It has now been 15 years since the launch of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002. While UKMA takes no position on the euro, the anniversary of the introduction of euro notes and coins gives an opportunity to emphasise the role of measurement in their production.
The width and length of euro notes and the diameter and thickness of euro coins are all given in millimetres on the European Commission website. This website also gives the weight of euro coins in grams. Here are the stats:
|1 cent coin||16.25 mm||1.67 mm||2.30 g|
|2 cent coin||18.75 mm||1.67 mm||3.06 g|
|5 cent coin||21.25 mm||1.67 mm||3.92 g|
|10 cent coin||19.75 mm||1.93 mm||4.10 g|
|20 cent coin||22.25 mm||2.14 mm||5.74 g|
|50 cent coin||24.25 mm||2.38 mm||7.80 g|
|1 euro coin||23.25 mm||2.33 mm||7.50 g|
|2 euro coin||25.75 mm||2.20 mm||8.50 g|
|5 euro note||120 mm||62 mm|
|10 euro note||127 mm||67 mm|
|20 euro note||133 mm||72 mm|
|50 euro note||140 mm||77 mm|
|100 euro note||147 mm||82 mm|
|200 euro note||153 mm||82 mm|
|500 euro note||160 mm||82 mm|
Another important feature of the euro is that all denominations of euro notes and coins above 5 cents are divisible by powers of 10. This feature is common to most other currencies. There is no argument about the need for any to be divisible by 3, duodecimal or other highly divisible factors, an argument often used by opponents of the metric system. However, imperial measurements use all kinds of factors, many of which do not have high levels of divisibility (e.g. 14 pounds to a stone, 22 yards to a chain, etc.).
Metric Views can confirm there is no basis for the rumour that Brexit will result in reversion to £sd in the UK. It is difficult to believe now that it is less than fifty years since the UK adopted decimal currency, being one of the last countries in the world to do so. Before then, there were 4 farthings in a penny, 12 pence in a shilling, 20 shillings in a pound, and 21 shillings in a guinea. This was divisible by 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 18, 21, 28, 36, 42, 63, 84 and 126, but was not divisible by 10 and was hardly ever used.