Many people include Australian crowns in their coin collections and it’s easy to see why since they are nice, large sterling silver coins. The Commonwealth of Australia was pretty late to the world crown coin party and in the end only produced two examples (1937 and 1938).
Still, the Aussie crown definitely belongs in ‘World Silver Crowns’, which for my money is a pretty awesome collection to go for as this type of coin has a long history and includes some iconic pieces.
The whole story is beyond the scope of this post, however it seems fair to say that, as international trade developed, the various nations involved gravitated towards producing a high silver content coin somewhere around 38mm or so in diameter and weighing close to a troy ounce.
Silver ‘crowns’ became an international currency standard and the exploitation of New World sources of silver in extremely large quantities really boosted the global import/export market by making significant amounts of specie available for traders and merchants to complete payments.
As the global trade network expanded over time, more ‘crowns’ were produced.
In the 1500s and 1600s, Dutch daalders and Colonial Spanish 8 reales were widely accepted, along with English crowns and European thalers. A lot of those coin types continued to be issued in the 1700s and 1800s during which period they were joined by French 5 franc pieces, German 5 mark pieces, Latin American Pesos, Sols and Japanese Yen.
The late 1800s and early 1900s saw the an addition to the mix in the form of ‘trade dollars’ (English, French, US, Chinese, amongst others) for use in Asian trade.
And let’s not forget the US domestic coinage – early silver dollars from the 1790s as well as the later Morgan and Peace dollars – nor the Maria Theresia thaler, Ottoman 20 kurus and Egyptian 20 piastres, all attractive, large, high silver content coins.
This is not an exhaustive list, but at least gives a flavour of the wide variety of coins that fall into this wonderful category.
I am certain there are plenty I have missed and I reckon that if you were able to complete the entire set (!!!), not only would it look spectacular but it would also be a record in silver of the history of globalisation – pretty cool!
Mexico and Japan
Spain and France
Many thanks for reading!
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