Thursday, 2024.04.18
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Numismatic Puzzle: Alfred the Great

When Alfred ruled over the West Saxons in the 9th century, Vikings raided Britain, his homeland. Alfred forged an alliance between numerous small realms and drove out the invaders. You can see his picture on this silver penny.

Numismatic Puzzle: Snake Basket

Today you can try your hand at a cistophorus. The silver coin was named after its motif – a basket with a snake. This “cista mystica” was part of the Bacchus cult and is depicted on the early version of this denomination from Asia Minor.

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.
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