Monday, 2023.06.05
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Numismatic Puzzle: Cowries

For centuries, coins faced serious competition: by cowries.

Numismatic Puzzle: The Bernese Bear

In 1493, Bern started minting guldiners. This one is from 1494. The Bernese heraldic beast (a bear) is depicted beneath the imperial eagle, the emblem of the Holy Roman Empire, in order to demonstrate that the city was not subject to anyone except the emperor himself.

Numismatic Puzzle: Charles of Anjou

On this silver coin from AD 1270, Charles of Anjou calls himself Senator of Rome – but he was actually the King of Sicily! Put the puzzle together and you will find the unusual legend.

Numismatic Puzzle: Katanga Cross

Today’s puzzle is a Katanga cross from southern Kongo.

Numismatic Puzzle: Vreneli, Switzerland (1925)

Today’s puzzle is a 100 CHF Swiss gold coin, a so-called Vreneli, of 1925.

Numismatic Puzzle: Groat of Maria I of England

Today’s puzzle is a groat (c.1553-1558) of Maria I of England, “Bloody Mary”.

Numismatic Puzzle: 1715 Taler, Zurich (Switzerland)

Today’s puzzle is a 1715 Taler from Zurich in Switzerland.

Numismatic Puzzle: A Zurich Horror Show

This 1512 Zurich silver taler appears to depict a horror scene: three people hold their heads in front of them. In fact, they are the city’s patron saints Felix, Regula and Exuperantius. They were persecuted and beheaded as Christians in ancient times – and thus became saints.

Numismatic Puzzle: Sixtus V

The Vatican’s finances were in a bad way in the 16th century. As the new pope, Sixtus V – here depicted on a 1588 silver coin – therefore relied on high taxes and rigorous saving. After a pontificate of only five years, he died as one of the richest rulers in Europe.

Numismatic Puzzle: Manilla

A manilla looks like a bangle, but its opening is too wide to be used as jewellery. In fact, Manillas were used for centuries as a currency by Europeans to trade with West African nations.