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.
@John Anthony and I discovered that we were researching related coins, so we decided a joint post might make an interesting read.....
An event during Alexander the Great's conquest of the Achaemenid Empire is potentially depicted on the reverse of my coin. However, a very different option emerges from a more detailed look at the coin.
In his biography of Alexander the Great, Quintus Curtius Rufus writes about Paeonians serving in the cavalry of Alexander. Ariston, the Paeonian commander of the cavalry, heroically brings victory, and the head of his opponent, to Alexander.
"He [Mazaeus, the Persian satrap] had sent only 1,000 cavalry ahead, and so, Alexander, discovering and then scorning their small numbers, ordered Ariston, the commander of the Paeonian cavalry, to charge them at full gallop. The cavalry, and especially Ariston, distinguished themselves in that day’s engagement. Ariston aimed his spear straight at the throat of the Persian cavalry...
I have long admired the silver cistophori issued in Asia Minor under the reigns of Augustus through Hadrian -- large silver coins that are among the few types routinely classified as both "Imperial" and "Provincial," and continue to be labeled with that term long after any trace of the original cista mystica and snakes that gave the type its name in the Roman Republican period had entirely disappeared. My own example of one of the original kind, issued by Tralleis/Tralles in Lydia ca. 78/77 BCE:
In my opinion, the Imperial/Provincial cistophori issued after 27 BCE are often at least the equals of Roman Republican or Imperial denarii in style and artistic merit.
For a summary, see the entry for "Cistophorus" in John Melville Jones’s Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (London 1990), at pp. 55-56:
The Imperial cistophorii can be very expensive, but I finally saw one that I could...
When, last year, I posted my top 10 list for 2021 (I apologize for my long hiatus in making new threads, but I promise a few more will be coming in the future), there was only one coin that I didn't have in hand, forcing me to use the auction house's photo; having finally received it today, I thought it was interesting enough to deserve not only a thread but an overview of its issue, taking into account its context, its types and its influences on the future.
Roman Empire, Claudius II (268-270), Antoninianus, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind;
Reverse: ADVENTVS AVG, Emperor on horseback riding left, raising right arm and holding transverse sceptre in left hand;
RIC V - (c.f. RIC V 13); RIC V Online 100;
The antoniniani of Claudius II with the obverse legend IMP C M AVR CLAVDIVS P F AVG...
In his name. Gold Dinar. Bukhara mint, circa 618-624 AH. Album-1964. Very rare! Some strike weakness but unusually completrle texts for type.
Legends in Arabic:
Jankeez Khan (Genghis Khan)
Al-Adil (The wise)
Al-Azam (The Great)
La ilah ila (There is no God but Allah)
Allah Muhammad Rasul (Muhammad is the prophet of Allah)
Whilst most coins associated with him were either in his title, anonymous or the Abbasid Caliph of which his territories paid in reverence to, this is one of the very rare coins which has the name of Genghis Khan himself struck on it. Characteristic of these Bukharan issues, the strike and legends are often weak and of very crude. This specimen however has the kalimah, mint and most of the texts visible and clear. Whilst "Khan" is very clear, some strike weakness on his name is there but traces are visible.
During the 17th century, Sweden would become a major European power, led by King Gustavus II Adolf. Referred to as Gustavus Adolphus the Great, it was during his 21 year reign that he would lead Sweden into the forefront of the thirty years war, enjoying great military success. Often celebrated as one of the finest military commanders in history, he is posthumously remembered as having a large influence on Protestantism in Europe, with many landmarks and buildings named after him in modern Europe.
Gustavus was born the eldest son of Charles IX, inheriting the throne at just sixteen in 1611. He was so young that congressional concessions had to be made to the Riksdag (the Swedish Assembly) in order to be granted full governmental control. Along with the throne, Gustavus inherited a number of wars from his father. Charles IX had usurped the throne from Sigismund III, his nephew and also the king of Poland. This resulted in intermittent war with Poland for over 60 years, until 1629....
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