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Rare Money Blog

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​Along the lines of many of other Central and South American countries under yoke of Spanish rule, Paraguay declared independence from her colonial oppressors in May of 1811, although it would be governed by dictatorial and military régimes, along with pseudo-presidencies, for the next 60 years. During the extensive "presidency" of Paraguay's first president, Carlos Antonio López, the Paraguayan real was established as the nation's monetary unit in 1845, replacing the use of neighboring currencies.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​​One of the world's more popular distilled spirits was created, somewhat comically, out of shortage of brandy, as explorers in the New World needed a replacement for their alcoholic beverage of choice. Following Spain's conquest and subsequent establishment of colonies in areas such as modern-day Mexico, soldiers and settlers quickly found themselves running short on products they were accustomed to, such as alcohol. Around 1535, with no grapes to be found, the Spaniards focused upon a different source of sugars for fermentation—the agave plant.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​The man who would be the father of not just a country, but more broadly of a good portion of an entire continent, Simón Bolívar was born to a fairly wealthy family in Caracas—then part of Spain's New World empire as the Viceroyalty of New Granada. Both of his parents died before he was nine, and the upbringing of the young Bolívar was left to the family slave, Hipólita, as well a tutor, Don Simón Rodríguez. It was under the tutelage of the latter that Bolívar developed a love for the ideals of liberty and freedom, as well as the enlightenment movement.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

The modern cohesion and power balance between the Crown and Parliament in the United Kingdom developed broadly from the events surrounding the Glorious Revolution in 1688, whereby Catholic James II was toppled and forced into exile in favor of his daughter, the Anglican Mary Stuart, and her Protestant Dutch husband, William of Orange. This revolution, while restoring an Anglican/Protestant monarch and forever preventing Catholic rule, also aided in strengthening the role and position of parliament, removing the heretofore absolute monarchical system under which the kingdom had been ruled for centuries.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​​In 126 B.C., the Phoenician city of Tyre received autonomous status from her ruling power, the Seleukid Empire.  Tyre immediately began to strike a coinage that would be well known throughout the Mediterranean for the ensuing two centuries. The shekel, a silver coin trading on par with the regional tetradrachms, was struck annually, with the years since obtaining autonomous status denoted on the reverse of each piece. Owing to their consistent design and purity, these shekels were easily recognized and readily accepted in commerce.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​Following the turbulent times of the brief English Republic and the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the House of Stuart undertook to increase the supply of gold coinage in use, as there was a distinct lack of it within the kingdom. Accordingly, a royal charter was established, granting to the "Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa" a monopoly over trade on the west coast of Africa. The rich deposits of natural resources, including gold, made this area a hotbed for colonial pursuit by other European powers as well, such as the Dutch Republic.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist & Cataloger

​The second half of the 18th century saw a sharp decline in the output of non-gold coinage by the Royal Mint in London, a situation that was exacerbated by the population boom and the move of many workers from rural farms to urban factories. With this influx of a new and growing workforce, employers had few options for paying  employees, as there was a severe shortage of small change. Even worse, much of what was in circulation was counterfeit, accepted as payment simply because there was no other tangible solution.

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.

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