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HISTORIC OLD COINS



NEWTHE WOMAN WHO WAS A KING…AND A PAWN

Hungary Silver Denar of Maria, 1383-1385, H.569Mary, also known as Maria, was the daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland and Elizabeth of Bosnia.   Born in 1371, she was promised in marriage to Sigismund of Luxembourg when she was less than a year old.  Louis died when she was about eleven years old. Her parents arranged for her to be the “King” of Hungary, with Elizabeth acting as her regent.  The idea of a female king was unpopular with the Hungarian nobles and there was open rebellion. The nobles invited Mary’s distant cousin Charles III of Naples, to take the throne.  To strengthen Mary’s political position, Elizabeth then arranged for her to be engaged Louis, the brother of Charles VI of France.  In 1385 Charles III of Naples invaded Hungary from the south to claim his throne, and Sigismund invaded from the north to claim his bride.  Sigismund arrived in the capital of Buda and was married to Mary in October 1385, however he was not proclaimed king or given royal titles.  He quickly departed Buda, then mortgaged a large portion of the country.  Charles of Naples arrived in Buda in December 1385.  Mary, fearing for her life, resigned the throne and Charles was crowned King of Hungary.  In February 1386 Elizabeth had Charles murdered.   Mary was again proclaimed King with Elizabeth still in control.  In July 1386 Mary and Elizabeth were captured by supporters of Ladislaus, the son of the murdered Charles III.  Mary’s close confidants, who were traveling with them, were beheaded and their heads thrown into the royal carriage holding Mary and Elizabeth.  Mary and Elizabeth were held in captivity where Elizabeth was strangled in Mary’s presence. The nobility had Sigismund crowned King of Hungary on March 31, 1387.  One of Sigismund’s supporters, with the help of the Venetian fleet, freed Mary.  Mary was reunited with her husband and though co-ruler, had little influence on government.  In May 1395 Mary, although pregnant, ventured out alone on a hunt.  Her horse fell and landed on top of her, which induced labor.  She gave birth prematurely to a son.  Not having any assistance, Mary and her son died alone.  This attractive silver Denar of Mary issued between 1383 and 1385.  One side of the 13mm silver coin features a crown; the other side has a patriarchal cross.  It is an historic coin from a woman whose life sounds like something from the "Game of Thrones".
Item HU-MARY HUNGARY SILVER DENAR OF KING MARY, 1383-1385, H.569 VF $17.00



SILVER COIN OF LEOPOLD THE HOGMOUTH  

Leopold the Hogmouth silver 15 Kreuzer (1660-1696)Leopold the Hogmouth 15 Kreuzer, Hungary reverse with Madonna and ChildLeopold I was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1658 to 1705.  He had a rather pronounced lower lip, possibly brought on by his father’s marriage to his cousin.  He was described as a cultivated man of extreme ugliness, hence the name "The Hogmouth".  As Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither Holy, Roman, nor an Empire) he ruled a vast territory including Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, as well as parts of Germany. He claimed the throne of Spain, leading to The War of Spanish The Succession.  Leopold fought a number of wars against the Turks and France.  The engravers made no attempt to hide his ugliness on the coins, hence his protruding Hapsburg jaw is plainly visible on the coin.  His coins tend to have a slight curvature that was caused by the minting process which used "roller dies" rather than the coin being struck flat.  We offer a silver 15 Kreuzer coins of Leopold from Hungary featuring the Madonna and Child on the reverse and a wonderfully ugly portrait of Leopold on the obverse.   The coin is date between 1660 and 1696 and are approximately 30mm in diameter. 
Item HU-LEO-15K HUNGARY SILVER 15 KREUZER LEOPOLD THE HOGMOUTH 1660-1696 F-VF $59.75



NEWCOIN OF RIGA FOR THE UNCONVENTIONAL QUEEN CHRISTINA

Riga, Solidus of Christina, 1634-1654Queen Christina of Sweden was one of the most educated, wittiest, unorthodox and unconventional women of the 17th century.  She succeeded her father on the throne of Sweden in 1632 when she was only six years old.  She took a deep interest in philosophy, religion, art, mathematics and science.   She was fond of books, paintings and had a collection of over 33,000 coins and medals. She frequently dressed as a man. She knew at least nine languages - and could out-cuss a soldier. She was headstrong and often in conflict with her own Chancellor.  In 1638 the first Swedish settlement in the New World was established and named after her: Fort Christina, which is now Wilmington, Delaware.  She founded Sweden's first newspaper. Her efforts helped bring about the Peace of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years' War. She had an intimate relationship with her handmaiden and in 1649 she announced that she decided not to marry.  In 1654 she abdicated her throne and left Sweden in order to convert to Catholicism.   She was warmly received by Pope Alexander VII and for a time was given her own wing inside the Vatican.  Though often running short of money, she was a major patron of the theater and the arts.  She gave much occasion for gossip as she did not follow the norms for women of that era and freely socialized with men.  She used her position to protect the Jews of Rome.  Missing politics, she attempted to regain the throne of Sweden and gain the thrones of Naples and Poland, all without success.  She died in 1689, and is one of only three women buried within St. Peter's Basilica. This Solidus of Queen Christina was issued for Riga between 1634 and 1654.  Riga, now the capital of Latvia, was under Swedish control from 1621 to 1721.  It was given considerable autonomy, including the right to issue its own coins.  The copper or silver-washed Solidus of Riga have Queen Christina's royal monogram on one side and the arms of Riga on the other.  The crudely made coins are 15mm in diameter, typically are struck somewhat off center without a date.
Item RIGA-CHR RIGA SOLIDUS OF CHRISTINA (1634-1654)  Fine-VF-Crude $10.00



THE MAN WHO SPARKED THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION

Duchy of Prussia, Albrecht von Brandenburg, silver Groschen, 1532-1545Albrecht von Brandenburg, coming from the powerful ruling Prussian family, was appointed the archbishop of Magdeburg and administrator of the Diocese of Halberstadt in 1513, at the young age of 23.  The following year he also became the Archbishop of Mainz.  That position carried considerable power temporal power as Archbishop of Mainz was one of the seven Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, making him only second in rank to the Emperor.  His appointment to these positions was contrary to Church law as he was not yet reached the canonical age of 27 and one person could not hold more than single diocese. However Albrecht was granted dispensations from Pope Leo X after he made a large contribution to the Pope to help pay for the rebuilding of St. Peter’s in Rome.  Albrecht had borrowed that money from Jakob Fugger.  In order to repay Fugger, he was granted permission by Pope Leo to sell indulgences, as long as half proceeds went to the Pope.  All this was too much for a German monk named Martin Luther who driven to write his famous 95 Theses, which he posted on the doors of the Wittenburg Church, thus starting the Protestant Reformation.  This silver Groschen of Albrecht was minted by the Duchy of Prussia, which at that time was a vassal state of the Kingdom of Poland.  One side depicts Albrecht along with the date and legends.  The other side features and Eagle with an “S” on its chest, signifying Sigismund I, King of Poland, along with Albrecht’s abbreviated name and titles.  The 23mm silver coin is dated between 1532 and 1545.
Item ALBRECHT PRUSSIA SILVER GROSCHEN, ALBRECHT 1532-1545 VF $95.00




ST. PETER ON SILVER COINS OF THE ARCHBISHOPSS OF TRIER

Trier silver Petermenger KM176The Archbishopric of Trier was one of the most powerful in Germany.  The position held special privileges as it was one of only seven electors who chose the Holy Roman Emperor  and controlled the territory between France and the Rhine. This silver 3 Albus coin of Trier is called a Petermenger.  One side of the coin depicts St. Peter in the clouds holding a key.  The other side has the arms of the Archbishop.  The coin is approximately 23mm in diameter.  Johann Hugo von Orsbeck was Archbishop  Trier from 1675 until his death in 1711. He helped chose Joseph I as the successor to Leopold the Hogmouth as Holy Roman Emperor.   He ruled during  a difficult period of time for Trier.   France, under Louis XIV, repeatedly invaded and occupied Trier.  Johann Hugo issued silver Petermengers from 1691 to 1695 with the date on the front, and again from 1706 to 1709 with the date on the back.
Item TRIER-JOHANN TRIER SILVER PETERMENGER 1691-1709 JOHANN HUGO F $32.00



SILVER COIN OF IVAN THE TERRIBLE  Restocked

Russia Ivan the Terrible silver wire kopeck, 1533-1584Ivan IV, generally known as Ivan the Terrible, was crowned Grand Prince of Moscow in 1533 at age three.  In 1547 he declared himself Czar of all Russia, and set about centralizing the Russian government and consolidating his power.  He engaged in a reign of terror against anyone he thought might oppose him, torturing and executing many thousands of his subjects, including his own son. Entire cities were destroyed and regions were left depopulated.  Thus he earned his title "The Terrible".  Though he expanded the Russian Empire eastward into Siberia, his attempts to expand into the Baltic met with disastrous defeats.  The military, weakened by Ivan's purges, was defeated by Sweden and Poland.  He apparently had quite an appetite for women, having gone through seven wives and keeping some 50 concubines.  Having destroyed the and having killed his most promising heir, Russia fell into "The Time of Troubles" after his death in 1584. The only type of coin issued by Ivan is the silver wire kopeck.  It was made by smashing a small piece of silver wire between a pair of dies.   As might be expected, the coins are quite crude and struck partly off-center.  The coin shows a horseman with a lance on one side and legends on the other.
Item RU-IVAN RUSSIA, IVAN THE TERRIBLE SILVER WIRE KOPECK, 1533-1594 VG-F $7.00


MICHAEL ESTABLISHES THE ROMANOV DYNASTY

Silver kopeck coin of Michael Romanov Following the death of Ivan the Terrible in 1584, Russia fell into a period of chaos and civil war. In an effort to bring an end to the fighting, 16 year old Michael Fydorovich Romanov was selected as Czar in 1613.  Though many expected him to fail, the young Michael slowly established his control over Russia.  By the time of his death in 1645 he had established the powerful Romanov dynasty, which was to last over 300 years, until the Russian Revolution in 1917.  This small, crude silver wire kopeck of Michael was made by a strong-armed Russian pounding a small piece of silver wire between two dies. One side pictures a horseman carrying a spear.  The other has Russian legends in the Cyrillic alphabet.
Item RU-MIKE MICHAEL FYDOROVICH ROMANOV SILVER KOPECK 1613-1645 VG-crude $6.00

OLD COIN OF AUSTRIA

Austria 1 Kreuzer 1851The Imperial Coat-of-Arms of Austria is featured on the obverse 1851 Austrian 1 Kruezer.  It was the first time the denomination had been struck since 1816, and was one of the first coins of Emperor Franz-Joseph I,  Franz-Joseph reigned for almost 68 years, until his death in 1916.  During his reign Austria lost its possessions in Italy in the Italian Wars of Independence in 1859 and 1866.  Its defeat in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866 lead to the unification of Germany under Prussia.  After this rocky beginning of his reign,  a forty-eight year period of peace then prevailed in Austria until the start of World War I in 1914.  The reverse of the 23mm copper coin features the denomination and date. 
Item AT-1KR AUSTRIA 1 KREUZER 1851 KM2185 VF $3.00

UNCIRCULATED FIRST COINS OF UNIFIED ITALY  Price Reduced

Italy 1 & 2 Centesimi 1861 Milan KM1.1 & KM1.2The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed on March 17, 1861.  Victor Emmanuel II, the king of Sardinia was declared King.  Prior to that time Italy was a collection of independent nations.  The first coins of unified Italy were issued later that year, including the copper 1 and 2 Centesimi.  King Victor Emmanuel is portrayed on the obverse.  The denomination and date within a wreath are on the reverse.  The 1 Centesimo is 15mm and the 2 Centesimi is 20.2mm.  Both coins were struck in Milan and have the “M” mintmark at the bottom of the reverse.  Amazingly both coins are in Uncirculated condition and still retain most of their original mint luster!  It is an historic set in top condition.
Item IT-SET2 ITALY 1 & 2 CENTESIMI 1861-M KM1.1 & 2.1 UNC.  $40.00

Also see:

Click HereATTRACTIVE COINS OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC

Click HereFAMOUS ITALIANS ON BEAUTIFUL BANKNOTES

PIECE-OF-EIGHT FROM THE WRECK OF THE EL CAZADOR   

Piece-of-Eight of Carlos III (Charles III ) from the El Cazador shipwreck Few coins can match the history and romance of the Piece-of-Eight. Commonly known as the Spanish 8 Reales, or Spanish Milled Dollar, this large silver coin was widely used throughout the Americas. Its wide acceptance made it a favorite of both pirates and merchants. It was used throughout the colonies before the American Revolution, and was the basis of the United States Dollar. The coin continued to be legal tender in the United States until 1857. These original Pieces-of-Eight went down aboard the El Cazador in 1784 off the coast of Louisiana.   Some say that Spain's loss of the El Cazador changed the course of history. Spain had gained control of New Orleans and Louisiana from France by treaty in 1762, over objections of the residents who had nothing to say in the matter. Following the American Revolution there was increasing rebellion in the territory caused by restrictions Spain placed on trade with the United States, a deluge of unbacked paper currency, and the ideals of the American Revolution. King Carlos III of Spain dispatched the brig of war El Cazador, loaded with newly minted Pieces-of-Eight from the Mexico City mint to New Orleans, in an effort to redeem the paper currency and boost the local economy. Alas the ship was lost at sea. Perhaps it was attacked by pirates or lost in a storm. The loss was devastating to both Louisiana’s economy and Spain's ability to profit from the territory. Further efforts by the Spanish Crown to sustain Louisiana failed, and in 1800, Spain ceded Louisiana back to France in exchange for some minor European considerations. Three years later France sold Louisiana to the United States for $15 million dollars. The Louisiana Purchase opened the floodgates of westward expansion for the young United States.
      
The coins bear the bust of Spanish King Carlos (Charles) III on one side and the Spanish coat-of-arms between the Pillars of Hercules on the other. The coins were struck at the historic Mexico City Mint between 1780 and 1783.  They were on their way from Mexico to the then Spanish port of New Orleans when the ship was lost at sea. The coins show significant signs that they have been under the ocean for over 200 years.  They are heavily corroded and do not have a readable date.  The coin coins on on a large card with an explanation of the coin's extrodinary history and  my Certificate of Authenticity,.
Item ELCAZ-FLIP PIECE OF EIGHT OF CARLOS III (1780-83), from El Cazador Heavily Corroded, in flip $55.00

SCARCE COINS OF PORTUGUESE MALACCA

Portuguese Malacca tin Dinheiro of John III 1521-1557Portugal took Malacca in 1511 and controlled it for the next 130 years, until it was conquered by the Dutch East India Company.  Today it is part of Malaysia.  The Malacca mint produced these tin Dinheiro coins for use in the territory.  John III (Joao III) ruled Portugal from 1521 to 1557. He expanded Portugal’s colonization of Brazil and Asia.  He was called the “Grocer King” due to his country’s rich profits from the spice trade.  His tin Dineiro features a Cross with the letters “ISMA” in the four quadrants, which stood for Ioanes Senhor MalaccA, meaning struck for King John at Malacca.  The other side depicts an armillary sphere, which was used in navigation.  Portuguese Malacca tin Dineiro of Sebastian 1557-1578He was succeeded by his young grandson, Sebastian I (Sebastio I).  Sebastian became king at age 3 in 1557.  Sebastian died in battle in a crusade against Morocco in 1578, before marrying or producing any heirs.  One side of his coin features three arrows with the letters “BA”, which may mean “Bazaruco, or bazaar money, indicating it was for local use. The other side has a crude representation of an armillary sphere on the other.  Both coins are about 16mm to 18mm in diameter.  They show little wear, but are crudely struck.
Item MALC-JOHN PORTUGUESE MALACCA DINHIERO JOHN III 1521-1557 VF out
Item MALC-SEB PORTUGUESE MALACCA DINHIERO SEBASTIAN 1557-1578 VF $30.00


SCARCE COIN OF DEMAK SULTANATE

Demak Sultanate tin Pitas Raden Patah 1475-1518The Demak Sultanate was founded about 1475 by Sultan Pangeran al Patah, also known as Raden Patah. He was of Javanese nobility and his mother may have been a Chinese princess who had been exiled from China.  His Sultanate was the first Muslim state in Java.  He quickly expanded his Sultanate to include most of the northern coast of Java and southern Sumatra.  This was an important step in bringing Islam to what is now Indonesia. The Sultan ruled until his death in 1518.  The Sultanate lasted about another 30 years, until it collapsed in a dynastic feud. The Sultanate prospered through trade in spices, rice and its control over Javanese trading ports.   This Pitis of Sultan Pangeran al Patah is one of the few affordable coins of the Demak Sultanate.  The uniface tin coin is approximately 19mm to 20mm in diameter and grades Very Fine.
Item DEMAK DEMAK SULTANATE, TIN PITIS, PANGERAN AL PATAH 1475-1518 VF $19.50


100 YEAR OLD BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED MALDIVE COIN

Maldive Islands bronze 1 Larin AH1331 = AD1913 KM41This Brilliant Uncirculated bronze 1 Larin was struck for the Maldive Islands in 1913 by the Birmingham Mint.  The 13mm coin has Arabic legends on both sides. The coin is in its original Brilliant Uncirculated condition.  It is an amazingly inexpensive coin considering its age and condition.
Item MV-1L MALDIVE ISLANDS 1 LARIN, AH1331 = 1913AD KM41 BU $5.00


FOR MORE HISTORICAL OLD COINS, PLEASE SEE:

Click HereAFGHANISTAN COINS
Click HereOLD COINS OF ANNAM
Click HereCOINS OF INDIA and PAKISTAN
Click HereCOINS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
Click Here2400 YEARS OF CHINESE COINS and CURRENCY
Click HereCOINS OF DEAD NATIONS


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