10 interesting facts about Chilean Pes

Chile is one of the leading economic powers of South America. It is a long strip of land sandwiched between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean on the western verge of the South American continent. The territory also included some Pacific islands such as Desventuradas, Salas y Gomez, etc. The economic stability of the nation is reflected in the relative high standard of living of its citizens. And this is why we will have a look at some of the must-known facts about the Chilean currency- the Peso (CLP).

  1. The Peso was first introduced in 1817 during the last years of the Spanish colonial rule. At that time, Peso was pegged to the Spanish currency and placed on the gold standard.
  2. The Banco Central de Chile controlled the circulation of the Peso. Though the Peso is allowed to float freely in the market, the Central Bank retained some control to counter the excessive depreciation of the currency which the Central Bank exercised on some occasions.
  3. The Peso continued to be the currency of Chile up to 1960 when it was replaced by a new currency- the Escudo. However, the Peso made a comeback in 1975 and it remained as the Chilean currency till then.
  4. The Peso is theoretically subdivided into 100 centavos. In reality, however, centavo coins ceased to exist long ago. Even some low denomination Peso coins are also hard to find.
  5. Some of the coins issued in the early and mid-19th century were made of gold and silver. Increasingly these coins were replaced by coins made of more cheap metals such as copper, nickel and alloys such as cupro-nickel.
  6. Gold coins were issued as late as 1926. They were of higher denominations- 20, 50, and 100 Peso.
  7. When the escudo was introduced in 1960, the value of the old Peso was determined as 1 escudo= 1000 Peso. I escudo was further subdivided into 100 centesimos. Centesimo coins were issued in bronze and bronze-aluminum alloy. The reintroduction of Peso in September, 1975 saw the replacement of the Escudo and the value of the new Peso was determined as 1 Peso= 1000 Escudo.
  8. Chile was ruled by a military junta between 1973 and 1990. During the rule of the junta, Peso coins bear the image of a woman who is depicted as recently being freed from her chains. The coins also carry the inscription- LIBERTAD and the date of the military coup on the obverse.
  9. After the restoration of the republic in 1990, a new design was adopted with the figure of the legendary Chilean freedom fighter Bernardo O’Higgins on the obverse.
  10. In 2008, the Chilean mint issued a series of new 50 Peso coins bearing a wrong spelling of the name of their country. Instead of CHILE, it was spelt as CHIIE. In the following year, this mistake made national headlines and Gregorio Iniguez, the general manager of the mint was forced to resign. However, these coins with the wrong spelling became an instant hit among the numismatists!

Source: Breaking.com.mx

Interesting Facts about Numismatics

One of the important methods to reconstruct our past is the study of coins. The scholarly discipline of studying the ancient coins is known as numismatics. Not only coins, numismatics also includes the study of all sorts of currencies be it paper money, coins, tokens, or other currency of relative significance. This term was taken from the French word ‘numismatiques’, which was again derived from the Latin word ‘numismatis’. This article enlists some interesting facts about numismatics.

  1. The first city in the world to mint its own gold coins was Florence, situated in Italy. This significant event took place in 1252.
  2. In Britain, the oldest Roman coin was found which was about 2,224 year old. This coin was minted in 211 BC. On one side of the coin, there is the image of Goddess Roma while the other side have the image of mythical twin horses Pollux and Castor.
  3. In the present time, collecting old coins is a hobby of a lot of people across the globe. But in ancient time, it was considered as a royal hobby. Coins were collected both by the kings, the queens, and the nobles.
  4. You can now procure the old coins on the price of its face value. For example, the cost of coins from the nineteenth century is under ten dollars.
  5. In ancient India, cowrie shells were used as important economic tool instead of coins. These had a great value at that time. In fact, Veda has the earliest reference of coins in India.
  6. In 1940 at Gorky in Russia, there was a rain of silver coins all over the city. This was caused by a Tornado which had lifted an old money chest consisting of silver coins. As the wind carried them on, coins were dropped all over the city.
  7. During the rule of Ming dynasty, China issued the largest currency note in the world. In 1917, Romania issued the smallest bank note in the world.
  8. After a scientific experiment, it has been found that coins do not have any distinctive smell of their own. Rather, the smell that you get from the coins is typical of human body odour. You get the smell of iron which your skin releases after oil is secreted from your body after touching the metal.
  9. The largest numismatic organization in the world is American Numismatic Association that was founded in 1891. This Association has the largest circulating numismatic material in the world. It’s headquarter includes the World Money Museum.
  10. Numismatics, or the study of coins began during the European Renaissance. It was a part of the effort to re-discover everything classical.
  11. In 1962, the first international conference for coin collectors was organized at Michigan. It was sponsored by American Numismatic Association and attracted almost 400,000 coin collectors from across the globe.
  12. You can buy coin collections directly from the mint. There are large catalogues filled with details of coins and sets and other information that might readily interest any coin collector. Although it will take some price more than that of the face value, the possession shall still be worth it.

The Kushana Coins

The Kushanas established their rule over a vast area of northern India and central Asia during the 1st century C.E. Many significant rulers of early India belonged to this dynasty including Kujula Kadphises, Kanishka, etc. The Kushanas originally belonged to the Yu-Chih tribe. They took the advantage of political instability in the region of northern India during the 1st century C.E. and established their dominance. The empire of the Kushanas experienced much prosperity due to the trading activities of the merchants. They carried out their trade mainly in silk with the Roman Empire. Their commercial activities generated huge amount of wealth; part of which find its way into the Kushana treasury. The prosperity of the Kushana Empire is well reflected in their coins.

The first two Kushana kings, Kujula and Vima issued gold coins. Archaeologists and Numismatists have also found their copper coins. The Kushana coins are excellent examples of artistic excellence and sophistication. The coins were die-struck and produced in large numbers to facilitate growing trade and commerce. They resembled a great similarity to the earlier Indo-Greek coins as these coins also depicted the portrait of the issuing monarch in a great detail. The Kushanas also closely followed the Indo-Greek weight standard in minting their coins. Some of the coins of Vima Kadphises were minted following the Roman aureus. The early gold coins of the Kushanas weigh around 8 gm. We have also some specimens of silver coins issued by Vima. The silver coins were mainly circulated in the area of lower Indus region.

Another main characteristic of the Kushana coins are the depiction of various deities on the reverse of the coins. Various Greek, Iranian, Bactrian and Indian deities were featured in the Kushana coins. We found the Indo-Iranian deities like Mazda, Mao, Athsho, etc. inscribed on the coins of the Kushanas. This is significant because it showed the syncretism nurtured by the Kushana rulers.

Another significant example of the syncretism of the Kushanas is evident from their issue of bilingual coins. The obverse of the coins carries Greek inscriptions and the reverse Kharosthi inscriptions using the Prakrit language which was the lingua franca of northern India during the early centuries of Christian era.

The greatest of the Kushana rulers is Kanishka I. He expanded the Kushana rule to many far flung areas of central and eastern India. He also reformed the currency system and issued new variety of coins. The martial character of the king is well depicted in the coins. He can be seen carrying a spear in his left hand in many of the coins. The Greek and Indian gods and goddesses continued to feature in the Kushana coins. The prominence of the Indian god Shiva in the coins of Kanishka and later Kushanas is regarded by numismatists as a proof of their conversion to Saivism in later days. Buddhism also had a profound effect on the Kushanas. It is well documented in the archaeological remains. Buddha is also represented in various forms in their coins. Buddha is regarded as Boddo and Sakamano Boddo in these coins. These corroborate the literary texts which described the great patronage provided by Kanishka to Buddhism. Kanishka is still much revered as one of the greatest patrons of Buddhism. However, the policies of issuing bilingual coins were discontinued in favor of Greek or Bactrian legends.

The later Kushana rulers such as Vasudeva, Huvishka, etc. continued to issue highly sophisticated gold coins. The portrait of Huvishka in the coins is highly appreciated for its artistic excellence and exact depiction of the.

Due to the abundance of the gold coins of the Kushanas, they are considered as the worthy predecessors of the Guptas by some scholars.

Interesting facts and news about coins and numismatics

Gold and Switzerland
Even for the Egyptians 4000 years ago gold was a symbol of seignory representation. But the Egyptians considered gold also as a symbol of the sun and awarded to it healing and lifegiving power.
«Faszination Gold» is the name of the issue 2000/1 of the magazine «Kunst + Architektur» (that is «Art + Architecture») in Switzerland (www.gsk.ch). To this magazine you may refer, if you want to know how the Swiss goldwatch has become a status symbol or how rich in gold the Helvetians were. Furthermore it is the question about how the diplomatic effect of English gold was or how the French revolution distributed gold for interior decoration. As well you may read about the healing effect the alchemists accredit to the «aurum potabile», the so-called drinkable gold.

A Case for Brussels?
A report of an archaeological find in Pattensen in the county of Hanover, Germany was covered in the April edition of the magazine Archäologie in Deutschland (Archaeology in Germany): A Roman gold coin was found at a gravesite with the image of the Emperor Valentinian II of Trier (383-392 AD), dating from the time of the migration of the peoples. Because the reverse was undoubtedly struck with a circular harrow, the archaeologists could deduce that the gold coin was actually made of a silver alloy. The worthless counterfeit coin however, showed a remarkable level of forgery excellence. This coin was most probably made by a professional counterfeiter working closely with the imperial mint of Trier (France). Perhaps the Germanic soldiers in service to the Roman rulers were paid with counterfeit money.
Certainly there is no fear of the development of diplomatic tension between Rome and Berlin as a result of this Roman counterfeit money. However, the contemporary critic must pose this question: Just what will we undergo with the minting of the Euro? Brussels will need not only politicians with the gift of gab, but learned and alert technical advisors!
The Treasure Island of the Vikings
Scientific American Discovering Archaeology reports in the September/October, 2000 edition of a new archaeological find of a large hoard of silver coins on the island of Gotland, Sweden.
During the time of the Vikings (8th century AD) this largest island of the Baltic Sea was a significant trade location. Its inhabitants grew affluent over the centuries and buried their hoards in times of emergency. In 1999, archaeologists found a silver hoard weighing 70 kilograms making it the largest silver hoard found up until today. The Gotland coin hoard contains in all, 1,400,000 coins, 70,000 alone originating from Europe (England, Germany, Denmark and Sweden). The other 70,000 coins originated from the Arabian world and prove the long trade routes that the businessmen covered.
The Vikings are known for their grand metal craftwork. Silver was for them the most popular metal used for jewellery – astounding when one realizes that not even one silver mine exists in all of Scandinavia. Silver must have been imported. Acquiring silver coins in order to melt them down to create a new form must have been one of the means of getting the rare and popular metal to the north.
The northern treasure island of Gotland has relinquished many a coin and silver hoard over time. Why these hoards were buried still remains a dark secret.
During the excavation of a fountain vault of the Roman city of Augusta Raurica in Augst, Switzerland, archaeologists came upon an obvious ancient crime scene. The archaeologists found the skeletons of five murdered people along with the indication of counterfeit coins. The excavators came upon the four-meter high subterranean domed room with an artesian well in 1998. The domed construction was fully excavated in 1999. Indications of a violent blow was found on one of the bones. Another surprising find for the archaeologists was the some 6000 terracotta forms in which third century coins were molded: officially authorized or a sign of criminality?
History lives on because man’s imagination is immortal.

Gold Coins and Psychology
«If you bought gold – bars or coins – you have to be able to forget the price you paid.»
This drastic quote coming from a disappointed investor indicates the amount of money invested in gold coins. After a few short upward curves for the price of an ounce of pure gold, to which the price of gold coins closely follows, the price went downwards from a yearly average in 1980 of 700 $ US to the current 280 $ US. Out of the many reasons why, the strongest is the constant threat of the selling off of gold by the central banks. Those who insist on buying gold coins must collect for their ideal worth, timeless beauty and have knowledge of its historical value. In the sense of investing, «worthless» gold coins will gain in individual value by the pure joy of collecting beauty.

Even Money has its Fate
«Banknotes and coins with a value of 16.2 million Deutsch marks have burned, been damaged, discolored or gone rotten in forgotten piggybanks in Germany last year» as reported by the Bundesverband Deutscher Banken (Federal Association of German Banks). The damaged money is certainly not automatically worthless. The Deutsche Bundesbank as a rule will replace the money fast and without cost only on the condition that the owner presents more than half of the banknote or has proof that more than half of the note had been destroyed.
Often the neighborhood bank can help by replacing a slightly damaged note when the note was, say, washed in the washing machine. However, serious damage should be brought to the attention of the state-owned Central Banks. There they have machines that verify its authenticity and worth. Qualified technicians can then further examine the notes and decide the claim.
In special cases, like when only ashes remain after a fire, they should be sent to the department of the directorate of the Central Bank in Frankfurt where thirty experts examine the remains. Through the wonders of modern technology they are often able to determine just how much money they’re dealing with and if it is genuine. Up to 20,000 times a year the Bundesbank experts are called on to help.
Clearance Sale on Current Coins
Many of the estimated 500,000 coin collectors in Germany have specialized in current coins: these are coins that are currently in circulation. Some speculate that the course will go «through the roof because this is the end». For the first time in the history of coin collecting, it’s been known four years in advance when the coins will be taken out of circulation. Other monetary standards were put through in a far shorter time period. Collectors are able to complete an incomplete series – but at the same time this pushes the price for coins of smaller editions way up. Some secretive hobby-archaeologists will probably find themselves searching solemnly through their address books for acquaintances whose piggybanks they’d be allowed to take a peek in.
However, those whose goal is collecting for speculation, will collect uncirculated coins. Almost certainly, only coins in absolute mint condition can be expected to appreciate in value. An uncirculated set (from one pfennig to the 5 mark piece) costs about 140 Deutsch marks, the polished plate twice as much. In any case, pfennigs have not been minted for circulation since 1997.