The tallero was the currency of Eritrea between 1890 and 1921. It was subdivided into each of 100 centesimi; the lira was equivalent to the Italian lira. From 1885, banknotes denominated in lire were issued by the Italian colonial authorities. In 1890, the silver tallero, patterned after the Maria Theresa thaler, was introduced; the last tallero were minted in 1918. In 1921, the tallero was abandoned and Italian currency circulated alone until banknotes were issued in lire in 1938
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, seals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse reverse means the back face; the obverse of a coin is called heads, because it depicts the head of a prominent person, the reverse tails. In fields of scholarship outside numismatics, the term front is more used than obverse, while usage of reverse is widespread; the equivalent terms used in codicology, manuscript studies, print studies and publishing are "recto" and "verso". The side of a coin with the larger-scale image will be called the obverse and, if that does not serve to distinguish them, the side, more typical of a wide range of coins from that location will be called the obverse. Following this principle, in the most famous of ancient Greek coins, the tetradrachm of Athens, the obverse is the head of Athena and the reverse is her owl. Similar versions of these two images, both symbols of the state, were used on the Athenian coins for more than two centuries.
In the many republics of ancient Greece, such as Athens or Corinth, one side of their coins would have a symbol of the state their patron goddess or her symbol, which remained constant through all of the coins minted by that state, regarded as the obverse of those coins. The opposite side may have varied from time to time. In ancient Greek monarchical coinage, the situation continued whereby a larger image of a deity, is called the obverse, but a smaller image of a monarch appears on the other side, called the reverse. In a Western monarchy, it has been customary, following the tradition of the Hellenistic monarchs and the Roman emperors, for the currency to bear the head of the monarch on one side, always regarded as the obverse; this change happened in the coinage of Alexander the Great, which continued to be minted long after his death. After his conquest of ancient Egypt, he allowed himself to be depicted on the obverse of coins as a god-king, at least because he thought this would help secure the allegiance of the Egyptians, who had regarded their previous monarchs, the pharaohs, as divine.
The various Hellenistic rulers who were his successors followed his tradition and kept their images on the obverse of coins. A movement back to the earlier tradition of a deity being placed on the obverse occurred in Byzantine coinage, where a head of Christ became the obverse and a head or portrait of the emperor became considered the reverse; the introduction of this style in the gold coins of Justinian II from the year 695 provoked the Islamic Caliph, Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine designs, replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with just lettering on both sides of their coins. This script alone style was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. Without images, therefore, it is not always easy to tell which side will be regarded as the obverse without some knowledge. After 695 Islamic coins avoided all images of persons and contained script alone.
The side expressing the Six Kalimas is defined as the obverse. A convention exists to display the obverse to the left and the reverse to the right in photographs and museum displays, but this is not invariably observed; the form of currency follows its function, to serve as a accepted medium of exchange of value. This function rests on a state as guarantor of the value: either as trustworthy guarantor of the kind and amount of metal in a coin, or as powerful guarantor of the continuing acceptance of token coins. Traditionally, most states have been monarchies where the person of the monarch and the state were equivalent for most purposes. For this reason, the obverse side of a modern piece of currency is the one that evokes that reaction by invoking the strength of the state, that side always depicts a symbol of the state, whether it be the monarch or otherwise. If not provided for on the obverse, the reverse side contains information relating to a coin's role as medium of exchange. Additional space reflects the issuing country's culture or government, or evokes some aspect of the state's territory.
Regarding the euro, some confusion regarding the obverse and reverse of the euro coins exists. As agreed by the informal Economic and Finance Ministers Council of Verona in April 1996, despite the fact that a number of countries have a different design for each coin, the distinctive national side for the circulation coins is the obverse and the common European side is the reverse; this rule does not apply to the collector coins. A number of the designs used for obverse national sides of euro coins were taken from the reverse of the nations' former pre-euro coins. Several countries continue to use portraits of the reigning monarch. In Japan, from 1897 to the end of World War II, the following informal conventions existed: the Chrysanthemum Throne, representing the imperial family, appeared on all coins, this side was regarded as the obverse; the Chrys
The Kreuzer, in English kreutzer, was a silver coin and unit of currency existing in the southern German states prior to the unification of Germany, in Austria. After 1760 it was made of copper. In 1559 a value of 60 Kreuzer to 1 gulden had been adopted throughout the Southern states of the Holy Roman Empire, but the northern German states declined to join, used Groschen instead of Kreuzer; the Kreuzer in turn was worth about pennies. Thus one Gulden was worth 252 Pfennig. Currencies adopted a standard relationship of 240 Pfennig = 60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden. Following the adoption of the Conventionsthaler in 1754, two distinct Kreuzer came into being; the first, sometimes referred to as the Conventionskreuzer, was worth 1/120 of a Conventionsthaler, valuing the gulden at half a Conventionsthaler. This was used in Austria-Hungary. However, the states of southern Germany adopted a smaller Kreuzer Landmünze worth 1/144 of a Conventionsthaler, thus valuing the Gulden at 5/12 of a Conventionsthaler. In fact, the southern German states issued coins denominated in Kreuzer Landmünze up to 6 Kreuzer Landmünze but in Conventionskreuzer for higher denominations.
The South German Currency Union of 1837 used a system of 60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden and 1¾ Gulden = 1 Thaler, with the Kreuzer equal to the old Kreuzer Landmünze. These Kreuzer continued in circulation following German unification. Austria-Hungary decimalized in 1857, adopting a system of 100 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden, Austrian Florin or Hungarian forint, 1½ gulden = 1 Vereinsthaler, it was known as krajczár in Hungarian, krejcar in Czech, grajciar in Slovak, krajcar in Slovene, creiţar or crăiţar in Romanian, grajcar in Polish. German and Austrian Kreutzer Coins
Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, reflectivity of any metal; the metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental form, as an alloy with gold and other metals, in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold and zinc refining. Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal, its purity is measured on a per-mille basis. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures. Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery.
Its compounds are used in X-ray film. Dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides, added to bandages and wound-dressings and other medical instruments. Silver is similar in its physical and chemical properties to its two vertical neighbours in group 11 of the periodic table and gold, its 47 electrons are arranged in the configuration 4d105s1 to copper and gold. This distinctive electron configuration, with a single electron in the highest occupied s subshell over a filled d subshell, accounts for many of the singular properties of metallic silver. Silver is an soft and malleable transition metal, though it is less malleable than gold. Silver crystallizes in a face-centered cubic lattice with bulk coordination number 12, where only the single 5s electron is delocalized to copper and gold. Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in silver are lacking a covalent character and are weak; this observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of silver.
Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high polish, and, so characteristic that the name of the metal itself has become a colour name. Unlike copper and gold, the energy required to excite an electron from the filled d band to the s-p conduction band in silver is large enough that it no longer corresponds to absorption in the visible region of the spectrum, but rather in the ultraviolet. Protected silver has greater optical reflectivity than aluminium at all wavelengths longer than ~450 nm. At wavelengths shorter than 450 nm, silver's reflectivity is inferior to that of aluminium and drops to zero near 310 nm. High electrical and thermal conductivity is common to the elements in group 11, because their single s electron is free and does not interact with the filled d subshell, as such interactions lower electron mobility; the electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater than copper, but it is not used for this property because of the higher cost.
An exception is in radio-frequency engineering at VHF and higher frequencies where silver plating improves electrical conductivity because those currents tend to flow on the surface of conductors rather than through the interior. During World War II in the US, 13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium because of the wartime shortage of copper. Pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, although the conductivity of carbon and superfluid helium-4 are higher. Silver has the lowest contact resistance of any metal. Silver forms alloys with copper and gold, as well as zinc. Zinc-silver alloys with low zinc concentration may be considered as face-centred cubic solid solutions of zinc in silver, as the structure of the silver is unchanged while the electron concentration rises as more zinc is added. Increasing the electron concentration further leads to body-centred cubic, complex cubic, hexagonal close-packed phases. Occurring silver is composed of two stable isotopes, 107Ag and 109Ag, with 107Ag being more abundant.
This equal abundance is rare in the periodic table. The atomic weight is 107.8682 u. Both isotopes of silver are produced in stars via the s-process, as well as in supernovas via the r-process. Twenty-eight radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 105Ag with a half-life of 41.29 days, 111Ag with a half-life of 7.45 days, 112Ag with a half-life of 3.13 hours. Silver has numerous nuclear isomers, the most stable being 108mAg, 110mAg and 106mAg. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives of less than an hour, the majority of these have half-lives of less than three minutes. Isotopes of silver range in relative atomic mass from 92.950 u
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency
Groschen was the name for a silver coin used in various states of the Holy Roman Empire. The name is introduced in 13th-century France as grossus, lit. "thick penny", whence Old French gros, Italian grosso, Middle High German gros, Low German and Dutch grōte and English groat. In the 14th century, it appeared as whence Modern German Groschen. Names in other modern European languages include: Albanian: grosh Bulgarian, Russian and Ukrainian: грош Dutch: groot Estonian: kross French: gros Hungarian: garas Lithuanian: grašis Polish: grosz Romanian: groș Yiddish: גראָשן The qirsh, grush, γρόσι and kuruş are the Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish, names for currency denominations in and around the territories part of the Ottoman Empire derived from the same Italian origin. In Slavic languages the term is cognate with peas and, as the coins were similar in size and weight, the term gained popularity and still remains in use in Poland and Ukraine, its popularity in Austria and Germany may be due to the native Slavic population of those territories being germanised since the 7th century.
Names like Groschen, grossus/grossi, grossone, gros, groš, Groten, garas etc. were used in the Middle Ages for all thick silver coins, as opposed to thin silver coins such as deniers or pennies. It was equal to between several and a dozen denarii; the type was introduced in 1271 by Duke Meinhard II of Tyrol in Merano. The 1286 example depicted here weighs 1.45 grams, it is marked with ME IN AR DVS and a Double Cross, with DUX TIROL and the Eagle of Tyrol It was minted since the Middle Ages in the following areas: Tirol England Bohemia Poland Moldavia The type was minted during various times in the Duchy of Luxembourg, such as the 22 millimeter 1⁄2 gros produced from 1418 to 1425 under John III the Pitiless, Duke of Bavaria, bearing varying inscriptions of "IOAH DVX BAVAR Z FILIVS" on the obverse, "MONE NOVA LUCE BURS" on the reverse. The tradition of Groschen was dropped in most states while others continued to mint only coins smaller than the original coin. In Poland for example, since 1526 these included coins of 1⁄2 grosz, 1 grosz, 1 1⁄2 grosz, 2 grosz, 3 grosz, 4 grosz and 6 grosz.
Their weight dropped to 1.8 grams of silver and since 1752 they were replaced by copper coins of the same name. In Germany, the name Groschen replaced Schilling as the common name for a 12 pfennig coin. In the 18th century it was used predominantly in the northern states as a coin worth 1⁄24 of a Reichsthaler. In the 19th century, beginning in 1821 in Prussia, a new currency system was introduced in which the Groschen — called the Silbergroschen or Neugroschen to distinguish it from older Groschen — was worth 1⁄30 of a Thaler or Taler. Following German unification and decimalisation, the Groschen was replaced by the 10 pfennig coin and Groschen remained a nickname for the 10 pfennig coin until the introduction of the euro. For the same reason, the name Sechser remained in use regionally for the half-Groschen coin, 5 Pfennigs. There is a Beethoven rondo for piano, opus 129 entitled "Die Wut über den verlorenen Groschen". In recent times, the name was used by two currencies in circulation: In Poland a grosz is a 1⁄100 part of a złoty In Austria a Groschen was a 1⁄100 part of a schilling Likewise, in Germany Groschen remained a slang term for the 10 pfennig coin, thus a 1⁄10 part both of the Deutsche Mark and the East German Mark.
The word has lost popularity with the introduction of the Euro, although it can still be heard on occasion from older people. In Ukraine, grosh is still a slang term for a 1⁄100 part of a hryvnia; the Ukrainian and Belarusian word for money, hroshi derives from this term also. In Bulgaria, the grosh was used as a currency. In Palestine during the British Mandate, a grush was a coin with a hole in it, valued at 1⁄100 part of a pound, it was named after an Ottoman coin. When the pound was replaced by the lira after Israeli statehood in 1948, the name was transferred to a coin worth 1⁄100 of a lira; the name persisted for a while after the lira was replaced by the shekel in 1980, but it lost its standing as the name of a certain coin. Now it is a slang for a small value. Austria introduced the Groschen in 1924 as the subdivision of the schilling, it was restored, along with the schilling, in 1945 and continued in use until the introduction of the euro in 2002. Prague groschen Kraków grosz Guldengroschen Silbergroschen Neugroschen Die Dreigroschenoper, The Threepenny Opera Qirsh Kuruş Groat Venetian grosso
The thaler was a silver coin used throughout Europe for four hundred years. Its name lives on in the many currencies called dollar and the Samoan tālā, until also in the Slovenian tolar; the name thaler was used as an abbreviation of Joachimsthaler, a coin type from the town of Joachimsthal in the Kingdom of Bohemia, where there were silver mines and the first such coins were minted in 1518. This original Bohemian thaler carried a lion, from the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia, on its reverse side. Etymologically, Thal is German for "valley", a thaler is a person or a thing "from the valley"; the Czech spelling was tolar. In the 1902 spelling reform, the German spelling was changed from Thal and Thaler to Tal and Taler, which however did not affect the English spelling of thaler; the Dutch daalders carried the picture of a lion, which gave them the name leeuwendaalder. From an abbreviation of leeuwendaalder come the names of three present-day Balkan currencies, the Romanian and Moldovan Leu and the Bulgarian Lev.
The roots and development of the thaler-sized silver coin date back to the mid-15th century. As the 15th century drew to a close the state of much of Europe's coinage was quite poor because of repeated debasement induced by the costs of continual warfare, by the incessant centuries-long loss of silver and gold in indirect one-sided trades importing spices, porcelain and other fine cloths and exotic goods from India and the Far East; this continual debasement had reached a point that silver content in Groschen-type coins had dropped, in some cases, to less than five percent, making the coins of much less individual value than they had in the beginning. Countering this trend, with the discovery and mining of silver deposits in Europe, Italy began the first tentative steps toward a large silver coinage with the introduction in 1472 of the lira tron in excess of 6 grams, a substantial increase over the 4-gram gros tournois of France. In 1474 a 9-gram lira was issued but it was in 1484 that Archduke Sigismund of Tirol issued the first revolutionary silver coin, the half Guldengroschen of 15.5 grams.
This was a rare coin a trial piece, but it did circulate so that demand could not be met. With the silver deposits—being mined at Schwaz—to work with and his mint at Hall, Sigismund issued, in 1486, large numbers of the first true thaler-sized coin, the Guldengroschen; the Guldengroschen, nicknamed the guldiner, was unqualified success. Soon it was being copied by many states who had the necessary silver; the engravers, no less affected by the Renaissance than were other artists, began creating intricate and elaborate designs featuring the heraldic arms and standards of the minting state as well as brutally realistic, sometimes unflattering, depictions of the ruler. By 1518, guldiners were popping up everywhere in central Europe. In the Kingdom of Bohemia ruled together with Hungary by Louis II of the Jagiellonian dynasty, a guldiner was minted— of similar physical size but less fineness—that was named in German the Joachimsthaler, from the silver mined by the Counts of Schlick at a rich source near Joachimsthal where Thal means "valley" in German.
Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary, was portrayed on the coin along with the Bohemian lion. Similar coins began to be minted in neighbouring valleys rich in silver deposits, each named after the particular'thal' or valley from which the silver was extracted. There were soon so many of them that these silver coins began to be known more as'thaler' in German and'tolar' in the Czech language. From these earliest'thaler' developed the new thaler – the coin that the Holy Roman Empire had been looking to create as a standard for trade between the regions of Europe; the original Joachimsthaler Guldengroschen was one ounce in weight. The Empire's Reichstaler was defined as containing 400.99 grains of silver and became the coin of account of the whole Empire. In the 17th century, some Joachimsthalers were in circulation in the Tsardom of Russia, where they were called yefimok – a distortion of the first half of the name; the zenith of thaler minting occurred in the late 16th and 17th centuries with the so-called "multiple thalers" called Lösers in Germany.
The first were minted in Brunswick, indeed the majority were struck there. Some of these coins reached as much as sixteen normal thalers; the original reason for minting these colossal coins, some of which exceeded a full pound of silver and being over 12 cm in diameter, is uncertain. The name "löser" most was derived from a large gold coin minted in Hamburg called the Portugalöser, worth 10 ducats; some of the silver löser reached this value, but not all. The term was applied to numerous similar coins worth more than a single thaler; these coins are rare, the larger ones costing tens of thousands of dollars, are sought after by serious collectors of thalers. Few circulated in any real sense so they remain in well-preserved condition. In the Holy Roman Empire, the thaler was used as the standard against which the various states' currencies could be valued. One standard adopted by Prussia was the Reichsthaler, which contained 1⁄14 of a Cologne mark of silver. In 1754, the Conventionsthaler was introduced.
In 1837, the Prussian thaler beca