forgery on then. That was what they said in the shop with the Northern Irish pound note.

When I was in Jersey, it was somewhat of a disappointment to get "normal" paper money from the machine.
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  #19  
Old 08 June 2007, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I think part of the reasoning is that people are unfamiliar with the notes, and therefore it would be easier to pass off a forgery on then.
Yeah, that's what they said in our local newsagent when I tried to use a Scottish tenner.
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  #20  
Old 08 June 2007, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
Ellan Vannin is indeed Manx for Isle of Man. At least it was when I visited the island.

Didn't the Vikings invade the island sometime in the ninth or tenth centuries? That is probably too early for your visit (and I think they came from further south).

Ellan Vannin is also the name of a song by 'The Spinners' about a ship that was wrecked on the way to the island from Liverpool.

Oh, and I have never had any trouble getting Scottish pound notes accepted. I think its the knuckle dusters that does it.
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