Coins found in New England help solve mystery of murderous 1600s pirate: "One of the greatest crimes of the 17th century"
From CBS News:
One tarnished silver coin at a time, the ground is yielding new evidence that in the late 1600s, one of the world's most ruthless pirates wandered the American colonies with impunity.
Newly surfaced documents also strengthen the case that English buccaneer Henry Every - the target of the first worldwide manhunt - hid out in New England before sailing for Ireland and vanishing into the wind.
CBS News article:
A Mughal coin of Aurangzeb which could have been part of the pirate's loot:
Mughal silver rupee of Aurangzeb, Surat mint, AH 1091 (AD 1680)
Silver, 24 mm, 11.49 gm, Krause KM 300.86
How cool is this . . . . . ?
I recently picked up this really nicely designed New Orleans pictorial token. Unfortunately, the venue this token was promoting had a tragic ending, but it also came with a rare accompaniment piece.
The token is an advertisement for The Lamplighter Club, high atop the Rault Center in New Orleans, LA. The Lamplighter Club was a small rooftop venue at the top of the Rault Center, a 17-story building populated with offices and nice apartments. One of the few high rises in 1970s New Orleans, it boasted a skyline view from the heart of the Central Business District. The lounge attracted many affluent professionals and cocktail lovers looking for a drink with some nice scenery to the corners of Gravier and South Rampart.
It's unfortunate end came 50 years ago this week. On November 29, 1972, a terrible tragedy befell a group of unsuspecting New Orleanians...
Until recently, I had a gapping hole in my collection pertaining to Mark Antony... and specifically his 3 wives that appeared on coinage. I made it a point to try to fill some of these holes and not only managed to knock out the ones on my list, but also snag a few others that weren't on the list. They are now some of my favorite coins, so I figured I would share them here:
Fulvia was Antony's wife when the Second Triumvirate was established. As Antony's wife and Octavian's mother-in-law, she was the most powerful woman in Rome and didn't shy away from wielding her influence. She remained in Rome to look after Antony's affairs while he was galivanting around in the East pretending to be a god and banging every queen and noblewoman in sight.
Fulvia became desperate when Antony started his very public affair with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII, with whom he would go on to have 3 children, and was further enraged when Octavian...
Back in old England economist Sir Thomas Gresham 1519-1579 said that ‘Bad money drives out good money”. At that time nearly all money was precious metal coinage. Being in coin form standardized the metals to government standards and made commercial transactions possible. That was good money. Bad money was basically inflationary when greedy rulers debased or lowered the gold or silver content of the coins. People recognized the difference in the coins quickly. They hoarded the good ones while spending only the lower value debased coins. Good coins disappeared even faster in times of war when gold and silver was replaced with copper and paper money as in the American Civil War. Ten years later when the Franco-Prussian war broke out the city of Kaiserslautern, which used Bavarian coins suddenly experienced a coin shortage that brought commerce in the city to a stand still. Silver coins vanished and with 200,000...
For the past several years a sizable portion of my collecting budget has been on Thaler sized coins, mostly from the German States but, from all over the world if they strike my fancy. Multiple thalers have been on my radar but rarely does one come up for sale at a price that Is attainable for me.
Soon after the discovery of the rich new silver veins in the ducal mines of the Harz Mountains, Julius (1528-1589, Duke and Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel 1568-1589) devised a plan to create a permanent reserve fund for the defense of his duchy. He ordered each of his subjects who owned property to purchase one of his new multiple thalers. The denomination purchased depended on the wealth of the subject. Coins were struck in a range of denominations from 1-¼ to 16 thalers. Owners of these pieces were required to turn them in when requested by the duke in exchange for debased currency, thus creating an instant source of good silver coinage whenever needed. Julius’ successors in the...
Belgium Brussels Exposition 50 Francs 1935 Robot Coins
I began collecting modern foreign coins in the mid 1960's and I bought a 1966 world coins catalog titled A Catalog of Modern World Coins By R. S. Yeoman.
One of the illustrations was for a Belgian silver 50 franc coin commemorating the "Brussels Exposition 1935". There was no other description for the coin and the value for one in very-fine (VF) condition was $12.00.
The coin had an interesting design. The obverse had a figure which looked like a robot and the reverse had a building which looked like something from a science-fiction movie.
I wanted one of these coins but at the time (1966) I did not have much money.
As an adult I learned that the "robot" was the angel St. Michael slaying a dragon and the building was the Palace of Expositions which is still standing.
I must have walked by the Palace of Expositions during my visit to Brussels in 1971 because I remember visiting the futuristic "Atomium" from the 1958...
Quoted from this source: https://www.usmint.gov/learn/history/us-circulating-coins
"In 1792, during construction of the new Mint, 1,500 silver half dimes were made in the cellar of a nearby building. These half dimes were probably given out to dignitaries and friends and not released into circulation. The Mint delivered the nation’s first circulating coins on March 1, 1793: 11,178 copper cents."
Therefore the 1792 half dimes were the first coins struck by the US Mint.
The first business strikes made by the US Mint were one cent coins (the 1793 Flowing Hair/Chain Reverse).
So, in answer to the question, "What was the face value of the first coins struck by the US Mint?", the correct answer would be "half dime".
And as long as I don't specify or allude to business strikes, I'm correct.
(And I'm not going to get into the "half disme" naming discussion.)
As some of you might know, my collection by now largely focuses on early medieval coins, ie. 650-c780 AD, that is, between the late-stage Merovingian and the start of the Carolingian dynasty. Key players in northwestern Europe were the Anglo-Saxons (conventionally consisting of seven kingdoms: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Wessex), the Frisians, living in the coastal regions of the North Sea, and Francia. Probably lesser important from a numismatic standpoint were the (pre-Viking) Scandinavian countries. While the French Merovingians had plenty of gold and silver to mint their tremissis and deniers, Frisians and the Anglo-Saxons had limited gold available for this end, and their monetary economy was largely based on small silver pennies, colloquially called sceatta’s.
Yet, a small number of gold coins were minted by both the Anglo-Saxons and the Frisians. @Nap recently presented some background on the Anglo-Saxon thrymsa’s in...
I just won this fun little curiosity from Aureo & Calico. It’s described as a fractional dinar, with barbarous quasi-Arabic legends, apparently naming Hixem. Regarding any further, effectively speculative attribution, Aureo & Calico demonstrate a level of, hmm, professional caginess. But it was listed with coins of al-Andalus (Muslim Iberia) of the 11th c. CE --and for medieval Iberian coins, the auction firm's level of erudition is unmatched. The obvious implication is that it’s likely imitating an issue of Hixem /Hisham III, the last Umayyad caliph (based in Cordoba), 1026 CE /c. 417 AH to his effective abdication in 1031 CE /c. 422 AH.
Hixem was imprisoned after a revolt by a coalition of Muslim clerics and Cordoban elites. The end of his reign marks the fall of Umayyad rule, which was already a residual, regional survival of the original Caliphate of the 7th-8th c. CE. But as such, it was still a large, unitary state. From this point, the...
Those who frequent the board are probably aware that I'm a Greek geek, that I groove on Greek grammar, that I love linguistics, that I think phonemes are fun.
Because of this proclivity, I noticed something I find interesting, and perhaps a few others, such as @dougsmit, will as well: that sometimes coins use a gamma (Γ) nasal and at other times they don't.
In linguistic terminology, a nasal is a consonant that acts like a semi-vowel and which is sounded through the nose. There are two nasals, one made with the lips closed, which is the M sound, and one made with the lips open and the tongue pressed against the hard palate behind the teeth, which is the N sound.
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