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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.

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.

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