Author Topic: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"  (Read 2924 times)

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Offline eurocoin

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Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« on: April 07, 2017, 01:41:05 PM »
Parent topic:  Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands



The parent topic (above) gives an overview of the coinage of the Netherlands. Please post any comments, questions or corrections here.

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 01:46:25 PM »


I do like some of the older Dutch coins. From the 1980s or so, the designs became much more simplistic and minimalistic.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 07:15:10 PM by eurocoin »

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 11:07:02 PM »
It's interesting to read about how long the Occupation coins still circulated in the Netherlands after the Second World War: Zinc coins of the Netherlands.  Some of the posts are by forum member a3v1, a Dutchman who died in 2011.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 11:54:33 PM »
I was born in 1949, but my long-term memory says I handled those coins. They may have been family leftovers, though, rather than still circulating coins. I very distinctly remember the first silver gulden and rijksdaalder pieces circulating alongside the blue and red banknotes of the same denomination.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 11:57:25 PM »
It's quite shocking in a way that those coins were not destroyed at the first available opportunity. However, everything had to be rebuilt after the devastation of the war, and this took time and things had to be prioritised, so perhaps it's not surprising.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 12:31:13 AM »
Destruction was widespread and made worse by whole polders being flooded. Silver coins, including those issued during the last phase of the war, were hoarded and did not circulate, so the whole series was up for renewal. That would have been a challenge even in normal times. The country had no use for the economic disruption that a withdrawal of the zinc coins would have been. This was so obvious that the government in exile had already announced that the zinc coins would remain valid.

Similarly, in France, Vichy and other wartime coins of 50 centimes, 1 and 2 francs were still circulating in the sixties as half, 1 and 2 centimes.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 10:22:07 AM »



In 1954, the reverse of the 1 guilder coin was updated. The same change was made to the 2,5 guilder coin in 1959. To the left the previous design can be seen and to the right the updated reverse. The new design was made by Ludwig Oswald Wenckebach.

So what was the reason for this change? What do the new details on the design represent?

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 11:29:56 AM »
So what was the reason for this change? What do the new details on the design represent?

Just an update. I have been unable to find any specific reason for it. Very few attention was given to this change at the time and no detailed information is available. Other than the mintmaster mark which is different in the images, I can not see any other noteworthy design details that are different. It is just a more abstract version of the coat of arms of the Netherlands. 

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 11:40:45 AM »
I see. Mints have to find something to keep themselves busy, I suppose.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 02:08:16 PM »
The reason was that it was in fact not the same coin and circumstances, as well as taste in art had changed. The old reverse designs lean heavily on the the design introduced at decimalisation, around 1815. The new design has fewer and clearer details. To see the two designs side by side clearly shows the modernisation. It's not radical, but it paved the way for the radical change of the next designs, by Ninaber van Eyben, which at last discarded the heavily worn heraldry concept.

The design and vital statistics of the pre-war coinage was half-way between the pound and the Franc de Germinal, with traces of imperial German and Spanish coinage systems. That gulden came to an end in 1940. Post war coins were solidly Bretton Woods in nature: tokens, kept aloft by trust. In between, the old gulden was hollowed out by hyperinflation, loss of reserves and a famine that made only gold coins acceptable. It was finished by a "money-purification" drive that saw all old coins and banknotes withdrawn, accompanied by a massive loss of value of monetary holdings. Any resemblance between the new gulden and the old one was based on wilful deception and tradition.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 02:26:00 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 02:15:43 PM »
That makes sense. I notice also, in the exergue of the earlier coin: "100 C.", so it is in effect doubly denominated.

See: Double Denominations.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2017, 02:54:54 PM »
Keep in mind, however, that the "100 C." was removed much earlier. The last 1 gulden coins that had this text are dated 1901 - the pieces from 1904 (and later) do not have such a double denomination. Interesting that the design change that Juliana introduced was then used as a model by Beatrix too, in the sense of "she got a new reverse, so I can get a new one as well". :)

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2017, 02:58:47 PM »
Interesting that the design change that Juliana introduced was then used as a model by Beatrix too, in the sense of "she got a new reverse, so I can get a new one as well". :)

But Juliana ascended the throne in 1948. The new design did not occur until 1959. I'll wait until the next posts to find out the gap in the case of Beatrix.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2017, 03:18:47 PM »
Right, there was a long "gap" - Juliana did not have any gulden coins minted until 1954 (1G) and 1959 (2G). I know that they had paper money (muntbiljet) notes with these denominations and her portrait, dated 1949. But judging from what I know about the background ... yeah, let's wait. :)

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on: "Milestones in the coinage of the Netherlands"
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2017, 06:14:19 PM »
It's a tale of silver. By around 1940, the gold standard distinguished two sorts of coins: full value coins (could theoretically be exchanged for gold bars and could freely be melted and minted) and token coins, legal tender up to a determined number of pieces only. The silver 5, 10 and 25 cent coins were token coins. The , 1 and 2 Gulden were full value coins. The Gulden were struck for the colonies and saw very little circulation in the home country until the sea lanes were closed by warfare.

While the units of account in international trade were coins such as the gold franc, gold pound and a few more (including the gold 10 gulden), international payments could well be made in silver. It was of great importance that when Wilhelmina fled the country (taking her cabinet along by their ears), the precious metal reserves of the Dutch central bank went with her. In addition, the staff of the Dutch mint hid their precious metal reserves for the nazis. This meant that the Gulden was no longer covered in the pre-war sense.

Wilhelmina spent a large share of the reserves on uniforms, guns and other equipment to raise a battalion of fugitive soldiers. More silver was spent on the token coins struck in the US. In fact, some of them had to be re-melted to pay our allies so that Dutch soldiers could fight along with them. It was a worthwhile investment into our independence. The net result was, that in 1945, there wasn't enough silver to resume pre-war coins on pre-war standards, all the more because the price of silver had gone high enough for the token coins to become standard coins.

The solution was, as noted above, paper money. There was a precedent. In 1914, 15, 16, 18 and 20 there had been issues of paper 1, 2 and 5 gulden. The text on these notes made clear that they were a temporary measure. It said silver coupon. Accepted for payment by the central bank and all state offices. Can be exchanged for silver after announcement. As if that wasn't clear enough, the 1 gulden 1920 carried the same portrait as the gulden ermine mantle.

As the threat of war became immediate, full value silver coins were hoarded. The paper gulden 1920 was re-issued in 1938, quaintly with the same portrait, that was now no longer used on the coins. There was a new type 2 Gulden 1938.* These were supplemented by German army money. As hoarding stopped, this occupation money could be withdrawn relatively quickly.

The railway strike and famine of the winter of 1944 effectively ended the utility of cash. However, the government-in-exile had already prepared a new currency, dated 1943, printed by the American Banknote Company. For some reason, they were found unsuitable (perhaps because they had no watermarks). They circulated only three months in the southernmost part of the country. The series dated 18th May 1945 had a somewhat longer life. They were withdrawn during the "money purification campaign". They were the last of the old gulden notes.

One by one, new denominations appeared from 1948 onwards. They included a 1 and 2 gulden note. They are carefully named muntbiljet (coin-note), not bankbiljet (banknote). Yet, you can see the influence of Bretton Woods thinking on these notes. There is no promise to redeem them in metal. The notes just say they are issued by royal decree.

Like Germany had its Wirtschaftswunder, the Netherlands saw very fast economic growth in the fifties, kickstarted by Marshall aid. Reserves were healthy and silver had flowed back. The 1949 notes were replaced by silver coins. I remember the satisfaction of my parents that the last memory of the war had been taken out of their daily life. Nobody cared that pre-war coins had been heavier and purer. It was a gesture of luxury, not of necessity. Silver had ceased to be important for Dutch coins.

Peter

* There was also a short-lived host of local paper issues in May 1940.
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.