World_Coin_Nut's Blog

10 Mar 2023

Jefimok Ruble’s and The Monetary Reform of Alexios I

Coins - World | World_Coin_Nut

This is for Mike. I realized that I haven't been here in a while and he mentioned that he missed reading about my thalers. This coin started its life as a thaler and then was turned into a Russian coin by adding a couple of countermarks.I recently posted this on another site but wanted to make sure I shared it here as well. This is a case where the pictures don't do it justice. I am pleased with the coin.I recently made a purchase that required me to do a bit of research. I like it when that happens. As many of you know, I have a thing for Wildman thalers. At this point I have a relatively significant collection of them, and it has become difficult to find new pieces to add to my collection.Technically, the coin I purchased would be considered a Russian coin. The countermarked coins described below are scarce on their own. I had come across them on several occasions, but I never got the “buy me now” vibe from any of them. That is, until I found one counter stamped on a Wildman thaler.Adapted from “La Reforma Monetaria de Alexei Mikhailovich” by Federico de AnsóMichael Feodorovich (1613-1645) was the initiator of the last Romanov dynasty that would reign in the Russian Empire until the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 brought a tragic end to the imperial family through the execution of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their children in Yekaterinburg on 07/16/1918.From a very young age, Alexios had the training and influence of the boyar Boris Morózov, a shrewd politician who was his mentor. During his reign (1645 - 1676) it was up to this monarch to carry out several important reforms, legislative, monetary and a no less controversial religious one.In the legislative and social sphere, he promoted the reform that the National Assembly adopted a new legal body in 1649 and that would last two centuries, whose main characteristic was the establishment of the definitive servitude of the Russian peasantry. Regarding monetary matters, let us remember that since the second half of the 14th century in the Duchy of Moscow, a small silver coin called denga was minted, coming from silver rails stamped with the seal of the reigning prince.In English they are known as wire money. (picture 1) The metal was obtained from the foundry of European talers of various origins, from which the Treasury obtained a yield of 20 to 30%.Originally, the denga was legally equivalent to 1/200 of a 204-gram silver bar, that is, half a Russian ruble. Therefore, its legal weight was 1.02 grams of silver. But like so many other currencies, it suffered successive devaluations and revaluations. Thus, around 1430 its weight was 0.78 grams, and in 1434 it reached 0.94 grams to fall in 1455 to just 0.425 grams. In 1500 it went to a weight of 0.39 grams and in 1534 it reached 0.34 grams since the size was then 600 pieces per bar.In 1535 an important revaluation took place, bringing the denga to double its previous weight, that is, to 0.68 grams and a size of 300 per bar. Likewise, the image of a warrior mounted with a spear was stamped on its obverse, so this new coin was renamed kopeck and its half continued to be called denga.Being the ruble equivalent to 200 dengas and this, at half a kopeck, the ruble was then valued at 100 kopecks. Resulting in the ruble then, as Mitchell points out, the first monetary unit divided into one hundred parts.Michael's successor was his son Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov (1629 -1676).A first attempt consisted of minting coins of high nominal value, but Russia did not have, at that time, the necessary technology for this. Therefore, they began by countermarking various European talers.The first decision was made in 1654 to put into circulation the old silver kopecks and additionally to circulate devalued rubles through the countermark of thalers introduced by foreign merchants from the Baltic trade at the end of the Hanseatic League. After obliterating their original designs, the so-called "Yefimki" were stamped on all types of European currency such as rijksdalder, philipsdalder, speciedaler, patagones, lionsdaler, etc.Here's a better view of the counter mark. Looks a lot like the later wire money. (picture 3)Usually, two and even three countermarks were stamped on those crown-sized European species. One of the stamps showed the image of the tsar on horseback with a spear, which personifies Saint George spearing the dragon. The other sign corresponds to the year of issue. 1655 is by far the most common date.You can find these counter stamps on a wide variety of European coinage. Almost always it is found on crown sized coins. Frequently the counter stamping process would result in cracked or otherwise damaged coins. This is not the most visually appealing coin but most of them aren't. I'm quite happy with this purchase.

27 Nov 2022

63rd Annual ISNA Coin Show

Coin Shows | World_Coin_Nut

The 63rd Annual ISNA Coin Show is quickly approaching. See details below.Here is some good news. We are sold out. No tables are available currently. This is a nice mid-sized show that draws national dealers to Indiana.This looks to be a good show, based on dealer attendance. Hopefully, you can make it to Muncie to check us out.Reminder, we will once again be holding our popular youth auction on Saturday morning. Get the kids there early for the scavenger hunt. The auction will start around noon.The 63rd Annual I.S.N.A. Coin ShowDecember 2nd & 3rd, 2022Horizon Convention CenterDelaware Hall Room 1401 S High StMuncie, IN 47305FREE PARKINGFREE admissionFREE youth auctionDoor prize drawingRaffle prize drawings24/7 security provided by MPD officers​Public hours: Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (one way traffic begins at 5:30 p.m.)Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. (one way traffic begins at 4:30 p.m./ raffles and door prize drawing @ 4pm)Youth auction: Saturday – 12:00 pmYouth Scavenger Hunt starts at 10 amDealer hours: Thursday - 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.Early bird hours: Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 6 p.m.​Dealer/Early bird hours: Friday - 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (one way traffic begins at 5:30 p.m.)Dealer/Early bird hours: Saturday - 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (one way traffic begins at 4:30 p.m.)​

06 Aug 2022

ISNA Club Table at WFOM

World's Fair of Money | World_Coin_Nut

My wife and I will be hosting an ISNA (Indiana State Numismatic Association) club table at the upcoming World's Fair of Money in Chicago. The purpose is to promote our state show in December. We will have free wooden nickels for anyone that stops by.Please stop by and say hi. We would love to meet some of you guys. We will be at table 528.The picture below is of our table from the last ANA show we did.

05 Aug 2022

My Quest for Multiple Thalers

Coins-World | World_Coin_Nut

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. The 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 Duchy of Brunswick continued to produce these coins.The owners of these usually kept them because they were a sign of prestige and wealth. Yes, it wasn’t necessarily acquired by choice but in this case, size did matter. If you had a larger multiple thaler it was because you could afford to. It would have been difficult at best to use one in a normal daily transaction. Think about trying to pass a $500 bill at your local fast-food restaurant.Thalers are about 40mm in diameter and 25-30 grams in weight. Multiples would normally be multiples of this weight range. So, a 2 thaler would be around 60 grams, 3 thaler around 90 grams, etc.This Frankfurt coin I consider to be a wannabe multiple thaler. It is dated 1861 and has a face value of 2 thalers but only weighs 37.04 grams. Far short of the description above.Picture #1Likewise, the next coin is another Frankfurt 2 thalers, from 1847, but only weighs 37.1 grams.Picture #2Both coins are very attainable for most collectors.The next coin was my first real multiple thaler purchase. This 1614 dated Teutonic Order 2 thaler coin is only slightly larger in diameter at 46mm but weighs an impressive 56.75 grams. It is a substantial piece to hold. This coin scratched the multiple thaler itch for a while, but I wanted one of the large diameter pieces that I have seen and read so much about. Most of these are 5-6 figure coins.Picture #3Teutonic Order. Maximilian of Austria. 1588-1618. AR double thaler.Hall mint. 1614Weight: 56.75 gmDiameter: 46 mm.Obverse: Master of the Order standing, holding the hilt of a grounded sword in his right hand, a lion holding a shield to leftReverse: Maximilian on a horse moving right, a circle of shields of arms around him.Davenport 5854. KM 30.​That brings us to a coin that I purchased in 2019 at a larger regional coin show. It’s described as a double show thaler from Hamburg. Mintedca.1635. The obverse has the annunciation of Christ. The reverse has John the Baptist baptizing Christ in the river Jordan. It is 59mm in diameter and weighs 56.5 grams. The dealer at the time let me make payments. This was important because it was the most I had ever spent on a coin.Picture #4Obverse: The Annunciation​Obverse Legend: AVE MARIA GRATI: PLENDOMIN. DOMIN:TECUMBENED: TUINT:MULIERESReverse: Christ standing facing in the river Jordan, head lowered right, being anointed bySt.Johnthe Baptist to right; above, radiate and nimbate dove below name of God in Hebrew.Reverse Legend: CHRIST : D : HEILG : TAUFNIM : AN : V : SEIM : VORLAUFFER : I : IORD :,​Diameter: 59mmWeight: 56.5gmNote: Ref. G#1586. Prev. KM#F85.​At the time I figured that would be the best and largest multiple thaler that would ever reside in my collection.The following year I was able to add another Hamburg double thaler. This one minted ca. 1650. I was able to purchase it from around half the price of the coin above due to an obvious cleaning. It is often described as a wedding thaler due to the couple on the obverse and the scene of the wedding at Cana on the reverse. It has similar dimensions to the coin above. 60mm in diameter and 57.42 grams. I did a writeup of this coin here if interested.https://www.cointalk.com/threads/doppelter-hochzeitstaler-–-double-wedding-thaler.362713/Some references describe this as being 3 thalers but I have it listed in my inventory as a double thaler due to the weight.Picture #5Hamburg. AR Doppelter HochzeitstalerObverse: Man and woman standing facing one another and clasping hands; above, radiant name of god and doveReverse: The Wedding at Cana. Cf.Diameter: 60mmWeight: 57.42 gGaedechens 1600; KM 147 (3 Thaler). Toned, lightly chased, minor edge bumps.(sellers description)​Those 2 coins satisfied me for the past few years even though I would check the prices every time I saw a multiple thaler of any denomination for sale. There is a nice 4 thaler listed on eBay at the time of this writing with an asking price of $25,000. Compared to previous sales, it is not an unheard-of price.And then it happened. I got an email showing new material from one of my favorite sellers. It showed the next coin. A 1664 dated Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Celle 4 thaler of Christian Ludwig. It is minted from the yield of the Harz mine. The weight is 115.5 grams, and it has a diameter of 81mm. Down by the date on the reverse you can see a 4 stamp. This is typically how the multiple thalers were marked. And the price….well, it wasn’t cheap, but it was in range of stretching for it.Picture #64 talers 1664 LW, Clausthal. Yield from the Harz mines.Christian Ludwig, 1648-1665Obverse: Hand of clouds wreaths a horse over a mining landscape with miners and two gullets, outline of the pit belowReversed: Crowned monogram from CL, framed by two laurel branches, surrounded by fourteen coats of arms. With value stamp.Weight: 115.5 gDiameter: 81mm(Weight and diameter based on similar examples - not actually in hand yet)Mint master: Lippold Wefer in ClausthalWelter 1495, Davenport 187, Müseler Supplement 10.4.1/63 a, Duve 12 AI.Grade: front slightly rubbed, VF-EF​I really like the detailed mining scene on the bottom of the obverse. The engraver, Lippold Wefer, was obviously a talented guy. He was the mintmaster in Clausthal from 1640-1674. Aside from that, little is known about him. Even Forrer only has a few vague sentences.The Upper Harz was once one of the most important mining regions in Germany. The major products of its mines were silver, copper, lead, and iron, The main source of income, however, was silver. From the 16th to the middle of the 19th centuries about 40–50% of the entire German silver production originated in the Upper Harz. The taxes raised from this contributed significantly to the revenue of the royal houses in Hanover and Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and helped to secure their positions of power and influence within the empire.In the Upper Harz, vein mining predominated. Excavation followed the vertically standing lodes or veins downwards. In their heyday the Upper Harz Mines were among the deepest in the world. For example, as early as 1700 shafts were already exceeding depths of 300 meters and by 1830, a depth of 600 meters was achieved. This was considered significant at that time because it was below sea level.As far as multiple thalers go this is one of the most common varieties. Despite that, I am quite excited to add this coin to my collection. It seems like I have been working my way up to this for years. I can’t see myself adding anymore multiple thalers in the near future. This has pretty much killed my coin budget for the rest of the year. Of course, I will still be looking for them. I “need” a Wildman multiple thaler.Sources:Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, by Leonard Forrermoney.orgWikipediaha.com

04 Mar 2022

NGC Registry Awards

Coins - World | World_Coin_Nut

Over the past year I have found it increasingly difficult to the time to visit this site as frequently as I like. Work has been crazy busy and other "projects" have kept me busy as well.I have big news that I wanted to share with the community.About a month ago NGC sent out an email announcing their annual Registry Awards. My set of Wildman Coins won "Most Creative Custom Set". I am absolutely shocked. This is a set that I built simply because I like them and the history around them. This proves that us normal collectors can be recognized as well as the big collectors with deep pockets.Last week I received a package in the mail from NGC that included a nice plaque, and to my surprise, the ASE pictured below. I don't collect these but this one instantly becomes one of the more important coins in my collection.If interested, the link to the article is below.https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/9779/2021-ngc-registry-awards/

30 Aug 2021

ex Erlanger Nürnberg Medal

Medals | World_Coin_Nut

No matter what you collect there comes a time when you see something and know, “I have to get that.” That is the case with this medal. I specialize in pre-1871 German States coinage, further specializing in “Wildman” coins. Like a lot of us, I don’t do a good job of staying in my lane and end up buying other items that catch my eye. I didn’t swerve too far outside of my lane with this one. It is a 16th-century German medal from Nürnberg.Photo#1This is a by German Medalist, Valentin Maler (about 1540 – 1603), Mint-master in Nürnberg. The title typically given to it is, On Happiness in Marriage and the New Year. Kind of a clunky title but descriptive nonetheless. Below is the medal and a brief description.GERMAN COINS AND MEDALS NUREMBERG. CITY. Silver medal 1591by V. Maler, on happiness in marriage and the New Year.Obverse: An old man sits on an armchair with a child in his right arm and a Bible in his left, r. next to it stands a naked boy with a palm branch; In the background stands a female figure holding a crown over the old man, in her left hand a flaming gobletObverse Inscription: BEATUS VIR QVI TIME T DNVM ETAMBVLAT IN VIIS EIVS PSA:128Translation: HAPPY MAN WHO TIMET unexpectedly that follow the path he PSALMS: 128Reverse: 17 lines of writing.Diameter: 45.77 mmWeight: 40.47 g.Reverse Inscripton: ein uleissig weibesteine kro neiresmannes xxxi wem ein tugentsam weib bescheret ist die ist vieledler denn die kostlichsten perlen. ilsus sirach xxvi ein schon weib das from bleibt ist wie die helle lampen auf demh leuch. zu erhn allen fromen ehe levten und zu einenglv ck seligen newen iar durch ual maler . anno 1591My translation: A virtuous woman is her husband’s crown.When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Jesus./ Jesus Christ xxvi / A beautiful woman who remains pious is like a bright lamp / In honor of all pious marriages, and to a blissful New Year/ by V Maler. Year 1591As you can see from the description this particular medal is listed in 2 significant catalogs of German medals. The second one (Erlanger II, 2582) is the one that caught my attention.From the ANS (numismatics.org): Numismatist Herbert J. Erlanger (1906-1988) was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and became an expert in the coins of that city, publishing articles on the topic in The Numismatist and other publications, and in the books Die Reichsmünzstätte in Nürnberg and Nürnberger Medaillen. Erlanger was trained as an attorney at the University of Munich, and went on to represent motion picture companies such as Warner Brothers on the world market. He became an associate member of the American Numismatic Society in 1940 and a fellow in 1941. Stationed in Germany during World War II as a lieutenant in the United States Army, he acted as a liaison between the Society and German numismatists such as Max Bernhart, director of the numismatic cabinet of the Bavarian Academy of Science and recipient of the Huntington Medal (1946).The catalog of Erlanger’s collection is one of the standard references for the medals of Nürnberg. In this publication, the number 2582 is assigned to it and this is the plate piece from the catalog. Having meaningful provenance is always exciting for me.Photo#2I was surprised to see that since 2015 this piece has appeared in 4 auctions. When you count my purchase, it has changed hands at least 5 times in 6 years. I don’t know about everyone else, but I like to keep nice things for a while.Fromacsearch.info9/28/2015 Kunker’s Auction 266, Lot 13416/22/2016 Kunker’s Auction 278, Lot 199211/13/2018 Heidelberger Münzhandlung Auction 75, Lot 17678/10/2019 Kunker’s Auction 327, Lot 3510 sold to Shanna SchmidtIn addition to this one acsearch only shows 3 other examples being sold at Auction.Valentin Maler was a celebrated Medallist of Nuremberg, son-in-law of Wenzel Jamnitzer, the famous Nuremberg goldsmith, and father of Christian Maler. The date of his activity ranges from 1568 to 1603, in which year he probably died. The artist's origin has been traced to Iglau in Moravia, and it has further shown that before settling at Nuremberg he had been employed as Mint-engraver at Joachimsthal. He married Wenzel Jamnitzer's daughter Maria in 1569, and by special favor of the Nuremberg Town Council obtained the privileges of a Mastership. It is highly probable that Valentin Maler settled at Nuremberg in or sometime before 1568. A few years later we find him taking up his residence at the Saxon Court, which might account for the fact that of 1573 only one medal is known by the artist and of 1574 and 1575 none at all. He may also have worked in Silesia. After his return to Nuremberg, he remained in connection with the Prince-Elector of Saxony, and in 1590 executed a Portrait-medal of Christian I.It is further known, from contemporary documents, that the artist worked for the Bishop of Bamberg, but did not sign his productions at the episcopal court. Heller has recorded a payment of 22 florins made to Maler for the modeling of the Portrait-medal of Ernst von Mengersdorf, bishop of Bamberg.Besides his many cast medals, Maler is the creator of numerous struck pieces, most of which, were made for sale, but some also as Presentation-pieces for princes, as the oval badge of Charles II. of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. These struck medals are by no means inferior in style to the cast pieces but are usually signed V.M. or still more frequently: V.M. CVM PRIVILE. CAES., and also FA. V.M.C. PRIVILE.The above was adapted from theBiographical dictionary of medallists; coin, gem, and seal-engravers, mint-masters, ancient and modern, with references to their works B.C. 500-A.D. 1900by Forrer.Valentin and his son Christian are both well-known medallists. I find most of their work rather bland. When compared to his other work I find it surprising that Valentin created such an intricate struck piece since most of his work is rather plain cast pieces.As with most coins and medals, there is a lot of symbolism on this piece. The old man would most like to represent the end of the year while the children are the birth of the new year. The flaming chalice is interesting. During these periods in history, a person shown holding a chalice signifies that they are God’s servant and have turned away from evil. Why it is flaming is something I am uncertain of. In Christianity, the palm branch is associated with Jesus' Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday.I want to talk about the transaction with Shanna Schmidt. In my years as a collector, I have never dealt with a more professional dealer. Before making the purchase, I had multiple questions that she answered without hesitation. In addition, she provided documents like the catalog scans above. Below is the image that I fell in love with. In my opinion, it is far superior to the ones above from Kunker’s sales and the scan from the catalog. Typically, her inventory is far outside of my price range but I now understand why she is regarded so highly.Photo#3 from Shanna SchmidtAs a side note, I have also acquired a copy of the Erlanger auction catalog to accompany this medal. They typically sell for good money on their own but I found a seller on Abe Books that was selling one for the price of a new paperback novel.

23 Mar 2021

Swedish Numismatics

| World_Coin_Nut

I have found myself recently drawn to the coinage of Sweden. Being a world coin collector, I have always had some coins from Sweden in my collection but I think that I am starting to appreciate them more. There aren’t many (at least in the United States) collectors to compete with. The designs tend to be simple.

29 Jan 2021

Medal for Noteworthy Public Service

Medals | World_Coin_Nut

Theodore Newton Vail (1845 – 1920) was president of the American Telephone & Telegraph between 1885 and 1889, and again from 1907 to 1919. Vail saw telephone service as a public utility and moved to consolidate telephone networks under the Bell system. In 1913 he oversaw the Kingsbury Commitment which led to a more open system for connection.

03 Jan 2021

Ferdinand III Thaler

Coins-World | World_Coin_Nut

Here is a new addition to my Thaler collection. Hungary isn’t my normal collecting focus but the large diameter and nice strike were really appealing to me.Diameter: 46mmWeight: 28.54 gKörmöcbánya (Kremnitz) mint.Obverse: Laureate, armored, and draped bust rightReversed: Crowned double-headed eagle, holding sword and scepter; crowned and collared coat-of-arms on breast.Huszár 1241; KM 107; Davenport 3198Ferdinand III was from 1621 Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary from 1625, King of Croatia and Bohemia from 1627, and Holy Roman Emperor from 1637 until his death in 1657. Sounds like he had a lot on his plate.

26 Dec 2020

A Bucket List Coin

Coins - World | World_Coin_Nut

Here is a completely unexpected end to my year. This is a bucket list coin of mine.A local co-club member of mine was a big-time fan of coins from Scotland, which is how there originally came on my radar. Paul had an impressive collection and he was very passionate about it. In my time with the club, Paul spoke several times on different segments of Scottish numismatics and always made time to sit down and talk about the subject.I first saw one of these in person at the 2016 ANA in Anaheim. Heritage sold one. The closest I came was being able to look at it in lot viewing. I attended the live session and never even got a chance to raise my hand because the price quickly exceeded my limited budget.Since that time I have bid on at least a half dozen more. Even with more aggressive bidding on my part, they all have slipped through my fingers.Recently I was browsing "The Coin Shop" on CNG. This is something I don't do often because typically they don't have anything in the "Shop" that interests me. And there it was. I know I paid high retail but you know how it goes. You have to pull the trigger when the opportunity arises. I actually purchased it for less than they have been selling for at auction so I am happy with the price.These are scarce but also highly desirable to a wide-ranging group of collectors.Unfortunately, I will not be able to share my addition with Paul. Earlier this year he had an accident in his backyard that ended his life. I know he would have loved it. This was a denomination that he didn't have in his collection.Does anybody have an idea what the H countermark could mean?Description:SCOTLAND. Mary. 1542-1567. AR Ryal (42mm, 30.31 g, 1h). Fourth period, Mary and Henry Darnley. Second issue. Edinburgh mint. Dated 1565. Countermarked for revaluation of 1578. Crowned coat-of-arms of ScotlandObverse: thistles flanking; c/m: small HReverse: Crowned palm tree, upon which tortoise climbs; scroll across field; c/m: crowned thistle.Rampling dies A9/54; Burns 1 (fig. 904); SCBI 58 (Edinburgh), 1169/1170 (same obv./rev. dies); SCBC 5425. For c/m: SCBC p. 76.Attractively toned, small “H” countermark on obverse.


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