Medieval coin identification

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nathan F, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Nathan F

    Nathan F Active Member

    image.jpg image.jpg Hi all, just found this coin cleaning up and have done quite a bit of research to no luck. My guess was it was Polish, Russian, Lithuanian but can’t find anything. Any idea of what it is would be much appreciated.

    P.S I wasn’t sure whether to put this in world or ancients so sorry if I got it wrong.

    Thanks in advance!
    AnYangMan likes this.
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  3. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    It looks like an 18th century coin, not medieval. :D
  4. Nathan F

    Nathan F Active Member

    It says 1583 on it.
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  5. AnYangMan

    AnYangMan Well-Known Member

    Wow, something you certainly do not see every day! :woot: The eagle certainly looks Polish at first glance, but its origin lies a little more westwards. The G above the heads of the eagle namely stands for Groningen.

    Strictly speaking, it is not even a coin. Is is a so called ‘raadsteken’ from the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. Not sure whether a perfect translation of the word raadsteken exists, but it would be something along the lines of ‘council token’. These were given to the members of the city council of Groningen, to the so-called ‘burgemeesters’ (a literal translation would be mayors, but the meaning is totally different. There were around a dozen of these each year), members of the guilds and other city council members as a manner of delayed payment for showing up to these council meetings. They could then be used to buy drinks at various inns in the city of Groningen (including in the official ‘city wine-house’), but also to pay the local (city) taxes. Those that excepted these raadstekens could exchange them for actual coins at the city steward/exchequer. Initially they were not struck for wide circulation, but given the fact that they were readily exchangeable, they did circulate quite heavily within the city. So much so that eventually counterfeiting became a problem! They circulated for roughly 3 stuiver in 1586, while their intrinsic value was next to nothing.

    Yours is a nice example of one from 1583. The first ones date from circa 1543 and are a little different in design (as well as extremely rare). The raadstekens had their heyday in the 1580’ies and 1590’ies, 1583 being one of the less rare years. The last known year is 1595 and the practice was abandoned shortly after. So while not a coin, definitely an interesting piece of numismatic history!

    Ps. Should you really want to get rid of it, I might be interested!
    Xodus, Orielensis and Roerbakmix like this.
  6. Bradley Trotter

    Bradley Trotter World Numismatist

    Your coin appears to have a date of 1783, at least in my opinion. Could we possibly get some specifications such as weight and diameter which should narrow your coin down.
  7. Bradley Trotter

    Bradley Trotter World Numismatist

    I stand corrected then.
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