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The Numismatist's Resource Guide to African Coins and Currency

The Numismatist's Resource Guide to African Coins and Currency

Before colonization, few areas of Africa used the kind of currency typically expected in the modern world. People traded items, but they rarely used abstract forms of money. Today, African nations use a variety of currencies that attract collectors. Some of the coins even challenge the modern understanding of Africa's history.

By Wakanow | Monday, March 31, 2014

France: Louis XV, Gold Louis, 1721

France: Louis XV, Gold Louis, 1721

By the first quarter of the 18th century, costly and unsuccessful wars had brought France almost to the brink of bankruptcy, and the economic strain was reflected in both the metallic and paper currencies. Most coins issued at this time bore no indication of denomination, leaving it to the authorities to proclaim the rate at which each was to be current.

By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, March 29, 2004

France: Louis XV, Gold Louis, 1720-23

France: Louis XV, Gold Louis, 1720-23

The louis d'or illustrated was issued in France under the authority of John Law, a Scottish banker, who was the chief financial adviser to Louis XV. First issued in 1720, it appeared at a time when France was nearly bankrupt, having engaged in costly and unsuccessful wars in the first quarter of the 18th century.

By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, March 29, 2004

Spain, 2 reales (pistareen), 1723

Spain, 2 reales (pistareen), 1723

The pistareen, a silver coin struck in Spain between 1707 and 1771, was first issued by the rival claimants to the throne during the Spanish Wars of Succession (1701-1713). This coin provided much of the small change in the British Colonies of the West Indies until 1825 and was also used extensively in Canada and the United States until the early part of the 19th century.

By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, March 29, 2004

Mexico, 8 reales (pillar dollar), 1747

Mexico, 8 reales (pillar dollar), 1747

When the Spaniards came to the New World they found much that aroused their cupidity, particularly the rich gold and silver mines of Mexico and South America. Soon great treasury fleets began sailing regularly from the New to the Old World, and for the first time in its history Europe had an abundant supply of both metals.

By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, March 29, 2004

Mexico, 8 escudos (doubloon), 1799

Mexico, 8 escudos (doubloon), 1799

Between 1492 and 1825 Spain enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the world's gold production, with nearly 70 per cent coming from the Spanish colonies in the Americas. A substantial amount of the gold mined was used in the production of gold coins by the various mints established in the Spanish colonies.

By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, March 29, 2004

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