Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Russian Wire Money - ID Help needed, please

I purchased this from a local dealer recently, but I need some help IDing it. I am not even sure I have the sides upside-right. Darn thing is tiny.

I know I have read an article on how to read these, but I don't remember where....if it was in The Numismatist, or online somewhere, so I am posting this up looking for help.

Thanks in advance!

Sorry for the crappy scans.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My oldest US coin- by a wide margin!

The majority of my collection is from the USA- they are very easily accessible, and in fact I've pulled the majority of them out of circulation, including every year of cent from 1933-2015.

But the majority of my collection is new. Post World War II new. I do have some older issues- and in fact my oldest issue since 2008 was an 1832 half dime that I purchased on my very first trip to a coin shop after I really, truly became a numismatist. (I had been collecting the State Quarters before that, but I don't truly consider myself a coin collector until April 2008. I didn't even know what mintmarks were for instance!) When I got that one, I had never heard of a half dime before. I just knew it was old and it only cost me $5. It's slightly bent but I don't care. It's not like I have not seen older US issues- I've seen, in person, as old as 1796, with the asterisk that I've also seen a 1652 Massachusetts shilling, technically a British colony issue.

For a time it almost seemed like I'd never get anything older than 1832. Until a few weekends ago, when I set my oldest US coin record by a wide margin- 1801! I have not yet scanned it and my pictures aren't great, but here they are-
 This first image shows the color best. It's quite dark, but at 214 years old, that's just right to me.

It's not in the greatest shape, but it was in my price range, which made me very happy. The scratches and dings it has don't concern me, I prefer circulated coins to mint state anyway. Based on the toning the scratches and dings it has have been on there a very long time...how long, who knows? Large cents circulated up to the Civil War and this one looked like it circulated quite a bit...unfortunately there is no way to ever know.

I suspect this may be my oldest US for many years to come. The previous record stood for 8 years, and it would not surprise me at all if this one holds that record even longer- the 1700s in the US are just way too expensive for me. (another reason I love world coins- I can get back much farther in history, which is my main reason for collecting) and 1800 is right up there with them. But I love this one, and I am very glad I was able to add it to my collection.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

One from Every Country #9: Austrian Netherlands

This coin was a big deal when I got it. I had never held anything this old before, something from the 1700s...it seemed impossible to handle anything this old. When I was growing up, to me anything from WWII or older was a rare sight, but of course I wasn't really collecting too much back then either.

I would eventually learn that it is quite possible to get older issues, and in fact my oldest issue dates to the 300s B.C. today, when I got this one, it was my oldest by a wide margin.

It was the first coin I ever bought online, in 2008, and considering the condition, I probably overpaid at $20, but I still love it.

The Austrian Netherlands wasn't even around all that long. It was only in existence for 83 years, and in fact 1797 was it's last year of existence. It had ceased to be an actual place before that, as France seized it in 1794, but the Habsburgs held out hope of getting it back until 1797. Ironically, they didn't even want that area when it was created as an entity in 1714. (If Wikipedia is accurate)

Today it is Belgium, or at least part of what makes up Belgium, which, when this coin was issued, did not exist yet.
The denomination is kronenthaler, which means it is quite large. The large c under the portrait is the Prague mintmark. It is the only coin I have from this country, and as far as I know, is the only Habsburg portrait coin in my collection as well. (portrait coins are my favorites)