Three Ancient Coins That Changed The World
Throughout the history of the world, one of the most reliable ways to buy and sell things has been through the use of coins. In ancient times, coins were made out of actual valuable metals like gold and silver and carried an intrinsic value that was equal to the value of the coin. Today, those coins have a base value commensurate with the metal in them, but they also have a value due to their age. Here are three famous coins that changed the world:
Roman currency was the de facto currency for most of Europe for hundreds of years. Throughout the history of Rome, Roman currency changed many times. With each different Caesar, they minted new coins commemorating the new Caesar. Over time, Rome devalued the currency by taking out some of the valuable metals and replacing them with less valuable metals. As a result, local economies collapsed under the weight of inflation.
The Spanish Dollar is possibly the most famous currency in the history of the world. It is synonymous with pirates and piece of eight. The piece of eight got its name because people used to take a Spanish Dollar and split it into 8 pieces with a wedge. These pieces of eight had an intrinsic value due to the gold that was in the coin. When Spanish galleons were attacked by privateers as they carried Spanish Dollars to and from the New World, these coins became a de facto currency for many parts of the world. It is rare to find a whole Spanish Dollar, and even more rare to find a piece of eight outside of a museum. Nevertheless, there are still ways to find them for sale without going diving to the wreck of a galleon.
American Double Eagle
The double eagle was first minted with gold mined from the California gold fields in 1849. It was an extremely pure coin, containing 90% gold. These coins were minted for many years by the US government, but as the price of gold went up, it became untenable to continue minting the coins. Once the United States deviated from the gold standard, the gold coins were no longer valued by what was on their face, but rather how much gold was in them. This tradition has continued with the US Mint offering limited edition, floating value Double Eagles even today.
Look for these coins as you are adding to your coin collection. Even if you can't afford them, they are beautiful examples of what societies have used to buy and sell. For more information, contact an experienced coin dealer from a company like Harlan J. Berk, LTD.