Numismatic Puzzle: Anastasius and Clovis

In the 5th century, new rulers established themselves in the Western Roman Empire – and they often had little experience in coinage. This gold coin imitates a solidus of the Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius, but it was minted in Gaul under the Merovingian King Clovis I.

Numismatic Puzzle: Feather Money

Today’s puzzle is a teau of feather money, wrapped in palm leaves from the Santa Cruz Islands.

Numismatic Puzzle: 2 Euro Vatican Benedict XVI

Today’s puzzle is a 2 euro coin of the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI (2012).

Numismatic Puzzle: Finland’s Lion

In 1917, Finland separated from the Russian Empire and became an independent republic. This 1-markka coin of 1922 depicts the young state’s coat of arms, which dates back to the 16th century and can still be seen on Finland’s euro coins: a lion with a sword.

Numismatic Puzzle: Umberto I

Many people in 1882 Italy couldn’t even dream of such a gold 20-lira piece. Umberto I ruled a country torn by social conflict, which caused him to lose his life in an assassination in 1900.

Numismatic Puzzle: Bertha von Suttner

In 1905, Bertha von Suttner became the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee thus honoured the life’s work of this dedicated pacifist and writer. Today, her face can be found in many purses and wallets: on Austria’s 2-euro circulation coins.

Numismatic Puzzle: Scheepjesgulden

These “ship guldens” were minted by the Dutch in West Friesland for their colony at the Cape of Good Hope. When the Dutch lost this territory, they sent the coins to Batavia on the island of Java. There, they were finally put into circulation in 1803.

Numismatic Puzzle: The Doge of Venice

Today’s coin is of the type of a Venetian ducat, a so-called zecchino. This gold specimen from around 1350 shows the doge, the head of state of Venice, receiving a banner by St Mark, the city’s patron saint.

Numismatic Puzzle: Schaffhausen

In the 11th century, Kloster Allerheiligen (All Saints Abbey) in Schaffhausen was granted the right to mint coins. Take a look at this 13th-century bracteate and decide for yourself what you see: a ram, as an allusion to the town’s name, or a Lamb of God?

Numismatic Puzzle: Brabant

The tornesel, a heavy silver coin which was created in Tours (France) in 1266, was so popular that it was imitated in many places. John II from the Duchy of Brabant also did so around 1300: do you recognize the cityscape of Tours in the lily wreath?