Volume 17 Issue 10Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996) October 2012
Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2012.
All or any prices quoted in articles in this free newsletter, unless stipulated, are estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. Wherever possible - illustrations (*enlarged or otherwise) are from the authors' own collection - or the extensive picture library of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition © 1991 - 2007. and the 'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition. © 2007 - 2012.
Krause-Mishler (KM) Standard World Catalogs - and McDonald and/or Renniks Australian catalogue numbers, are used where applicable.
*Please note that the photoscans of items are not always to size or scale. (Fair 'acknowledged' use of any original scan is allowed for educational purposes.)
Please, also, consider my conditional invitation, to make a literary contribution, if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest - and fulfils our stated editorial guidelines. As Editor, I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in additional presentation. However, please be aware that not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication.
We regret the imposition of 'editorial control' - but previous experience has necessitated the following conditions.
If common courtesy, and normally acceptable moral standards are not upheld, or, the subject matter is considered to contain plagiarized or defamatory content, or, if it is not considered 'generic' enough for this type of newsletter, or, if the subject has already been covered in depth in earlier editions - it may be refused, held aside or selectively edited. This is, obviously, not a scientific-style journal - our object is to educate, certainly - but, hopefully, in an entertaining way for the average hobbyist collector. - G.E.P.
PLEASE NOTE - RE-STATED DISCLAIMERS:
Where on-line web-site Links or addresses are supplied, they are done so in good faith - however, our readers are advised, that, if a personal decision to access them is made - it is at your own risk.
The last issue of'Numisnet World' was relatively brief - with the written word being in rather short supply.
The rather hastily put-together illustrated newsletter for August was due to a spate of related medical matters that culminated with a few days hospitalization for personal safety reasons - and left me as a rather uncomfortable Editor, for another few days, as I recuperated.
Fortunately, the results of a 'probing' investigation by my friendly specialist, which I needed to sleep through, proved to be negative - but I needed to get my oral medications rebalanced after 10 days of self-inflicted tummy injections and several trips backwards and forwards to my local Doctor and the Pathologist for additional follow-up blood tests. It was certainly a busy month - G.E.P.
COINED for CIRCULATION
.....but with a little bit of
In regard to the article heading - I should elaborate - these are only 'interestingly mysterious' coins because they were unusual acquisitions with unknown scripts of an indeterminable age - or, they were not included in the normal lists of circulating coins of a nation. They possess a little 'mystique'!
Most of the featured items were acquired very early in my collecting career when 'everything' was still somewhat of a mystery!
Some still have that touch of 'mystique' - and, they still need some serious additional investigation to label them correctly.
In memory of those old exciting days - and, as an anticipation and encouragement for those seekers who are just getting started - I dedicate this brief article with a reminder to never get deterred if, at first, you are left with more questions than answers!.
It is also dedicated to those researchers who found some of the answers well before I did - and left the information for posterity!
(Samples not to size.)
Indian Hammered Copper Half Paisa? (enlarged scan)
Can anyone help positively identify this coin? It appears to carry two different scripts.
Actual Size: 19mm. Weight: approx 6grams.
The first browse at a catalogue containing Indian coinage reveals a scary plethora of older independent issues that flourished prior to unified nationhood..
Over hundreds of years, many hammered and milled coinages emerged from myriads of places - and they encompassed many historic periods of occupation by various groups, who left their imprint - in a very tangible metallic form.
The amateur collector who dares to take on the numismatic mysteries of early India - will find the huge variety of those eras is an extremely challenging venture that will, ultimately, bring its own reward in the form of knowledge of a great and diverse culture - or - it may leave you as frustrated and confused as I am, on occasion, and still facing even more knowledge gaps that need to be bridged.
However, that is part of the life of numismatists - if we didn't have mysteries and challenges, it would not be half the great hobby it is!
The early Chinese traders, with whom the famous Marco Polo had associated with - and written about in some detail - proliferated the seas and lands in the equatorial Pacific and Indian Ocean areas and had ventured as far as the north-east coast of Africa and India
As an aid to trade - and, to hoard wealth in a convenient form - the wealthier Chinese had used smallish ingots of highly prized silver called Sycee* (pronounced - sigh-see) since 200 B.C. This commercial use did not go un-noticed by Polo during his stay in the Orient..
Most collectors now equate Sycee to a form of early coinage. - and they are included in well-known catalogues as such.
The Sycee* had appeared (in various forms and sizes) from very early times and similar items also appeared in other Asiatic countries that fell under Chinese influence - but, it was in the mid-1600's through to the late 1800's, that they became a major economic tool in 'international' trade with the encroaching Europeans. The domestic Chinese market made do with cast Copper-alloy or Brass Cash coins for their everyday use - but, seafaring traders wanted something with more intrinsic value than Brass.
*Refer 'Wikipedia' and other illustrated Internet sites for basic articles about Asiatic trade exchange based upon the various metallic bullion forms that were used like the Chinese Sycee.
Chinese cast Brass Cash
Everyday domestic Cash coinage pre-1911. (Range of small replica samples.)
Issued coins produced during the reign of Emperor Sun-chi (1644 - 1661) Actual Size 27 - 28mm.
The cursive script on the reverse is Mongol and is the name of the issuing Mint - of which there were many!.
Trade coinages were a natural off-shoot of national issues during the times of the great commercially inspired exploration voyages and treks of the Middle Ages into the Far East and the Orient.
In Europe, and the Near East, it had become obvious, centuries prior, that some sort of acceptable precious metal medium was required to facilitate trade.
Due to its flexibility over larger awkward ingots, and other bulk forms of transporting more precious metals (such as Gold, Silver and Copper), coinage was a convenient form of moving useful metallic wealth from one place to another. Some existing coinages, such as the Spanish 8 Reales and its fractions, had been used as trade coinage for centuries, and other coins - such as the famous 1780 Maria Theresa Thaler - were to join those ranks - and they would remain tradeable for more than two centuries. (see below)
Coins had to be comfortably big and silver heavy - but easily carried by the end users - who often did not have pockets.
The metal in many of these Trade coins was often destined to be made into other items of perceived worth - such as for personal adornment..
However, as many of the national Silver coinages did not 'correspond' to the acceptable requirements of the overseas traders, most of these newer Trade coinages were issued exclusively for use outside the issuing nation and, therefore, could be made to specifications and purity that the domestic market did not always enjoy.
1878 - 1921 Liberty Head or 'Morgan' Dollars
Designed by George T. Morgan, the famous 'Morgan' Dollar was the coin of the 'Wild West' era.
Morgan was a pupil of the famous William Wyon (1795 - 1851) of the Royal Mint in London.
Composed of .900 Fine Silver, and, with a substantial weight of 26.73 grams., this 38.1 mm coin was always destined to be popular with the public after a period of upheaval in U.S. coinage laws of 1873.
For a period of about 5 years no standard circulation issues of Silver coins had occurred - due to a glaring legal omission for such coins to be minted.
These are the coins that were carried by miners and adventurers, who followed the trail of Gold Rushes of the world - no matter what the destination.
Of course, they were unofficial Trade Dollars and individual coins appeared wherever these adventurous Americans set foot - and, they did the same job as any Silver bullion coin does, albeit at a more personal level!
The term 'Trade Coinage' is somewhat confusing - as any large coin with precious metal content has traditionally been accepted as a valuable tradeable asset from the coinage year 'dot'.(For a full detailed article on my favourite Silver coinages) Refer:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june10.htm
Releases of Maria Theresa (.833 Silver) Thalers (dated 1780) have occurred from various European and Asian Mints until the 1990's
The available records indicate that over 800 million of these 41.5mm. x 28.0668 grams 'Fat Lady' coins have been made in about 8 different commercial mints - and , although unofficial, they are still circulating as trade coinage in some areas of northern Africa. After all - Silver is Silver!
It appears that commercial large scale minting of these coins has now become less attractive as Silver prices have risen quite sharply in the last two decades - and hoarding laws have also changed in some countries. Whilst still, intrinsically, a good deal for the average collector to consider historically - the 'hi-flyer gloss' has shifted across to Gold, at present, while the current European financial crisis continues to unfold.
The huge issues of official 'Spanish' (.903 Silver) 8 Reales coins 27.0700grams - minted in Spain, Mexico and elsewhere in the Americas - are well known as units of an early Trade coinage with universal acceptance - and the habit of cutting or holing them to make 'small change' - based on weight - has been well documented - and, if you ever wondered where the old 'pirate' saying: 'Pieces of Eight ' came from - now you know!
The 8 Reales was found to be a very versatile piece of Silver!
Some of the other large high Silver content coins used - or adapted - as Trade Coinage
between 1780 - 1804.
U.S. Trade Dollar
The U.S. were relatively late on the scene with their 38.1mm.Trade dollar - but, they did issue one popular coin of good .900 Silver with a weight of 27.22 grams exclusively designed for Oriental trade during a relatively short period from 1873 - 1885.
Designed by William Barber, it was similar to the U.S. 'Seated Liberty' standard circulation issues, but the depictions of 'Liberty' and the 'Eagle' were facing in a reverse direction to that on the original coin, some nationalistic or religious features had been removed to make it more acceptable, it was slightly heavier than the standard Silver Dollar coin and many of its trade competitors - and, most importantly, it bore the designation of 'United States of America - Trade Dollar' - and details of its precious metal specifications - 420 Grains - .900 Fine
1899B British (.900 Silver) Trade Dollar
The British influence - during the late 19th Century - and its desire to retain its enormous share of the burgeoning trade situation in the Orient, at that time, proved to be an ideal time for the introduction its multi-lingual .900 Fine Silver Trade Dollar of 26.9568grams.
The coin itself is pleasing to view and to handle - and, it certainly served its purpose with great success for many years in the Malay Peninsular region.
The Imperial mints in Bombay and Calcutta in India struck these coins between 1895 - 1935 - although several issues were made in London (1925 & 1930). However, the deteriorating political and financial situation of the colonial empires, and the effects of the Depression of the mid 1930's, ultimately curtailed production, and, the last few coins destined for circulation were made in 1934.
1908S Philippines (U.S. Provincial) Peso
Prior to the traumas incurred during the Japanese invasion during WWII, the Philippines had been a provincial outpost of the United States of America - in much the same way that Hawaii was before it achieved statehood.
A modern series of Bronze and Silver coinage, minted in Philadelphia and San Francisco, was first introduced in 1903 and continued until 1919 whilst the Philippines was under U.S. sovereignty - and, the 38.1mm.diameter .900 Fine Silver Peso of 26.9568grams. issued in 1903 - 1906 was ideal for use as a Trade coin in adjacent areas. Its design was bold and attractive and it was readily accepted in trade.
However, this circulation issue coin was still classed as an unofficial Trade coin and, by 1906, the quality, weight and size had been subject to review due to the shortage of Silver. The issue of 1907 saw the quality drop to .800 Fine, the weight to 20.00 grams. - and the size of the coin to approx 35.0mm.
De facto Trade coinage - Modern Bullion rounds.
U.S. (.9993 Silver One Ounce) 'Eagle'
Mexican (.999 Silver One Ounce) 'Libertad'
The American Eagle Bullion coin weighs in at 31.101grams. and is 40.6mm. in diameter. It is very similar to the Philippines Silver Peso in general format - stunningly beautiful - and very collectable - a 'must-have' amongst bullion coins!
Designed by Adolph Weinman (Walking Liberty obverse) and John Mercanti (Heraldic Eagle reverse), the coin was first issued in 1986 from Philadelphia, San Francisco and West Point mints - and, with a 'face value' of US$1.00 - it is currently enjoying a magnificent appreciation on the secondary metal and numismatic investment market.
The Mexican One Ounce .999 Fine Silver 'Libertad' - another coin with a striking obverse representation of Liberty was first issued in 1982 - is also in a similar category as the U.S. Silver Eagle. It weighs 31.1 grams and has a diameter of approx 35.0mm - another 'must-have'!
High Silver-content bullion coins that are readily acceptable in many areas of the world by metal weight - and not by the stated face value - are still a good buy for long term investment although they do demand extraordinary patience from collector-investors..
Regrettably, however, that 'slow & steady' word is not in the vocabulary of many modern gatherers who have opted for the attractive issues pouring from many Mints. The majority of these modern precious metal coins are basically 'rounds' of a specific weight - with a pretty picture to make them collectible..
They are designated as Non-Circulating Legal Tender - but, they will rarely accumulate a history as exciting as some of the older coins that have felt the throb of real life surround them.
What tales my old 8 Reales and British Trade Dollar could probably tell!
I have slowly acquired a small accumulation of Uncirculated coins and rounds, like those One Ounce .9993 Fine Silver U.S. 'Eagles' (above) - which were brand new in 1991-2 - and, whilst they seemed expensive to purchase at the time - patience has paid off and they now have a bullion value of well over $30 each. At present, the Silver price has slowed - but is not fluctuating too much - so I continue to feel justified about my small investment in a beautiful piece of numismatic art..
'Standard Catalog of World Coins' - (Various editions from 1801) - Krause Publications.
'A Guide Book of United States Coins' - by R.S. Yeoman (The Official Red Book).
Recently, my long-time friend and fellow 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' and 'National Token Collectors Association' member, Jerry Adams, forwarded scans of several interesting coins during an 'identification' session that we find mutually advantageous as relatively modern collectors - particularly, in regard to really old coins that also possess a little 'mystique' of their own.
He followed it up with a sample (shown below) for my collection - for which I thank him, most sincerely!
The Mysterious Maravedis
During the late 1500's - early 1600's, under the rule of Philip IV (IIII) of Spain - and later under the rule of Philip V - a series of low value, smallish hand-minted and cut Copper coins were a mainstay for the Spanish population.
The 'Maravedi' coins had a fairly long and diverse history - they had originally started out as fairly prestigious Gold pieces - but, over a period of time, while Spain was in a period of conflict with other European neighbours, they gradually became smaller and then they became debased - and, finally, as a Copper coin, they were widely minted and distributed across the various regions of Spain as a basic unit..
Several denominations were produced - 2, 4, 8 and 16 Maravedis were the normal issues seen in everyday use. There is a record, in Krause, of a 3 Maravedi, from 1602, as well - but, it seems to have been a denomination that was not destined to be a 'stayer'.
The exchange rate was based on 34 Copper Maravedis equalled One Real of 3.3445 grams of .930 Silver. (about 1/10 oz. ASW)
The Copper pieces are now commonly lumped in with other hammered and cut coinage and broadly labelled as 'cobs' - or even pirates 'pennies' - when they appear in the market place and, the retail value for a 4 Maravedi, for instance, ranges from about US$8.00 - $30.00 depending on condition.
KingPhilip (Filipe) and King Charles (Carolus) Copper 2 & 4 Maravedis
Dating back to the early-mid1600's? - some are counter-stamped - and, although mintmarks are not apparent on these scans -it appears that, in the main, they were issued bearing Castille and Leon motifs.
(Scans supplied by T.N.S. and N.T.C.A. Member Jerry Adams - enlarged for clarity.)
Spanish 4 Maravedis c.1650?
Deeply toned Copper sample - origin and issue date still uncertain (Scan enlarged for clarity)
These 4 Maravedi value coins are usually about 20mm - 23 mm. in diameter and weighed about 5 - 6 grams.
Many of the Maravedi coins bear a symbol that appears to be an '8' - however, whilst it is noticeable on many of the larger and heavier 8 Maravedi - it also appears on illustrations of coins of the lower denomination as featured in 'Standard Catalog of World Coins'.
At this time, this is still a matter under consideration (and needs more research) as we start to get familiar with the newly acquired Maravedis - but, it could be that some 8M coins were edge-trimmed to reflect the lower value of 4M - or, it may be an ornamental symbol..
The coin values were usually signified by simple Roman numerals - (for instance IIII = 4) - but not always. These numbers can also be confused with those of the ruling monarch - if he is portrayed - who may also have his lineage position also noted in such numerals.
Many mints in regional Spain produced coinage of this size and style - and, often - the local designs were closely associated with defining symbols that appeared on Coats-of-Arms etc. (e.g. Leon - lion; Castille - castle) and the title 'REX' was often abbreviated to 'RX'
These are not the clear, round Spanish coins were are accustomed to - but hammered, hand-cut lumps of Copper - and, occasionally, bits of the legend also get trimmed away from the flan.
THIS IS STILL AN INTERESTING & ON-GOING RESEARCH PROJECT.....!
'Standard Catalog of World Coins' - 17th Century (Fourth Edition) - Krause Publications.
The extract below, recently published on the Internet, through the 'Krause Publications' web-site, should make most collectors prick up their ears and start rummaging through their local market junk boxes, or perusing their own German coin and note collections.
German Merchants Revive the Mark
- September 17, 2012
"You might want to go
through dealer junk boxes a little more carefully. Those obsolete
German Mark and Pfennig coins mixed in
with the other obsolete world coins may not be so obsolete.
In fact, the official fixed exchange rate at the Deutsche Bundesbank or German Central Bank is 1 Euro to 1.95583 German Marks.
This may appear to be confusing, considering Germany’s Mark denominated currency ceased to be legal tender on Jan. 1, 2002, the date on which the European Union’s Euro currency officially went into circulation. While countries including France and Italy set expiration dates after which their former currencies could no longer be exchanged for euros, Germany never established a date after which the former German currency could no longer be exchanged."
The article continued: -
"According to the latest issue of the MRI Bankers’ "Guide to Foreign Currency", German Mark currency is “redeemable at the discretion of [the] issuer.”
Now it appears not only can Germany’s former coins and bank notes be
exchanged, but German merchants are increasingly accepting them in lieu of Euros
when consumers make purchases.
According to an article appearing in the July 18 'The Wall Street Journal' newspaper: “Germans have yet to give up on the Euro. But as Europe’s debt crisis rages on, many are indulging their nostalgia for the abandoned Mark by shopping with it again – and retailers are happily going along."
"Merchants in the town of Gailberg reported they received about 15,000 marks during May 2012
Gailberg has an annual campaign every May at which the village encourages Germans to spend their now defunct Marks and Pfennig with local merchants. The campaign slogan translates to “Leave your last Pfennig in Gailberg.”
Merchants likely accept the German Marks at discounted values since they will exchange the coins and bank notes for Euros at local branches of the Central Bank. This is 'found' money that otherwise wouldn’t otherwise have been spent, so the ploy helps the local economy."
"The German Central Bank was unable to be reached in time for this article to learn if the bank has the redeemed coins and notes destroyed, or if the bank is stockpiling them for the possibility that Germany might eventually have to revert back to its own currency from the Euro. "
GENERAL INDEX UPDATE.
'TASMANIAN NUMISMATIST - INTERNET EDITION' 1996 - June 2007
'NUMISNET WORLD' July 2007 - June 2012
Early issues of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition', from 1995 - 1999. were permanently archived in 2000 and articles are not linked directly.
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug03.htm - 1995, 1996 - 1997 (Volumes 1 and 2) Archived. Content detail only.
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept2003.htm - 1998 - 1999 (Volumes 3 and 4) Archived. Content detail only.
By referring to the 'Newsletter Archives' or 'Search' function located on the Home Page, you can directly access all current Volumes online.
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html - January 2000 (Volumes 5 - to date).
In January 2006 it was decided to grant each new issue its own URL link. which would henceforth appear in the current Index.
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar07.htm - 2006 (Volume 11)
The final Index of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition'
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm - 2007 (Volume 12 - Issues 1 - 6)
Full details of initial 'Numisnet World' - incorporating 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (2007)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec07.htm - (Volume 12 - Issues 7 - 12)
For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2008)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec08.htm - (Volume 13 - Issues 1 - 12)
For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2009)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec09.htm - (Volume 14 - Issues 1 - 12)
For full details of 'Numisnet World' (2010)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec10.htm - (Volume 15 - Issues 1 - 12)
For full details of 'Numisnet World (2011)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jun11.htm - (Volume 16 - Issues 1 - 6)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/dec11.htm - (Volume 16 - Issues 7 - 12)
For full details of 'Numisnet World (2012)
http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/june12.htm - (Volume 17 - Issues 1 - 6)
'NUMISNET WORLD' - INDEX - July on 2012.
Issue 7. July 2012:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/july12.htm
KEEPING BUSY! - The Winter temptation to curl up in front of a nice warm fire, watch a movie or read a book is ingrained within our 'hibernating bear'. Numismatists have a slightly more productive schedule - they sort, they list, they mend - and, any reading is usually from a catalogue relevant to their hobby!
AUSTRALIAN COIN & BANKNOTE GRADING. - This is a subject that is still raging - even if it is done in politely hushed tones. The 'numerists' and the 'verbalists' (my terms) have both justified their positions and are prepared to go down with their ships. Collectors should be aware that several differences of grading opinion exist - they should study the differences - then independently make their own decision on how they will present their treasures for consideration.
AUSTRALIAN CURRENCY - A virtual 'hodge-podge' of Australian banknotes has been selected to show the development of Oz currency since our Federation - as well as to give an idea how different grades appear in circulation. Unfortunately, not all of the notes that have been produced are available for sampling and perusal - some are quite rare now - so that is the reader's chore to discover. This illustrated section is just the bait!
Issue 8. August 2012:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug2012.htm
'YORKIE DOODLE DANDY' - I recently was pleasantly surprised to receive a query from a fellow author regarding the authenticity of a replica item. A correspondence followed and a camaraderie developed that went beyond numismatics.
William 'Bill' Wynne - a former U.S. air-recon photographer had a real story to tell - and a real job to do - in the 1940's during the allied defence of our nation. Bill's companion, a tiny Yorkshire terrier named 'Smoky', will be well remembered as an official working 'War Dog' with her own set of medals - as well as being a talented entertainer of children and adults during the early 1950's.
The late 'Smoky', and 90 year old Bill, were also honoured in July, 2012 for their efforts, as a veterans' 'therapy' dog and trainer, by the presentation of a special award, at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, which was accepted on Bill's behalf by the U.S. Consul General.
RECENT CORRESPONDENCE - For those readers who use the Internet to keep up to date with international numismatics - you will be pleased to learn that long-time colleague Serge Pelletier has advised that the journal of the Ottawa Numismatic Society 'moneta' is now freely available on line at:- www.ons-sno.ca. Another well-known friend, Mike Metras, has advised that he is selecting part of his collection for disposal on eBay. He has supplied us a link to his initial list - arbateasmara - so if you have an interest in getting in early and making an offer - this is OK for our readers.- but get in early!
ALL THAT GLISTERS ...IS NOT GOLD! - The word 'GOLD!' conjures up all sorts of feelings. Mine started at a very young age and never, ever went away. I have selected just a few bits 'n' pieces to show the scope of things that intrigued me because of their association with the most noble of metals.
Issue 9. September 2012:- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/sep12.htm
RECENT DISCUSSIONS I HAVE HAD! - Readers were forthcoming with quite a hotchpotch of subjects last month. Most of the email chatter was just interesting trivia - and, in most cases, the queries were easily answered. However, as we all know, trivia is usually the starting point for all sorts of idea development - if we are 'blessed' with an inquisitive nature. It also shows that interest in some items that have been dormant for a time - has not died off!
GOLD AMONGST THE DROSS. - Among our older Australian pre-decimal coinage - particularly that of King George V - are a few pieces of Bronze and Silver that are equivalent to 'gemstones, chunks of Gold - and some jewels'!. The list shown, has tried to separate these precious tit-bits from the mere items of interest. It is now up to you to do the work and 'cash in' on hard money that is far more than just a few petty low value coins!
Issue 10. October 2012:-
COINED FOR CIRCULATION - but with a little bit of MYSTIQUE! - We may be accumulators - but, we also take on roles as recorders of history. Sometime, the information we need, to accurately define an item, is not forthcoming without an extensive search into dark corners that are rarely disturbed - this creates a certain 'mystique' that tends to drive us harder in our quest for enlightenment.. Several of my possessions fall into the category of 'mystiques'.
THE MYSTERIOUS MARAVEDIS of SPAIN. - These rough hammered and cut Bronze coins - sometimes referred to as 'cobs' - once comprised a huge proportion of the circulating basic coinage of Spain. The Maravedis had a life that started with the richness of Gold - but, they eventually ended amongst the hoi-poloi, as a common Copper coin, when the fortunes of once-mighty Spain began to ebb.
GERMAN MERCHANTS REVIVE the MARK! - The continuing saga regarding the stability of the European Euro has taken another step back into the past as German banks and merchants start accepting payments for purchases in hoarded Deutsche Marks. It is estimated that millions of Marks are still in the possession of hoarders who held them from 2002. It must be remembered, that Germany did not set a deadline on its old currency or coinage - unlike some other members of the ECU.
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