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Rare Money Blog

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​With our ANA auction recently completed and our August Hong Kong sale just wrapping up, we now focus on our next offering of attractive ancient and world coinage—our October Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction. This sale, scheduled for 22-23 October, will feature numerous well-cultivated collections, with a particular focus upon North and South America.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​​Used in the medicinal field for a millennium, people began to use opium recreationally in China in the 17th century when it was mixed with smoking tobacco. As the Chinese population grew, so too did the demand for this drug derived from the breadseed poppy plant. Along with this increase in demand came a trade imbalance between the imperial Qing dynasty and Great Britain. Chinese goods, such as tea and silk, were immensely popular in the west, and seemingly endless supplies of silver were received as payment for these exports.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​Nubar Pasha, born as Nubar Nubarian in 1825 to an Armenian family in Smyrna (on the western coast of modern-day Turkey), began his career in Egyptian political affairs at the age of 20, serving as first secretary to the heir apparent to the Wāli (governor). Having been sent to numerous European capitals on Ottoman diplomatic missions, Nubar quickly gained a reputation as a trusted confidant to the successive Egyptian Wālis. Following Ismail the Magnificent's massive spending and poor financial governance of Egypt, Ismail agreed to accept a reduced role as a constitutional sovereign in 1878.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​Dating back to her western discovery by Ferdinand Magellan's Spanish expedition in 1521, the Philippine Islands have served as a cultural and religious crossroads among the east, near east, and west. Over the ensuing 3½ centuries, Spain would further her control in the archipelago, subjugating various fiefdoms and quelling numerous revolts. In 1872, the clamor for Filipino independence grew as three priests were accused of sedition and executed. By 1892, a secret society known as the Katipunan was formed for the purpose of achieving freedom from Spain.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​Born in 1796 to Russian emperor Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg, Nicholas had little chance of ever acceding to the imperial throne, as he was the third male child born to the royal couple. Following Paul's murder in 1801, the eldest son Alexander, who would rule for the first quarter of the 19th century, was crowned. For Russia, this was a rather tumultuous period that included the chaotic Napoleonic Wars as well as numerous conservative and reactionary policies by Alexander.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

As the 19th century was coming to a close, the desire to compete in a burgeoning world economy was felt in nearly all parts of the globe. This included China—an empire home to roughly 400 million people (nearly a quarter of the world’s population at that time). Throughout her realms, strings of ‘cash’ were used as a lower-value currency for over two millennia, with larger sums represented in the form of ‘sycee’—ingots cast in gold or silver.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

Following the assassination of Rome’s ‘dictator for life,’ Julius Caesar, in 44 B.C., Rome was plunged further into chaos, having already seen Caesar quell a bitter feud with the Senate and Gn. Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) just a few years prior. Many of Caesar’s conspirators and assassins, including M. Junius Brutus and C. Cassius Longinus, commonly referenced simply as Brutus and Cassius, fled Rome for fear of reprisal, as their deed was not entirely embraced by the Roman populace who saw Caesar as a benevolent leader. Caesar’s closest friend and ally, M. Antonius (Marc Antony) seized a great deal of control during the power vacuum, with the conspirators on the run and Caesar’s grand-nephew and designated heir, G. Octavius Thurinus, still with an army in Macedonia.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​Ever an iconic denomination and focal point of countless coin collections, the taler—a large-sized and weighty silver piece—has been the basis for much of the world's economy since the late 15th century. At that time, Sigismund, the Archduke of Austria and a member of the Habsburg family, enacted a new and fairly radical monetary policy whereby large format silver coinage would be reintroduced, as much of Europe had relied upon thin, low-grade, and rather uninspiring denominations for nearly a millennium. ​

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