The design of map coins is most strongly influenced by the motives of the issue of those coins. The motives may be called
|Hungary 100 Forint 1988||Arabic Sahara 500 Pesetas 1992|
Yet another grouping principle is the formation of categories according to the role of maps in coin design, especially the size or extent of the map. In rare cases maps are the dominant feature on both sides of the coin. In many cases a map covers a whole coin side supplemented by marginal lettering for names or events and/or numerals for dates or values only.
|Denmark 2 Kroner (Greenland) 1953||Brazil 400 Reis (Colonisation) 1932||Philippines 25 Piso (IMF-Meeting) 1976|
In most cases, however, map coins show a combination of the map with other features like pictorial representations of people, animals, plants, flags, ships, etc. An enormous number of combinations of these features is conceivable. They range from coins on which the map is the dominant feature... to coins on which the area for maps is balanced with the area for other features... to coins on which the map covers only a small area of the coin side or simply forms an irregular background for the portraits, ships or other features.
|Italy 500 Lire (Marconi) 1974||New Zealand 1 Dollar (Cook) 1969||San Marino 5000 Lire (Da Gama) 1997|
In a few cases the maps are embodied in the intricate pattern of a specific topical design. Then it is not easy to discriminate the shape of the country or island concealed as human figures (USA), animals (South-Africa), flag (Poland), or other features (Mauritius).
|USA 1/2 Dollar (Monroe) 1923||South-Africa 1 Rand 1994||Poland 100 Zlotych 1984|
Finally the coins my be grouped according to the type of maps, the geographical objects in the map. Geographical grids or coordinates are rare features in map coins (Denmark 1953). More common are outline or skeleton maps of countries as expression of national independence or national integration (Morocco 1980) and also maps which show the undifferentiated area of countries, islands or the sea by granulation of hetching (Greece 1963). Many maps indicate some geographical features inside the land area like rivers (Peru 1992), state and provincial boundaries (USA, Washington-Carver Half-Dollar 1951), roads as technical achievements (Brazil 1980-86), cities (Italy 1989) or battle fields as manifestations of historical events (Hungary 1998). More and more map coins portray the relief of a country or continent (Italy 1986, Iran 1980, Brazil 1970) thus making full use of their sculptural potential as advantage over the flat printed map.
|Morocco 400 Dirhams 1985||Greece 30 Drachmai 1963||Italy 500 Lire 1986|