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Rare Money Blog

By Nicholas Fritz, Numismatist for World and Ancient Coins

​Almost everyone knows the story of the Fall of France, the collapse of French defenses and subsequent occupation by Germany during the Second World War. What some people do not realize is that not all of France was occupied by the Germans. As the German army advanced in the summer of 1940, the French government fled Paris.​

By Nicholas Fritz, Numismatist for World and Ancient coins

​One of the most eclectic and unusual issues mentioned in Kann's seminal Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Coins, Gold, Silver, Nickel and Aluminum, are the Manchukuo Gold Tael issues. These are found at the very end of the general issues section, right before the forgeries and fantasy coins. These were produced with three different varieties featuring different obverse characters meaning "double happiness," "blessing," and "Wealth, Honor, for 10,000 Years."​

By Stack's Bowers Galleries

Stack's Bowers and Ponterio's inaugural Rarities Night of Chinese Coins proved a resounding success, as 255 lots realized just short of $27,000,000 as one session of the firm's May 2022 Hong Kong Auction. The highest priced item in the sale, a majestic Year 3 (1911) Pattern "Long Whisker" Dollar graded Specimen-63+ by PCGS, brought an astonishing $3,000,000, establishing a new record for the most valuable world coin sold by an American auction firm. 

By Nicholas Fritz, Numismatist for World and Ancient Coins

​As with so many other nations in East Asia at the dawn of the 20th century, Korea was faced with the increasing threat of colonization. This tremendous period of change on the Korean peninsula was largely during the lifetime of one ruler, Kojong, the last king of Joseon. Born in 1852 and ascending to the throne at age 12 in 1864, Kojong inherited a country that was deeply isolationist. This isolationism was largely born out of earlier encroachments from both the Jin and Qing Dynasty and Japan between 1590 and 1640.​

By Nicholas Fritz, Numismatist for World and Ancient Coins

​By 1860 massive change was occurring in Southeast Asia. Growing European influence, particularly that of the French Empire, was encroaching on traditional kingdoms and rulers. In this tumultuous time, Cambodia found itself dealing with the influence of the French and the rival Kingdom of Siam (modern day Thailand). The French influence did lead to a revolution of sorts in coinage for the region, with Thailand adopting their first "flat" European style machine struck coinage in 1860, with Cambodia also producing some of the country's first machine struck coinage (examples from 1847 were also machine struck).​

By Nicholas Fritz, Numismatist for World and Ancient Coins

The Dutch Colonial Empire is often forgotten when compared to the larger empires of the British, French, and Spanish. However, the Dutch Empire has left a legacy that can be seen in some unexpected places. One of the official languages of South Africa is Afrikaans, which derives nearly all its words from the Dutch language, highlighting South Africa’s Dutch Colonial past. Manhattan Island was purchased by Dutch explorer Peter Minuit for 60 Guilders in 1626, despite the concept of private property ownership being unknown to the Native tribes inhabiting the Island and the surrounding area. 

By Nicholas Fritz, Numismatist for World and Ancient Coins

​The Stacks Bowers and Ponterio May 2022 Hong Kong auction will offer a large assortment of numismatic treasures from across Asia. In the Japanese section of the sale, rare and premium examples from both the Shogunate and the Empire eras abound.​

By Kyle Ponterio, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger World and Ancient coins

​The reasons we collect are vast and varied and each individual numismatist has a connection to what we are drawn to.  Many focus on quality, while others are attracted by an item's history, style of manufacture, metal quality, mystique, aesthetics, or some combinations thereof.  As a professional and collector, over the last 17 years I have had the opportunity to examine countless fine numismatic relics that Stacks Bowers Galleries has been entrusted with.​

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