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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 36, September 6, 2009, Article 12

MORE ON DUTCH LION DOLLARS IN COLONIAL AMERICA

Continuing the dialogue on Lion Dollars in the Americas Joe Lasser writes:

On the continuing saga of the Lion Dollar mints. In my thirty years of collecting the coins that circulated in pre-Federal America, I have never heard of nor come across a Lion Dollar minted in Mexico.

Production of such a coin would make no sense. Keep in mind that the mints of Latin America were private concessions licensed from the King until the 1750's and the King was interested in his 20% participation in each mint and had two sets of supervisors watching mint output ; so it would be totally improbable that a mint would produce an unauthorized coin.

Also, don't forget that it was a "bullion world" where the customary denomination used in large scale commerce was the approximately one ounce silver piece which was known as a dollar, thaler,piece of eight,crown, ecu, etc, etc, and it would not be logical for a mint (Mexico) , to produce a less prominent trade coin than the most used-- standard trade coin-- the piece of eight.

Yes, as I said a few weeks ago, imitation Lion Dollars were produced in Europe, most prominently in Italy and Germany, for use in the Mediterranean and Baltic trade where Dutch merchants had very active commerce --with Lion Dollars common in these areas -- and if a merchant had a fleet that was ready to sail -- and he needed coins for trade but had no Lion Dollars, he would simply go to a local mint or a goldsmith who had the capability -- and have some imitations made -- in the proper weight and fineness. No one was injured. There was no fraud. Both sellers and buyers would be satisfied.

Finally, please read Mr. Hallman's and Mr. Marotta's citations carefully. They very clearly indicate that the silver in Mr.Hallman's Lion Dollar and Mr. Marotta's Philips Dollar was Mexican; but not that these coins were minted in Mexico.

Thanks to both Mike and Joe for the background on these historically important coins. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON DUTCH LION DOLLARS IN COLONIAL AMERICA (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v12n35a08.html)

THE BOOK BAZARRE

DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE offers rare and out of print material on numismatics from all times and places. See our Web site at www.fanningbooks.com .


Wayne Homren, Editor

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