Guide to World Coinage
World coins offer collectors an amazing variety. Some coins are hundreds of years old, with portraits of bygone kings and heroes, while others are modern, with detailed designs. Many have exotic names like Ducat, Franc, Peso or Rouble. Each coin is a treasure house of knowledge with its own exciting story to tell! Royal crests, rulers, historic events, natural wonders, and other artwork can be part of their design.
Collectors have sought out world coins because they offer a snapshot of the nation that issued them. They bear legends in different languages, unique designs, and represent a distinctive history. Many coins share common themes like tall ships, wildlife, birds or famous people. Plus, there are those with unusual shapes or with holes at the center. World coins offer countless ways to form a collection. Here are a few examples of the numerous types that are available:
South Africa Gold Krugerrand
Released in 1967, the one-ounce gold Krugerrand became the world’s first bullion coin. This 91.7% gold coin set the standard for others to follow. (1/4 oz. shown)
Mexico Silver Libertad
Although the 99.9% silver Libertad was struck in 1982, it wasn’t released until 1984. The Libertad displays “El Angel,” Winged Angel of Victory, first used on Mexican coins in 1921.
China Silver Panda
China’s one-ounce 99.9% silver Panda coin was first released in 1983. The Temple of Heaven, completed in 1420, is on the obverse. A panda, the world’s rarest mammal, is featured on the reverse.
Russia Gold Roubles
Rouble coinage dates back to the Middle Ages. Struck in 90% gold, this 10 Roubles features Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II. The reverse shows the double-headed eagle of Russia.
Romania Copper Bani
Struck in 1867, this Old World coin is from Romania’s first-ever coin series. It was issued under Prince Carol I, the nation’s first ruler. The coat of arms is on the obverse and the denomination is on the reverse.
The Third Reich’s largest silver coin was the German 5 Reichsmarks, struck in 90% silver. The obverse features the heraldic eagle of Germany, and the reverse features the Potsdam Garrison Church.
East Africa Bronze Coins
Prior to 1960, Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar were British Colonies known as East Africa, and shared a common coinage. The distinctive center hole is believed to bring good luck to the bearer.
Twelve different European nations officially converted to the Euro in 2002. Each country’s Euro has a common obverse used by the member nations, and its own unique reverse.