Attributing Hall Häller (Heller)?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by kaparthy, Nov 21, 2020 at 7:52 PM.

  1. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    I bought a dozen of them from Liberty Coins to give as Christmas presents. I was a little taken aback by the lack of information in the flips. Usually, Liberty is pretty good at least with basic information regarding ancients, for example. Here, it is just "1189-1500."

    So, I went online and searched. Wikpedia was sparse on this. I found a little bit on Numista. Academia dot org is tantalizing. Nothing in titles; much in content. I am waiting to get paid in December for November before I upgrade. (I already did that for some other databases like JSTOR. The Covid thing has me locked out of the university library here. So, I have to find other avenues for research.) Google Scholar has a few articles on bracteates, but that's it.

    Any ideas on where to look and what to read?
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  3. manny9655

    manny9655 Well-Known Member

    I'm not quite sure what you are asking, but there was an interesting couple of paragraphs about heller-denominated coins in the Oct. 2020 issue of Coins Magazine. The article was entitled "What Can You Learn While Being a Numismatist?" and it was, ironically, written by Patrick A. Heller. He writes: "The first coins of the Heller denomination were issued in 1189 in the German city of Hall am Kocher (today called Schwabisch Hall). The first Heller coins were made of silver and depicted a human palm on one side. The palm represented the right hand of God. During the early Middle Ages, the depiction of God or Jesus Christ came to be considered blasphemous, so usage of these images on coins ceased. However, it was judged acceptable to only depict the palm. Another purpose of depicting the right hand of God on the coin was to intimidate people who otherwise might not trust seeing these coins for the first time.

    Over time, these coins were debased. From about the 1600s onwards, all Heller-denominated coins were copper or mostly copper. They were also the smallest value coins in the lands where they circulated--in Germany, Austria, and areas of the modern-day Czech Republic and Slovakia. Although the denomination was eliminated in Germany after the German Empire was established in the early 1870s, Hellers continued to be used in German colonies such as modern-date Tanzania into the 20th Century. Austria discontinued Hellers at the end of World War I. The final notes denominated in Hellers were removed from circulation in 2008 in the Czech Republic because the purchasing power was too low.

    Incidentally, people with surnames such as Haller, Heller or Keller almost certainly have ancestors from the German city of Hall am Kocher."

    I'm not sure if this was the type of info you were looking for, but I hope this helps.
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  4. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, Pat Heller is the entrepreneur emeritus and past president of Liberty Coins. I bought the coins from Liberty. That article is on their website for June.

    I am not sure where he is in his collection of heller-denominated coins but it has been a personal interest of his for several decades.

    Thanks for responding.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020 at 4:14 AM
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  5. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    The ANA Numismatist has one entry for "Hall am Kocher." It is in an article from February 1961 by Dr. John Davenport: "European States Issuing Dollar Size Coins."

    Usula Kampmann's "Around the World" column for September 2020 centered on the
    Schwäbische Hall heller. Unfortunately, it was as light as the coin itself on facts. She said that the heller was originally worth half a pfennig.
    233.856 grams per Mark.
    8 ounces to the Mark
    32 pfennig to the Mark
    1 Heller = 1/2 pfennig.
    1 heller = 0.457 grams (nominally)

    Numista provides a different metrology.
    Country City of Schwäbisch Hall (German states)
    Type Standard circulation coin
    Years 1250-1300
    Value 1 Heller = 1/12 Schilling = 1/240 Pfund Heller (1/240)
    Composition Silver (.545)
    Weight 0.56 g
    Diameter 17 mm
    References Saur# 1364
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